SMX West 2009: Legally Speaking: Recent Legal News About Search

Travis Crabtree: “Trademarks and Internet Marketing”. A trademark is a particular word, symbol, or phrase used to identify a particular product in a distinguishing manner. What is infringement? Use in commerce, consumer confusion. Used in commerce: In connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods and services. Consumer confusion: The strength of the mark, the proximity of the goods, the similarity of the marks, evidence of actual confusion, the similarity of marketing channels used, the degree of caution exercised by the typical purchaser. Metatags, bidding on a PPC term isn’t considered “use” for trademarks.

David Mink: “Developments In Privacy Law”. Over 40 states now have “security breach notification statutes” (note the exception for encrypted data). New law (Mass.) makes it illegal to store unencrypted SPI on a laptop & your company must have a comprehensive written information security program. Law applies to any business and if you work with third party service providers with access to that information, they must be in compliance. What if you aren’t in compliance? Nobody knows yet. Real risk is the damage to the brand image.

Clarke Walton: ICANN Update 2009 (New gTLD’s). gTLD = Generic Top Level Domain (some sponsored). CcTLD = country code top level domain. Possible New gTLD’s. How to get a new gTLD? New process is more straightforward…standardized application process. GTLD application guidebook still being finalized. Can be legal rights objections (trademark distributes) in application for new gTLD’s. Need roughly $1 Million to bankroll a new gTLD.

Eric Goldman: Liability For Affiliate Marketing. Company is not generally liable for what independent contractors do unless the company is considered a “principal” and the affiliate is considered an “agent”. Needs to be a heightened level of control over the “agent”. CAN-SPAM can potentially make the principal liable for the agent’s email activities. Best practices: In affilaite contract, prohibit affiliate from engaging in bad behavior. Restrict the purchase of keywords.

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Todd Mintz knows PPC...knows Social Media...knows SEO...knows Blogging...knows Domaining...and knows them all real well. He is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon's Search Engine Marketing Association. He is a Senior Account Manager for PPC Associates and is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon's Search Engine Marketing Association, and he can be found here on Google+.
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