Digital Media Lawyer Blog: “Readers of this blog know that courts around the U.S. frequently arrive at opposite conclusions on whether the use of a competitor’s trademark in search engine advertising constitutes trademark infringement. In my view, the courts should not devise a one-size-fits-all rule for such cases, but should consider whether the use of the competitor trade name was a fair use. However, in a recent decision, an Illinois District Court came close to adopting a hard and fast rule that this practice does constitute trademark infringement — although, this ruling was only on a motion to dismiss, so the defendant still has some wiggle room. The case is Morningware, Inc. v. Hearthware Home Products, Inc.”
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