Metatags Using Third Party Trade Marks on the Internet

Chapter 20 in Tanya Alpin (Ed.) Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies (Edward Elgar Publishing; 2020)

16 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2020

See all articles by David Llewelyn

David Llewelyn

University of Melbourne - Law School; Singapore Management University - Yong Pung How School of Law

Prashant Reddy

Independent

Date Written: January 31, 2020

Abstract

Metatags, which are hidden descriptors inserted in the source code of webpages, were necessary to be tracked by first generation search engines. These search engines were not the most credible because web designers would ‘stuff’ their webpages with favourable metatags. Modern search engines have since evolved and have not used metatags since at least the turn of the century. Nevertheless, there have been several judgments across common law jurisdictions where judges have tackled the issue of whether use of a trademark in the metatags constituted trademark infringement. The conclusions have been varying because metatags are invisible to the average consumer. The jurisprudence that has resulted from these cases raises interesting questions on whether invisible use constitutes ‘use’ for the purposes of trademark law.

Keywords: Trademark, metatag, hidden use, invisible use, trademark use, adwords

JEL Classification: K29

Suggested Citation

Llewelyn, David and Reddy, Prashant, Metatags Using Third Party Trade Marks on the Internet (January 31, 2020). Chapter 20 in Tanya Alpin (Ed.) Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies (Edward Elgar Publishing; 2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3683824

David Llewelyn

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Singapore Management University - Yong Pung How School of Law

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943
Singapore

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
238
Abstract Views
861
Rank
242,683
PlumX Metrics