Legal Question in Technology Law in Florida

Use of Trademarked Name in Meta Tags

Recently, we were sent a 'cease and desist' letter from a company whose name we use in on website. The use of this name is to provide search engine users with competition to their product. On our page, we specify that we are not affiliated with them. There have been some cases that have arisen for this reason - most of which were settle in favor of the defendant.

Please take a look at and give me an opinion.

Thank you.

Asked on 3/29/02, 9:55 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bruce Burdick Burdick Law Firm

Re: Use of Trademarked Name in Meta Tags

I think you are heading for a bruising if you don't change your meta tags and you home page wording. The meta tags all just say Xantrex. The purpose is to confuse Xantrex customers, by diverting them to your site. There is a way to do that, but this is not it. What you have done makes you look like a thief and you can expect a judge to act accordingly. The result that has been seen in trademark infringement cases on the subject is that you would lose and the other side would win. Your home page is also problematic. The wording is terrible from a trademark defense standpoint. You need to get some expert help on this.

You can accomplish your objective without breaking the law if you get good trademark advice from a good trademark litigation attorney. That will not be for free, but will be well worth your expense because it might allow you to publicize your message of being an alternative to Xantrex without going over the line as you have on use of their trademarks.

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Answered on 3/31/02, 9:24 pm
Martin Jenkins Martin Jenkins PLLC

Re: Use of Trademarked Name in Meta Tags

Ordinarily, in advertising, one can use a competitor's name in a truthful statement. (For example--We have x, while our competitor, Y Corporation, has z.) Such statements are not likely to cause confusion to the customers. However, you acknowledge that your use of your competitor's name is quite frankly to get web traffic from search engines where users have entered your competitor's name. I am afraid this might well be causing confusion. I think you may be vulnerable to a legal claim.

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Answered on 3/29/02, 11:05 pm

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