Referential Fair Use & Keyword Advertising: The Necessity of Product Placement to our Domestic System of Free-Market Enterprise

Kevin Zeck


This article is all about getting back to the basics of trademark infringement in the context of keyword advertising. Keyword advertising, a form of intemet marketing, occurs where a merchant pays an internet search engine, such as Google, to display an advertisement in response to a web user's search query. A review offederal case law concerning keyword advertising reveals that courts have largely abandoned the basics of trademark law and built precedent upon precedent without considering the underlying nature of internet advertising. As a result, some federal courts have created a body of trademark law that is overreaching in scope. In creating this body of unbalanced law, these courts have used the spacious language of the Lanham Act's infringement provisions to stop what they perceived as unfair competition practices. . . .

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