Keyword advertising decision reversed on appeal

Canada

In Vancouver Community College v Vancouver Career College, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has overturned a decision of the British Columbia Supreme Court concerning whether the use of keywords in online advertising can constitute passing off. While the Court of Appeal decision reinforces the principle that purchasing a competitor’s mark as a keyword will not alone be sufficient to constitute passing off, it suggests that the appropriate time to consider confusion is when consumers view the search engine results page.

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