Second Legal Blow to Google in Two Weeks

10 Apr

Credit: Google, Inc.

Google suffers its second legal setback in two weeks.  First, last week the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit revived Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit against Google’s YouTube video site. (See our earlier blog post about Viacom’s lawsuit, Viacom Battle with YouTube Continues).  Then on Monday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated part of an earlier court decision dismissing a trademark infringement lawsuit filed against the Internet-search company by Rosetta Stone.  The court revived claims that Google directly infringed on Rosetta Stone’s trademark and diluted the Rosetta Stone brand.

In a lawsuit filed in 2009, Rosetta Stone accused Google of committing trademark infringement by selling the language-software maker’s trademarks to third-party advertisers for use as search keywords.  Google sells advertisers the rights to use certain words or phrases as keywords for the paid ads, known as sponsored links, on search result pages.  Users are directed to the advertiser’s sites via the links and Rosetta Stone argued customers searching for its language learning software on Google were redirected to competitors and software copycats.  The keywords that Google sold to other businesses included “Rosetta Stone” and “Rosettastone.com.”  In 2010 a Virginia District Court dismissed the case finding there was no likelihood of confusion to consumers from the sale of the keywords.

More information can be found at this article from MSNBC.

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