Can online search results trigger trademark liability?
Abstract: Until recently, most lawsuits involving online shopping and search engines have involved keyword advertising, whereby a company buys ads triggered by searches for a competitor’s trademarked good or service. But can a customer’s search results lead to trademark liability for a merchandiser — even in the absence of keyword advertising? This article looks at a recent case in which an appeals court answered this very question. A sidebar looks at the critical role of labeling in e-commerce.