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Re: Is it legal?
From Chip Fleck on 13 May '99
replying to Re: Is it legal? posted by Jeff

>>One of my competitors put our company name in the
>>"<META NAME="KeyWords" CONTENT="
>line of his web page.
>>I was wondering if this is illegal.
>There was a recent lower court decision on the issue of whether
>a website can include the names of competitors in the site's
>meta keyword list. I was interested in just this point when
>I found our firm's name in the keywords (not the visible text)
>of a site that competes with us.
>The lower court ruled that this practice isn't legal. But
>the issue is still undecided in most jurisdictions.
>But there's going to be a lot more litigation down the road on
>related issues. I wondered whether Dr. Pepper (for example) could
>say in their key words: "we are not Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Mr. Pibb..."
>Or what if Dr. Pepper included a survey (or a link list) listing
>all their competitors, knowing that a search engine will eventually
>pick up those brand names?
>Mentioning ones competitors in ones print advertising is legal.In fact
>at one time the FTC encouraged this practice to make advertising more
>useful to consumers. But what if Dr Pepper mentions other major soft
>drink brands in <h1> size primarily for SE purposes. For example:
>"Drink Dr Pepper. It tastes better than Coke, Pepsi, Tab..."
>In our own situation, we merely asked the offending website to remove
>our tradename and they did so within a few weeks.
>I would say that your competitor's use of your tradename is probably
>illegal if his only purpose is to skim off some your traffic.

Thanks a lot Jeff, I really appreciate the info.


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