Trademarks in meta tags

Subject: Trademarks in meta tags
From: "Walker, Arlen P" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 08:35:49 -0500

FWIW, in the last couple of days the US courts have handed down two
decisions which may have an impact on the meta tags used for indexing web
sites. Both, as might be expected, involve Playboy.

In the first, it was ruled that it *was* trademark infringement for a site
completely unconnected with Playboy to use their trademarks in meta tags.

In the second, it was ruled that a former Playmate had the right to use
that trademarked term, as it was a legitimate part of her resume and she
had obvious disclaimers on her site saying that Playboy had no connection
with her or her site.

What's that mean for us? Well, the recent discussion we had over the ethics
of using a competitor's trademarks in a site's meta tags has acquired legal
overtones. It would appear that US courts, at least, view doing so as
trademark violations.

Both decisions are, of course, under appeal.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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