The Road Not Taken: Initial Interest Confusion, Consumer Search Costs, and the Challenge of the Internet
This article critiques the development and application of initial interest confusion and argues for a doctrine based on consumer search costs rather than a trademark owner's goodwill. Part I traces the origin of initial interest confusion and presents a theory, based on minimizing search costs, of when the concept should be applied. It then examines the application of initial interest confusion in light of the courts' uncertainty as to the purpose of the doctrine. Part II describes the doctrinal difficulties caused by the uncritical adoption of initial interest confusion to cases involving the Internet. These problems can be resolved by focusing on search costs and the costs of correcting consumer confusion.
Michael Grynberg, The Road Not Taken: Initial Interest Confusion, Consumer Search Costs, and the Challenge of the Internet, 28 Seatle U. L. Rev. 97, 144 (2004)