Internet trade mark infringement in the UK

What is internet trade mark infringement?

In a nutshell, internet trade mark infringement involves misuse of some one else’s registered trade mark in an online context. In the UK, the law governing trademarks is to be found in the Trade Marks Act 1994.

By contrast, names and brands which are unregistered but have acquired reputation and goodwill can be protected through the law of passing off.

Internet trade mark infringement or passing off can arise in many ways. For example, there may be misuse of a competitor name in a domain name (see domain name disputes), in website text, or perhaps in website source code such as title or metadescription, in order to improve search engine rankings.

Adwords trade mark infringement

As internet lawyers, we commonly encounter online trade mark infringement or passing off involving use of competitor names in sponsored advertisements on Google Adwords. The law in this area is evolving fast. Generally, the key issue is whether use of the competitor name within the ad is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the relevant goods or services. One option for trade mark owners is to make a complaint direct to Google requesting that the offending ad be removed from Adwords.

It is now difficult to stop competitors bidding on trademarks if the trade mark itself does not actually appear in the advertisements. Also, so far as the UK is concerned, Google will not entertain complaints which are based purely on use of the trade mark as a keyword.

How Adlex Solicitors can you help with internet trade mark ...

... for a free initial chat and more information, contact internet solicitor Adam Taylor of Adlex Solicitors on +44 (0) 207 317 8404 or email.

Or email us your telephone number to request a callback