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

Sheila O'connor
Sheila O'connor
a week ago
When I called my compute was completely dead. Going away on Sunday and needed to have access to my c
...When I called my compute was completely dead. Going away on Sunday and needed to have access to my computer to get emails out before I left. I talked with T and she was very pleasant and understanding. Take all my information and had tech David call me back. Davis was so awesome and worked with me to get to the point were he could take over my machine. I am so thankful for David he was patience, understand, working with me. He went above and beyond to ensure me that everything will be okay and he would work all night if he had to get my computer fixed. I worked as a supervisor, office manager for many years, I would have been delighted to have David on my team. Once again I am thankful I gave rescue Com I have never any problems with any of the techs. I really appreciate David approach to customer service. Once again he was AWESOME! less
Katie Chuong
Katie Chuong
2 weeks ago
David is awesome!! He is so patient with all my issues and caring and I would definitely recommend t
...David is awesome!! He is so patient with all my issues and caring and I would definitely recommend this 5 star company to everyone, friends and family! less
Karen Gutfeld
Karen Gutfeld
a month ago
These guys are very helpful and know what they are doing. I am a complete dummy when it comes to tec
...These guys are very helpful and know what they are doing. I am a complete dummy when it comes to tech matters and David always walks me through it patiently so that in the end my problem is solved. Very appreciated. less
Sandy Ewell
Sandy Ewell
a month ago
Customer service is wonderful. Everything was explained as it was being fixed. Received a call back
...Customer service is wonderful. Everything was explained as it was being fixed. Received a call back when completed to make sure all my problems were taken care of. less
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