Why Do Lawyers From Utah Hate Search Ads?

Eric Goldman reports that Utah, for the third time, is trying to regulate keyword advertising by proposing new law. The first two times they failed, but they are hoping the third time will be a charm.

This revised law proposal, HB 450, is trying to prevent registered marks as triggers for keyword advertising but specifically excludes the search engines from being liable, themselves. So this new law only is for advertisers plus it holds affiliates’ keyword purchases liable for (what I think is) the telephone directory assistance industry.

Keep in mind, Utah didn’t get the law passed their previous two tries. Hopefully, there is a three strike and you are out, rule.

There are many specific details in this proposed law that I cannot get into, but if you are interested in this weird law, check out Eric Goldman’s blog. What I would like to know is what is Utah’s beef with keyword advertising?

Postscript: Eric Goldman has an shocking update, the bill was passed. Here is what Eric said:

The Utah legislature is continuing its embarrassing third attempt to regulate keyword advertising. Today, after making a ticky-tack amendment, the Utah House passed HB 450 and sent the bill to the Senate. However, the House was sharply divided, voting 38-36-1 to pass it. The law barely made it through due to the fierce last-minute lobbying efforts of 1-800 Contacts; Kate Kaye catches us up on some of 1-800 Contacts’ maneuverings.

It’s not clear if the Senate will approve the law; or if it will even act on the law before the legislature recesses on March 12. It’s also possible that the governor would veto the law. However, for now, it is clear that the Utah legislature is still working hard to retain its status as the reigning jesters of Internet regulators.

Postscript #2: Eric Goldman updates us once again to let us know that the bill did not pass in the Utah Senate. He said the bill “died quietly last night when the Utah Senate failed to act on it before the Utah Legislature adjourned for the year.”

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Legal: General | Legal: Trademarks


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.searchmarketingcommunications.com Cohn

    There is a cottage industry of IP lawyers in Utah who specialize in defending / policing marks.

    They are trying to establish a precedent for further pursuit of damages.

    I am not a lawyer. If you need legal services seek the advice of a qualified professional.

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