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Meta Tag Abuse


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It must be remembered that use is important not only for infringement but also for saving a mark
from non-use. In the latter context it would at least be odd that a wholly invisible use could
defeat a non-use attack.

Should metatag use be treated in the same way as uses of a trade mark which ultimately are read by
people, such as uses on a DV? Is there an indication to someone as to trade origin? But use read
by consumers may not count – they never convey a message to anyone.

If metatag use does count as use, is there infringement if the marks and goods or services are
identical? This is important: one way of competing with another is to use his trade mark in your
metatag – so that a search for him will also produce you in the search results. Some might think
this unfair – but others that this is good competition provided that no-one is misled”.

For the time being this area is murky but interpreting Jacob’s judgment in Reed one must come to
the conclusion that there is NO trade mark infringement with meta tag abuse.

Michael Coyle is a trademark Solicitor who specialises in information technology law and intellectual property law.

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-09-11 19:06:30 in Legal Articles

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