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 USA - Designer Skin v. S&L Vitamins: Keyword Metatags and Ads No Initial Interest Confusion

S & L Vitamins had used Designer Skinís trademarks in the metatags and source codes of its websites, and as search-engine keywords, to inform internet consumers who are searching for Designer Skinís products that those products are for sale on S & L Vitaminsí websites. The United States District Court held that there was no initial interest confusion. It stressed the fact that S & L Vitaminsí use of Designer Skinís trademarks accurately described the contents of its websites:

"In contrast to the deceptive conduct that forms the basis of a finding of initial interest confusion, S & L Vitamins uses Designer Skinís marks to truthfully inform internet searchers where they can find Designer Skinís products. Rather than deceive customers into visiting their websites, this use truthfully informs customers of the contents of those sites. Indeed, in practical effect S & L Vitamins invites Designer Skinís customers to purchase Designer Skinís products. The fact that these customers will have the opportunity to purchase competing products when they arrive at S & L Vitaminsí sites is irrelevant. The customers searching for Designer Skinís products find exactly what they are looking for when they arrive at these sites. S & L Vitamins is not deceiving consumers in any way. Thus, its use of the marks does not cause initial interest confusion."

Designer Skin, LLC v. S & L Vitamins, Inc., 2008 WL 2116646 (D. Ariz. May 20, 2008)

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