1-800-Contacts is suing again. They filed suit against LensWorld.com this past Tuesday, Jan. 8th. Competitor LensWorld.com bid on the keyword “1800Contacts” so when someone types it into the search engine, a LensWorld ad would show. Nothing new here (this is a routine practice in many industries, with both sides participating).
1-800 Contacts lost a case against another rival WhenU.com on the same issue. This set a precedent and following rulings were that keyword advertising isn’t considered a trademark violation. 1-800-Contacts is based in Utah and that’s where the irony starts. 1-800-Contacts was part of the opposition this past April to a controversial law to ban bidding on competitor’s keywords. Even though they were guilty of the same. The law was dropped the day it was to go into affect after Utah lawmakers had some discussions with search engines. In the meantime it was an embarrassment, as is this new development.