Google Sued By Rosetta Stone Over Trademarks

    July 15, 2009


WebProNews spoke to Eric Goldman, Associate Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law and Director of the High Tech Law Institute about the latest trademark case brought against Google.

Eric Goldman
Eric Goldman

Goldman said the lawsuit by Rosetta Stone was the ninth keyword trademark suit brought against Google that he was aware of. He said "suing Google has become the new American pastime."

He noted that Google did settle a similar lawsuit brought by American Airlines over keywords that was resolved out of court. Details of the terms of the settlement have not been made public and Goldman says it’s an unusual deal Google made with American.

Goldman does not think Google will settle with Rosetta Stone out of court and that case along with the other eight cases against Google would likely be consolidated into one court.

Goldman believes that we are years away from a definitive resolution to such suits and that the laws are currently too confusing.

Orginal Article

Language-learning firm, Rosetta Stone, filed a lawsuit today in U.S. federal court against Google, claiming that the company is infringing on its trademarks.

In its lawsuit, Rosetta Stone alleges that Google allows third parties including individuals involved in software piracy to purchase the right to use Rosetta Stone trademarks or other terms confusingly similar in Google’s Adwords advertising program.

Michael Wu
Michael Wu

In June 2009, Google changed its policy stating that "advertisers will be allowed to use trademark terms in their ad text even if they do not own that trademark or have explicit approval from the trademark owner to use it."

"Google’s search engine is helping third parties mislead consumers and misappropriate Rosetta Stone trademarks by using them as ‘keyword’ triggers for paid advertisements and by using them within the text or title of paid advertisements," said Michael Wu, general counsel, Rosetta Stone.

"Google and its advertisers benefit financially from and trade off the goodwill and reputation of Rosetta Stone without incurring the substantial expense that Rosetta Stone has incurred in building up its popularity, name recognition, and brand loyalty."

With its lawsuit, Rosetta Stone is seeking injunctive relief to stop Google from selling the Rosetta Stone trademarks or other terms confusingly similar for use in Google’s Adwords advertising program.