A new working paper on BePress by Greg LaStowka, Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Law – Camden, argues that the trademark law doctrines of “initial interest confusion” and “trademark use” are currently no match for Google’s awesome power to shape e-commerce.
Through dynamically generated results pages keyed to a near-infinite variety of search terms, Google steers our thoughts and our learning online. It tells us what words mean, what things look like, where to buy things, and who and what is most important to us. Google’s control over “results” constitutes an awesome ability to set the course of human knowledge. As this paper will explain, fortunes are won and lost based on Google’s results pages, including the fortunes of Google itself. Because Google’s results are so significant to e-commerce activities today, they have already been the subject of substantial litigation.
Hat tip: BeSpacific.com.