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When an Internet user enters a term into a search engine query an elaborate process begins. Ultimately, the search engine attempts to match the search term with web sites containing the same terms in their metatags.
I hope the author's understanding of IP law is better than his understanding of how search engines work.. :)
I have this preferred client, a honest, cool and smart local reseller of a product with an internationally known brand name. Of course he asked for top spots everywhere for the brand name.
He is legally autorised to use the brand name. No problem here. When I explained him he needed 250.000 inbound links to get on Google's first page, he listened. We settled for the brand name plus the country name as a key phrase. Results: 17% of the traffic, not bad for a start.
If writting another company's name in metas when not legally autorised can lead to di$pute$, It will provide the same results as trying to eat something bigger than your head.
Macguru, it appears the author of the article (an attorney) is not relying on an expert; he is holding himself out to be the expert. And as any true expert will do in a field of expertise that is more of an art than a science, he cited a case in support of his position, then used the famous wiggle word 'may' -
By the way, there are several reasons why an attorney uses an expert. Most are obvious and all are practical. However, one that you might not have considered is that an attorney (who might even have expertise in a particular field) cannot be both counsel and a witness. I myself have been used as an expert witness for other attorney's cases on several occasions. These attorney's had essentially the same expertise as I, but the rules of court prevented them from testifying in a case where they were defense counsel.
They proposed that using the companies trademark name in the head section of the document, made the work a derivative work and thus, the copyright of the trademarked name.
That all has very interesting consequences when you consider the proprietary metatags that people are promoting such as Google. If SmartTags come to pass, the derivative works argument could be the basis for a class action suit.
Also there are certain trademarked keyword phrases out there that might not be easily identified. Especially when placing them on your page and in your meta tags.
Just received a nice letter from some lawyers of a major search player the other day for using a two word phrase from one of their trademarked sections, just a warning to remove the phrase in question. When this page was created there was no idea that this term was trademarked. It was related to a certain gaming section that seemed pretty general in terms that anyone could have thought of it for their own purposes.
That's another negative side to the web. There are so many phrases out there that are trademarked that someone might not easily discover until they get notified by that "warning letter." Nowadays you have to do some digging before placing some words on your page.