Confusion due to Search Engine
Search Engine Issues
Companies that do business via the Internet often bid for keywords in seeking to optimize the likelihood that consumer will reach their sites when searching for the types of products and services that they may offer. In some instances, third parties can acquire trademarked terms as keywords. As a result, links appear in the “sponsored results” or “ads” section of the resulting search results page which when clicked would take the user to the third-party’s website and not to the website of the company whose trademarked term was used in the search. Mind/Share conducted a field experiment that demonstrated that consumers were significantly confused by this practice and often believed that such sponsored result would take them to the trademark holder’s website when in fact the links would take them to the third-party’s website. A favorable settlement was reached prior to trial.