Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Terri Welles, Inc.
United States District Court for the Southern District of California
78 F. Supp. 1066 (1999)
Terri Welles (defendant) was chosen by Playboy (plaintiff) to be the 1981 Playboy Playmate of the Year. Welles operated a personal website where she advertised photos for sale and promoted her services as a spokesperson. In metatags for the website, Welles included terms such as Playboy and Playmate. Metatags are descriptions in a website’s code that tell search engines what content can be found on that website. Playboy sued Welles, arguing that Welles had infringed Playboy’s trademarks by using the marks in her metatags. Specifically, Playboy argued that using its mark in metatags would cause a likelihood of confusion among Internet users. Playboy relied on the theory of initial-interest confusion, which is a confusion of consumer attention. With initial-interest confusion, the consumer is confused about which websites to pay attention to, even though the consumer is not actually confused about the correct sponsor of the website after reaching the website.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Keep, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.