A Key Victory For Keyword Ad Programs

Law360, New York (April 15, 2011, 2:27 PM EDT) -- On March 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided Network Automation Inc. v. Advanced Systems Concepts Inc., No. 10-55840, 2011 WL 815806 (9th Cir. March 8, 2011) (Network Automation). The ruling is significant because it limits trademark holders’ ability to challenge competitors and, by extension, search engines, who use the trademark holders’ marks as “keywords” in search engine advertising programs.

The court found insufficient evidence of a likelihood of confusion to support a preliminary injunction in the case. The decision provides a...
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