At the moment the law in the UK is unclear as to whether it is permissible to use other people’s trademarks as keywords in your cost-per-click advertising campaigns. A very well-reported case, referred to as the “Mr Spicy Case”, when a sole trade called Mr Spicy (his registered trademark) tried to stop Sainbury’s and Yahoo from using the word “spicey” as a keyword for competing food products seems to suggest that it is quite legal to use other people’s registered trademarks as keywords. However, this seems to be an implausible conclusion to draw from the case as the word in question “spicey” is a commonly used word to describe savoury food. Three cases have been referred to the European Court of Justice by the French national courts for a determination on the question. Suffice to say that we are regularly successful in preventing the use of our clients’ registered trademarks as keywords by competitors.

Posted in: Case Studies

Keywords Infringement