Feeds

Google and GEICO settle AdWords dispute

Big group hug

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Google and car insurance firm GEICO have settled a trade mark dispute over the search engine's sale of sponsored search terms "Geico" and "Geico Direct". GEICO had claimed that this use was in breach of its trade mark rights.

Car insurance firm GEICO sued both Google and Yahoo! subsidiary Overture in May 2004 over the sale of its registered trade marks as sponsored search terms in the keyword advertising services of both search engines.

These services work by allowing advertisers to sponsor particular search terms so that, for a fee, whenever that term is searched, an advert will appear next to the organic search results.

Overture settled in late November, but Google continued its fight, winning a significant victory in December when Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that there was no evidence that the use of the trade marks as sponsored search terms caused confusion.

However, she acknowledged that GEICO had produced survey evidence "sufficient to establish a likelihood of confusion regarding those Sponsored Links in which the trade mark GEICO appears either in the heading or text of the ad."

Accordingly, she allowed the case to continue over the question of whether the use of the trade marked terms in the text of sponsored ads breached GEICO's rights.

This was unlikely to be a major concern for Google: it has always allowed trade mark holders to request that their trade marks do not appear in the headings or text of sponsored links.

In her formal opinion, published in August, Judge Brinkema wrote: "Google may be liable for trademark infringement for the time period before it began blocking such usage or for such ads that have slipped or continue to slip through Google's system for blocking the appearance of GEICO's mark in Sponsored Links."

Google and GEICO confirmed that the lawsuit has been resolved. The terms of settlement remain confidential.

© Pinsent Masons 2000 - 2005

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.