As Expected, Rosetta Stone Loses Badly To Google In Claiming Trademark Violations For AdWords

from the when-will-these-lawsuits-stop? dept

There have been so many baseless lawsuits against Google for selling trademarked keywords as part of its AdWords program, that you would think lawyers would recommend against even bothering. Google always wins -- as it should. First of all, despite what some people believe, trademark does not give you complete control over the mark. The purpose of trademark law is to avoid consumer confusion. More recently the whole "dilution" theory has been tacked on to trademark law as well, but that is still somewhat limited. Beyond that, if there is consumer confusion in an AdWords ad, Google is still the wrong party to sue. Instead, the liability belongs on whoever created the confusing ad.

While a lot of the more recent such cases have been from smaller companies, a lot more attention was paid to the news that language software firm Rosetta Stone sued Google over this issue last year. Eric Goldman, who's been tracking all of these types of lawsuits against Google, has a detailed discussion on the judge's ruling throwing out Rosetta Stone's case and giving a pretty complete victory to Google. Goldman notes that there are a few problems with the ruling, but it gets the big questions right. Now, hopefully, lawyers and companies will finally start to realize there's nothing illegal about Google selling ads on your trademarked terms.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 5th, 2010 @ 7:24pm


    from the when-will-these-lawsuits-stop? dept

    More like, from the when will they stop paying lawyers who keep billing for busy-work dept.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2010 @ 6:33am

    Money to burn. Lawsuit are becoming a business investment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Overcast (profile), Aug 6th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Lawsuit are becoming a business investment.

    Seems like it - and this one, is obviously a bad one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Truth Finder, May 19th, 2011 @ 5:48am

    Rosetta Stone vs Google

    Piracy is theft. Shoplifting is theft. So how did Rosetta Stone settle the petty larceny charge involving the mother of their Legal Counsel at a Safeway store in Mclean last September? The arrest was published in The McLean Ear with a headline "McLean Residents Arrested for Week Ending Sept. 30" and the hearing for this case was on February 1st. Google should do an investigation on this matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Clear View, May 21st, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Bad Business

    If Rosetta Stone's legal team will come forward with theft arrests and lawsuits, they have to make sure that they are NOT in trouble themselves. Theft is a serious crime and there's no way around it. Unless your son is a Lawyer???

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous, May 21st, 2011 @ 10:49am

    I don't understand something. Who got arrested shoplifting? I thought Rosetta Stone is a big company. Give us more information please.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.