District Court rejects trademark infringement, unfair competition claim

August 21, 2013

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — Leyendecker & Lemire, LLC, an intellectual property and business law firm providing Intellectual Property (IP) and business-related legal services to entrepreneurs, individual inventors, and businesses of all sizes, announces that on May 7, 2013, the Federal District Court for the District of Colorado granted a favorable judgment for the firm’s client, in a landmark keyword advertising case involving trademark infringement and unfair competition claims, among others. The case highlights the changing landscape of use of competitors’ trademarks in Google AdWords, website content and online advertising, and the perceived sophistication of today’s internet user.

“What this case and this judgment indicates is that the courts are having to rethink their historical positions on exclusivity of language,” says Leyendecker & Lemire, LLC co-founder Peter Lemire. “The continual evolution of the Internet’s verbal landscape, as well as to what degree a company can ‘own’ keywords and phrases in the 21st century, played into this particular intellectual property case.”

“The online world continually changes,” he adds. “The courts have come to realize that and this judgment indicates that they are beginning to react accordingly.”

The Leyendecker & Lemire client defended in the case utilized competitor names as key words and in some cases utilized the competitor’s name in the ad text.

“This decision indicates the law’s changing attitude concerning the sophistication of online consumers,” Lemire adds. “No longer do the courts view online consumers as sheep that need to be protected from confusion regarding the source of a product when utilizing search engines; they recognize that consumers have grown comfortable with keyword advertising and upon being directed to extraneous results, they merely hit the back button on their browser until they find the product they are looking for.”

A founding member of the law firm of Leyendecker & Lemire, LLC, Lemire previously served as in-house counsel to various companies in the Denver Metro area in industries ranging from high tech dot-coms to strategic investment firms specializing in the purchase and sale of distressed commercial debt. Lemire has advised companies on issues such as general corporate and business law, employment law, mergers and acquisitions, contract drafting and negotiation, software licensing, strategic relationships, copyright, trademark and cyber law. He holds a Bachelor of Science in economics and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Purdue University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver College of Law, and an MBA in finance from The University of Denver Daniels College of Business. Lemire is a Member of the Colorado Bar Association, the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Business Law section, the ABA Cyberspace Law and Internet Law Committees as well as the ABA’s subcommittee on Electronic Commerce.

For further information about trademarks and the Leyendecker & Lemire, LLC Law Firm, contact Kurt Leyendecker, Esq., directly at 303.768.0641 or kurt@coloradoiplaw.com. Learn more about Leyendecker & Lemire, LLC, Law Firm at the website at coloradoiplaw.com.

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