2010/04/30

Google wins Rosetta Stone trademark case

SAN FRANCISCO, April 29, 2010 (AFP) - Google said Thursday that a US judge ruled that the Internet giant's AdWords advertising program did not infringe on the trademark of language software producer Rosetta Stone.

"We're pleased that the judge has ruled in Google's favor, consistent with a growing line of decisions in the Internet space," Google senior litigation counsel Adam Barea said in an email statement.

"Users searching on Google benefit from being able to choose from a variety of competing advertisers, and we've found no evidence that legitimate use of trademarks as keyword triggers or in the text of advertisements confuses consumers."

Rosetta Stone had charged that Google was wrongly allowing its name and other trademarks to serve as keywords that other businesses can use to target paid advertisements to people on the Internet.

Google policy is to allow trademarks to be used to target AdWords advertising.

"We allow trademarks to be used as keyword triggers in AdWords because users searching on Google benefit from being able to choose from a variety of competing advertisers," said Google spokesman Andrew Pederson.

"Just as it's reasonable to expect a range of brands on any shelf in a grocery store, providing users on Google with more than one option when they search for a brand name or other trademark helps them to find the best product at the lowest price."

Rosetta argued that Google's policy results in consumers being deceived or confused, and let rival businesses profit from Rosetta trademarks.