What are trademarked keywords?
When you register a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)‚ you are acquiring the right to use that mark in connection with goods and/or services. And with that comes the right to protect your trademark from infringement by other parties. This means that if anyone else uses your trademark in connection with their own goods and/or services‚ you may take legal action against them.
There is a grey area in this law when it comes to Internet keywords. A trademarked keyword is a keyword that includes a federally registered trademark. Examples of trademarked keywords may be "Coca-Cola Drinks" or "Subway Sandwiches." Because the Internet is relatively new‚ there are no clear laws regarding the use of trademarks on the Internet.
But if you do purchase trademarked keywords with the intention of using them for online advertising‚ you may be in violation of a company's registered trademarks. Therefore‚ you must be careful when purchasing trademarked keywords.
When you purchase trademarked keywords for your business, your trademark lawyer can advise you on the trademark laws that may affect your decision.
By Charles Internicola December 22, 2010
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