Search Engine Comparative AdWare-tising Under Scrutiny

Apr 2004

The future of keyword advertising—and by implication, other forms of online advertising—was recently put in jeopardy by the Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit decision, which reversed the lower court, now permits Playboy to pursue its trademark law claims against search engines for using software (adware) to key advertisements to Playboy trademarks without Playboy’s consent. As there is little authority in this area of law, the decision served as a menacing warning to Internet advertisers which will continue to ripple through Internet law waters for some time.