Re: Meta Tags and trademarks

Subject: Re: Meta Tags and trademarks
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- SIMPLYWRITTEN -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 20:17:44 -0500

>The confusion around the possibility of using trademarked terms in meta
tags
>for web sites (for the purpose of attracting visitors via search engines)
is
>clearing up. The Ninth Circuit issued a verdict recently that is probably
going
>to stand as definitive.
>
>http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/04/cyber/cyberlaw/30law.html
>
>The gist of it is, you can't do it, unless there is a legitimate reason.
You
>can't put
>trademarked terms of a competitor in your meta tags for indexing your site
>unless
>you have been given the right to do it, or unless you make a legitimate
>reference to
> those trademarks in your content, as in making a direct comparison.

I look forward to seeing this opinion. The NYT site was down when I tried
it. It sounds as though this is a pretty restrictive ruling, and applies
pretty much as it would for print. Interpeted too broadly, such a ban would
play havoc with modern Web development, banning casual references in
metadata to such trademarks as IBM, Fender, Microsoft, etc. And this is only
applicable in the Ninth Circuit anyway.

Tim Altom
Adobe Certified Expert, Acrobat
Simply Written, Inc.
The FrameMaker support people
We train and consult on the Clustar Method
for single source documentation
317.562-9298
http://www.simplywritten.com

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