Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Technology to Improperly Display Trademarks in Search Results so as to Mislead Consumers Violate Fair Trade Act - Lexology

Last updated Tuesday, July 5, 2022 05:50 ET , Source: NewsService

Two domestic companies in Taiwan were using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technology to improperly display specific brand names on search engine display results, making consumers mistakenly believe that the stores were selling specific brand products in order to promote their own website visit rates. The Fair Trade Commission decided on 12 April 2022 that such behaviors violated Article 25 of the Fair Trade Act, and imposed fines of 2 million and 800,000 New Taiwan dollars on the two companies respectively.

The Fair Trade Commission stated that when consumers enter a specific brand name on the Google search engine, such a specific brand will appear in the search results. Such a result is produced by these companies using SEO techniques.

The Fair Trade Commission further explained that it does not oppose SEO technology, but the presentation of search results should not have any effect of misleading consumers. When Consumers search for information about a specific brand on the Google search engine, they may be attracted by such misleading texts. Such behaviors are equivalent to luring consumers to go to the wrong street. This approach can not only increase the visitor rate of these companies' own website but also attract consumers to compare or purchase other brand products sold on these companies' website, thereby reducing the sales opportunities that consumers originally want to search for brand products.

In the past, the Fair Trade Commission has found that using the...

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