*’Paid Inclusion’ / ‘Keyword Buying’ – A Dangerous Road To Go For Microsoft

Microsoft’s search engine Bing.com is obviously currently testing a new layout which includes advertisements among its search results while insufficiency labelling them as advertising. This practise is known as ‘paid inclusion’ or ‘keyword buying’ on could prove as a dangerous road to go for Microsoft.

Yahoo! has already tried to go this way in 2009 but soon again ended its paid inclusion program after intensive controversy on this issue.

There have been no court ruling on this matter so far, but the author is positive that if Microsoft continues with this layout this practise will soon be tested in court as an ad, triggered by a protected sign and shown among organic search results would most likely adversely affect a trade marks function of indicating origin and would most probably also seen as an act of unfair competition ...

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