Hypothetical: Apple Inc. sells accessories over the Internet for the iPad, iPad2 and other Apple products. Plaintiff is the owner of certain service marks in commerce without its consent. Specifically, the plaintiff contends that the defendant and its affiliates bid on the service marks as keywords to generate a sponsored links for the defendant on Goolge and other search engines. Moreover, because the defendant’s sponsored links were generated when a consumer entered “iPad accessories” as the search term, the sponsored links were likely to cause confusion as to source, affiliation, or sponsorship. How would a court rule in the action? See 1-800 contacts inc. v. lens.com, Inc., 755 F.Supp.2d 1151 (D. Utah 2010) based on similar facts involving 1-800 Contacts v. Lens.com.
The court would favour the decision that purchasing a competitor’s trademark as a keyword on Google does not constitute trademark infringement or unfair competition. the court would have denied the plaintiff injunction because consumers are not likely to be confused by the display of an ad for Apple inc. Ipads on a search result page for the plantiff.Apple inc. Did nothing wrong in displaying the product on same Google search results page as the palntiffthe main reasons behind court’s reasoning would be that Apple inc. Ads that appear on plaintiff search results page did not contain any reference to plaintiff and the keywords purchased by Apple inc. included the generic word “contacts”