"Keyword advertising" on the Internet, which has been very popular in recent years, leverages the characteristics of Internet search engines. Advertisers purchase and set up keywords from Internet search engine operators. As a result, the search engines place the URLs or advertising links of advertisers in specific locations on the pages showing the results of the search performed by Internet users after they enter such specific keywords to search for their desired information. The Intellectual Property Court rendered the 101-Min-Shang-Su-24 Civil Decision of June 25, 2014 (hereinafter, the "Decision"), holding that if an advertiser simply purchases keyword advertisements without setting up the function to insert keywords and the advertising copies provided do not include expressions containing such keywords, the outcome is merely that when Internet users enter such keywords to search for desired information, the advertiser's URL or advertising link will be placed in a certain location of the pages showing the results of the search performed by the Internet users. In this connection, since the keywords set up by the advertiser will not appear in the contents of the advertisement, the issue of trademark use certainly does not arise.
However, it was also pointed out that if an advertiser purchases keyword advertising and sets up the keyword insertion function or provides advertising copies that contain expressions including such keywords like the keyword advertising at issue in the Decision, this indubitably would constitute usage that infringes the trademark of another party, because when the advertiser sets up the keyword insertion function or provides advertising copies that contain expressions including such keywords, this will demonstrate an intent to use the wording contained in the trademarks of others to represent its own sources of service and to market its services. In addition, proactive showing of the wording contained in the trademark of another party in such keyword advertising is also sufficient to cause relevant consumers to perceive it as a trademark. This will indeed confuse relevant consumers into believing that licensing, franchise or similar relations exist between the advertiser and the other trademark owner and thus is likely to confuse relevant consumers into misidentification.