chapter  3
11 Pages

Google’s keyword advertisement in Taiwan

No use of trademark, but obviously unfair
WithKung-Chung Liu

Taiwan IP Court in its capacity as the first instance court with a single-judge panel has in a 2012 Min-Shan-Su-Zi 22 decision for the first time dealt with the legal liability of a search engine, namely Google, in its keyword advertisement practice concerning one famous trademark in Taiwan for interior design and decoration portal. The decision ruled that it was the Internet users who keyed in the keyword, which has nothing to do with Google. Although the keyed-in keyword in the search column and the advertisements appeared on the same resultant web page, the keyword was keyed in by Internet users, not by Google nor by advertisers. Google clearly aided the advertisers conducting unfair acts prohibited by Article 25 of the Fair Trade Act, and should be held jointly liability according to Article 185(2) of the Civil Code.