Earlier this year the German Federal High Court held trademarks metatagging unlawful. The “impuls” holding (in German) available for download here. According to the full decision published recently, metatagging in the hidden source code of the web page is “trademark use” giving rise to infringement liability.
The Court further held that such use created likelihood of confusion (under a theory similar to the U.S. “initial interest confusion” doctrine), as the tag used by defendant was identical to the mark of plaintiff, both offering health insurance services. In other words, it did not matter that users could immediately be de-confused by clicking on defendant’s link and realizing that this is not where they had wanted to go. Read more » about The Battle over Metatagging in Germany is Over