In a seeming unending daily lawsuit filed against search engines for allowing advertisers to place PPC using others trademark terms, Rosetta Stone filed suit against Google yesterday in the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virgina.
The suit is typical of several others recently filed against Google, click here, here, and here and seek damages based on Google allowing advertisers, including competitors to Rosetta Stone from using Rosetta Stone trademarks in their PPC ads.
The lawsuit cites language in Google’s 2004 S-1 document with the SEC which states:
“We no longer disable ads due to…trademarks as keywords triggers for ads.”
The S-1 goes on to state that Google anticipates additional trademark infringement lawsuits because of its decision to allow advertising customers to use trademarks to trigger the delivery of sponsor links:
“Adverse results of these lawsuits may result in or even compel and change of this practice which could result in a loss revenue for us which could harm our business”
It seems that Google’s new policies announced back in May to actively promote the sale of trademark keywords to rivals, and using trademark terms in PPC ads, is triggering what we predicted would be a flood of litigation over this issue.
We said at the time Google has gone “all in” with the strategy and it now seems they could be facing hundreds of similar suits by next year (unless class action status is given to one of the existing claims).
It interesting that trademark groups which have come after domainers, have been pretty quite on this issue.
I have never heard a peep out of CADNA about Google allowing trademark terms to be used in ads, the same exact conduct which domainers are sued for and UDRP’s are filed against domainers every day.
Is this because these groups are really against the use of trademarks in competitors ads or is it because they just want to take our domains?
and if our domains can be taken, even generic ones, even without the trademarks being advertised, or competitors being advertised, then how is it that the big public companies can engage in this conduct?
I know Google says they can censor or play trademark cop when people submit ad copy. Yet you try using that as a defense in a URDP, that parking pages are automatically generated and you have no control of what comes up and see how far you get with that defense.