RESCUECOM Lawsuit Against Google on CNET

RESCUECOM Copyright Lawsuit Against Google on CNETNews.com

By Elinor Mills
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published-September 29, 2006:


Judge sides with Google in dispute over keywords

A federal court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit against Google over its practice of allowing companies to buy search-related ads that are displayed when people type in the name of a competitor.

In early 2005, computer repair company Rescuecom sued Google in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, alleging that Google was violating trademark by selling ads to Rescuecom's competitors that show up next to search results when someone types in "Rescuecom."

Rescuecom argued that Google was violating trademark by attempting to "free-ride" on the goodwill associated with Rescuecom's name, preventing Internet searchers from reaching Rescuecom's Web site, altering the search results and using the trademark internally. The court rejected those arguments, saying the facts do not establish trademark use as a matter of law.

"We welcome Chief Judge Mordue's decision to dismiss the case, which again confirms our long-held belief that our trademark policy is lawful," said Michael Kwun, Google senior litigation counsel.

Rescuecom may appeal the ruling, said David Milman, founder and chief executive of the company. "A dangerous precedent has been set that allows a behemoth to pit smaller competitors against one another, while it rakes in the additional revenue," he said. "The immense power enjoyed by Google will be compounded by this ugly tactic as advertisers clamor to reach critical online audiences. Rescuecom will not be the last company hurt by this scheme."

The case "could be a watershed" in that it finds that selling keyword advertising is not a trademark use in commerce, said Eric Goldman, who teaches Internet and intellectual property law at Santa Clara University School of Law. "It's the first ruling expressly saying that search engines aren't liable for selling keyword advertising," he wrote in his blog.

Google hasn't been so lucky in French courts ruling on this matter. Google lost a trademark lawsuit filed by designer Louis Vuitton in June, and a similar lawsuit last year filed by Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts.

Similar lawsuits have been filed against Google by the parent company of Check 'n Go and American Blind and Wallpaper Factory. Google settled a similar case a year ago brought by auto insurance provider Geico.

Google Reviews

Barnet Fair
Barnet Fair
in the last week
I found Rescuecom doing a Google Search because our main computer crashed and we needed help getting
...I found Rescuecom doing a Google Search because our main computer crashed and we needed help getting our business back up and running and they were extremely helpful and got up back up and running for next business day to come. I highly recommend them to others. less
Gina L
Gina L
in the last week
Fast service, very clear on the charges, very helpful with extra information and calming my concerns
...Fast service, very clear on the charges, very helpful with extra information and calming my concerns about using security programs, etc.. less
Christopher Kelleher
Christopher Kelleher
in the last week
I just picked up my 10 year old IMac computer that I thought was dead. Anthony took great care of me
...I just picked up my 10 year old IMac computer that I thought was dead. Anthony took great care of me and it was all included in my unlimited subscription. Rescuecom is AMAZING. I love the piece of mind they give me here. Highly, highly recommended! less
sydney simpkins
sydney simpkins
a week ago
I just completed a service call with Anthony. As always he was awesome! He resolved my issue exped
...I just completed a service call with Anthony. As always he was awesome! He resolved my issue expeditiously, professionally and since I am not very computer savvy, he is always patient with me. He's such a nice guy, he always makes me smile!!! Rescuecom is the best!SydneySydney Simpkins Associates less
View all Google reviews

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