Google AdWords Purchase May be a Lanham Act “Use”

15 02 2010

Morningware v. Hearthware Home Prods., Inc., No. 09 C 4348, Slip. Op. (N.D. Ill. Nov. 16, 2009) (St. Eve, J.).

Judge St. Eve denied defendant Hearthware’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss plaintiff Morningware’s Lanham Act unfair competition and product disparagement claims, as well as related state law claims.  Hearthware allegedly bought Morningware’s trademarks as Google AdWord keywords so that when a Google user searched for Morningware’s trademarks, a Hearthware “sponsored link” showed up above the standard search results, along with the following text written by Hearthware:


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