Utah Could Face Court Battle Over Keyword Advertising

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Internet search leader Google is objecting to a Utah law that aims to regulate Internet advertising.

The law would limit keyword-triggered advertising -- where competitors can show their ads alongside a search query or with a news story on another brand.

It was approved by Governor Jon Huntsman and a unanimous Legislature despite warnings from state lawyers that likely will be shot down in court.

Google, other search leaders and trademark experts are just now taking notice of Utah's latest grand experiment in trying to control the global Internet.

An earlier law to ban advertising spyware was knocked down in the federal courts. Only the federal government can try to regulate interstate commerce.

Legislative sponsors say the law will serve as a welcome mat for businesses tired of fighting rivals whose ads pop up on the Internet.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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