Google wins in trademark suit with Geico

Keyword generated ads do not violate trademarks

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 by Frogboy | Discussion: Personal Computing

Google scored a big legal win Wednesday when a federal judge ruled that its use of trademarks in keyword advertising is legal.

Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Google's motion to dismiss a trademark-infringement complaint brought by Geico. The insurance company had charged Google with violating its trademarks by using the word "Geico" to trigger rival ads in sponsored search results. Geico claimed the practice diluted its trademarks and caused consumer confusion.

The judge said that "as a matter of law it is not trademark infringement to use trademarks as keywords to trigger advertising," said Michael Page, a partner at Keker & Van Nest, which represented Google.

The ruling is a triumph for Google in that it derives as much as 95 percent of its advertising revenue from keyword-triggered ads, which appear next to Web search results. Trademarks play a central role to the sale of such ads because people often use Web search to find products and services with common, trademarked brand names such as Nike or Geico.

The ruling also could inform similar trademark-infringement cases online, legal experts say. For example, Google is being sued by American Blind and Wallpaper for trademark infringement by its keyword ad program.

Read the whole thing: CNET's News.com

kingbee
Reply #1 Wednesday, December 15, 2004 11:38 PM

as google continues prove, doing good may lead to doing well but doing really well almost always leads to doing whatever you want. 


disregarding entirely the other issues, shouldnt auctioning use of trademarked names entitle the trademark owner to some sorta licensing fee as compensation? 

WOM
Reply #2 Saturday, December 25, 2004 8:49 AM
Another BS law suit.Good for Google.

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