Feeds

Rosetta Stone rocks Google with trademark lawsuit

Parlez-vous legalese?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.