It should strike no one as a surprise that the fluidity of using trademarks on the Internet expands the incidence of trademark-infringement claims and lawsuits. And along those lines, novel Internet trademark claims spring from the innovative but unlawful use of trademarks in e-commerce. Logically, then, it follows that Internet domain names, hyperlinks, meta tags and framing marks enlarge the number of trademark-infringement opportunities.

While it’s true that as an information conduit, the Internet reduces the likelihood of confusion by allowing the buyer to approach an online purchase with more sophistication, the technology also bolsters the likelihood of confusion among consumers using the Internet by allowing new, unlawful uses of trademarks. Also, the traditional use of a mark on the Internet (to identify the source of goods) is likely to amplify certain trademark characteristics, including:

  • The strength of a mark;
  • The proximity of the products or services to a geographical location; and
  • Actual confusion.

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