Feeds

Rosetta Stone rocks Google with trademark lawsuit

Parlez-vous legalese?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Rosetta Stone, maker of language-learning software, is joining a growing crowd of companies suing Google for letting third-parties buy permission to use other people's trademarks on AdWords.

Rosetta filed the lawsuit today in US District Court in Virginia, where the company is headquartered. The complaint fingers Google's recent change to its AdWords trademark policy that lets advertisers buy the right to trademarks in text ads even if they don't have approval from the actual trademark owner to use them.

The complaint alleges that the practice aids third parties in "hijacking" consumers and interferes with Rosetta's sales and business.

"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," Michael Wu, Rosetta's general counsel said in a statement.

The company says it owns US-registered rights to terms such as "global traveler," "language library," "dynamic immersion," "adaptive recall," and "the fastest way to learn a language guaranteed." It also complains Google pawns terms that are "confusingly similar" to the Rosetta trademarks to third-parties and pirates on AdWords.

"In fact, many of Google's 'Sponsored Links' are expressly designed to draw consumers away from Rosetta Stone websites," the filing states.

Rosetta seeks injunctive relief to stop Google from selling its trademarks on AdWords, plus unspecified damages - including an amount sufficient to "conduct a corrective advertising campaign to dispel the effects of Google's wrongful conduct and confusing and misleading advertising."

Many other companies have filed suit against Google for the same policy, including American Airlines and Geico.

"It's completely normal for a supermarket to stock different brands of cereal on the same shelf or for a magazine to run Ford ads opposite of an article about Toyota, so it doesn't make sense to limit competition online by restricting the number of choices available to users," Google said in a previous statement about the AdWord controversy. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.