Rosetta Stone and Google have agreed to dismiss a three-year-old trademark infringement lawsuit in the Eastern District of Virginia and “to meaningfully collaborate to combat online ads for counterfeit goods and prevent the misuse and abuse of trademarks on the Internet,” the companies announced in a joint statement on October 31, 2012.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Rosetta Stone in 2009, centered on Google’s use of sponsored links. Sponsored links are paid advertisements displayed alongside keyword results in Google’s search engine. Google allows sponsors to purchase certain keywords, including trademarks, which trigger the appearance of the sponsor’s advertisement and link when the keyword is entered as a search term. Rosetta Stone challenged Google’s policy of permitting persons other than the trademark owner to purchase sponsored link space in searches for a trademarked keyword. According to Rosetta Stone, competitors and counterfeiters were purchasing ad space on search results for its trademarks and diverting business. The sponsored links, Rosetta Stone said, also amounted to infringement and dilution of its trademarks.
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