A U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has just revived a long-standing trademark infringement case against Google Inc., filed by the language learning firm Rosetta Stone.
Back in 2009, Rosetta Stone sued Google over trademark infringement. Rosetta Stone had alleged that the search giant allowed third parties, including those involved in software piracy, to buy the right to use Rosetta Stone trademarks or other terms confusingly similar in Google’s Adwords advertising program. In 2010, a Virginia judge dismissed the case, finding that Google’s sale of keywords was unlikely to confuse consumers over the source of Rosetta Stone products.
But now the U.S. Court of Appeals has overturned the majority of the 2010 ruling, and claims that Google directly infringed upon the Rosetta Stone trademark stand. The lower court has been directed to reconsider whether or not the “Rosetta Stone” trademark had been famous or not when Google began to dilute it.
“A reasonable trier of fact could find that Google intended to cause confusion in that it acted with the knowledge that confusion was very likely to result from the use of its marks,” the appeals judges stated today in their ruling. Google had countered, “each time Rosetta Stone informed Google that a particular advertiser was selling counterfeit Rosetta Stone products, Google promptly took action including removing the advertisement.” The judges weren’t convinced, and the case was revived. Rosetta Stone was founded in 1992, and offers learning software for over 30 languages.
Said case is Rosetta Stone Ltd v. Google Inc, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, No. 10-2007.