Google and Rosetta Stone Decide to Cooperate Rather Than Litigate IP Dispute

Rosetta Stone Inc. and Google Inc. have announced plans to dismiss a three-year old trademark infringement lawsuit over Google’s AdWords system. The two companies now plan to work together to fight trademark abuse online.

Rosetta Stone filed suit in 2009, alleging that Google allowed its competitors to market copycat software when Rosetta’s trademarks were used as search terms in Google’s AdWords system. “Google’s search engine is helping third parties to mislead consumers and misappropriate the Rosetta Stone marks by using them as ‘keyword’ triggers for paid advertisements and by using them within the text or title of paid advertisements,” Rosetta Stone alleged.

As the Associated Press reports, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2010. However, it was scheduled to resume this year after an appeals court ruled that some of the claims should go to trial.

In a statement, Rosetta Stone and Google pledged to “meaningfully collaborate to combat online ads for counterfeit goods and prevent the misuse and abuse of trademarks on the Internet.”

“By working together, Google and Rosetta Stone hope to improve detection methods, and better protect from abuse brands like Rosetta Stone, advertising platforms like Google AdWords, and ultimately consumers on the Internet,” they continued. “At the end of the day, both companies would rather cooperate than litigate, and we believe this agreement is an important step toward eliminating piracy and trademark abuse on the Internet.”

In this case, it appears that Google and Rosetta Stone have decided that it may be more cost-effective to pool their resources against a common enemy as opposed to the time and expense of trial. However, it is likely that this was just one of the factors taken into consideration when settling the lawsuit, as other terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.


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