It’s frightening to see that smart people, e.g. judges, can’t seem to figure out how the web works yet are responsible for establishing legal precedent and making laws.
Even though meta tags are regularly ignored by search engines, and not visible to average site visitors, this ruling says that other company’s trademarks in you meta tags will leave you exposed to trademark infringement lawsuits. Amazing.
North American Medical Corp. v. Axiom Worldwide, Inc. docket number 06-01678 CV-JTC-1 (PDF) doesn’t specifically say if the trademarked terms were in the keywords meta tag, description meta tag or some other meta tag. But the ruling is that Axiom, who used North American Medical Corp’s trademark in their meta tags, is in violation of trademark infringement. The specific keywords were “Accu-Spina” and “IDD Therapy,” and Axiom, at one point, ranked well for those terms in Google.