Centuries ago, when unscrupulous competitors tried to pass off their wares for the real deal merchant guilds began to affix "marks" to their goods to avoid confusion among customers and to prevent fraud. These "trademarks," as they became known, let customers easily identify names they could trust and the origin of the goods they wanted to buy.
Today, the Internet has added a vast new dimension to merchant trade and the unscrupulous have again found ways to divert attention from the real deal. As you probably know, the virtual world is a combination of things you see on your screen and things you don't. Included in the netherworld of HTML code are things called "meta tags," words and phrases that search engines can read and use to identify relevant websites and rank web pages.
There has long been debate about whether a competitor's trademark, when used as a meta tag or is elsewhere hidden on a web page like a subliminal Internet message, constitutes a willful infringement of that competitor's trademark. A recent First Circuit Court of Appeals decision now says it does (Venture Tape Corp. v. Mcgills Glass Warehouse).
It's something you might want to let your webmaster and webdesigner know because "willful" infringement raises the ante considerably. The penalty for violation ranges up to $1 million per violation.
Smart business owners and managers know that trademarks are powerful tools for protecting their brand platform. The smartest ones will use them wisely and fairly. Don't let a hidden meta tag turn into a huge hidden liability for your company.
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Ways to Make Your Search More Accurate
Most of the time, you just want to find content that has a particular phrase. Here are the easiest ways to find the content you want.