Internet web sites interrelate to other web sites in ways that are both overt and hidden. As users know, web sites often contain identified links to other sites that may be of interest to the user and that may be accessed by the click of a mouse. Other practices are not so readily transparent, however, and are particularly prone to generating legal disputes where competitors are involved.

When users search for the address for a particular company, an Internet search engine may list a competitor’s web site because the competitor has buried “metatags” in its site or may display banner advertisements that entice users to the competitor’s site. Or, what may appear to be a link to another page within the same web site may, in reality, be a “deep link”–which is a link to an inside page of another site that bypasses its front page. In such a situation, users may be misled as to the origin of the linked web page and deprive the owner of the linked site of potential customers.

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