Meta Tags Still Matter in Courts

Adding Meta Keywords was considered a common practice during the last century. It is now considered prehistoric and of no relevance. But not according to the Massachusetts District Court which ordered McGills Glass Warehouse to pay $426,487 in damages, attorney fees and other costs.

McGills and Venture Tape Corp sell competitive products. McGills as was a common practice, placed Venture Tape’s trademarks, “Venture Foil” and “Venture Tape” in their Meta Keywords and as white font texts in a white background to get some traffic from search engines using Venture’s popularity.

In 2003, Venture Tape found this out and sued McGills in the district court. The court ordered $230k to be paid for damages during 2000-2003, $7k in costs and $188k for attorney fees incurred.

Though McGills defends stating that there are no evidence that any consumer were lured to their site, Court does not accept this claim. The court stated that “By the conduct of its case below, McGills effectively admitted seven of the eight elements” and also mentioned that the defendant’s conduct was willfull.

Even after McGills showing that their entire profit during 2000-2003 was only $230k, the court seemed unconvinced. McGills will have to pay their entire profit to Venture and in addition also pay the attorneys fees and other costs of $195k.