Google scored a trademark victory over GEICO in a battle over key word advertising. Google offers advertisers the ability to have their ads feature in Google, and on other web sites based on key words people search for everyday. Google was sued when it allowed advertisers to set up their key word campaigns to trigger based on searches for their competitor's names.
The court found that this practice did not violate trademark rights of the insurance carrier. Read the whole story. This is an important victory for internret advertisers who might otherwise get sucked into litigaiton brought by trademark owners againt competitors.
"There is no evidence that that activity alone causes confusion, " Brinkema said, in granting Google's motion for summary judgment on that issue.
But Brinkema said the case would continue to move forward on one remaining issue, whether ads that pop up and actually use Geico in their text violate trademark law. Google contends that its policies expressly forbid advertisers from using trademark names in the text of their ads. The search engine says it does its best to prevent ads that violate the policy from sneaking in, and that the advertisers would liable for any trademark violation, not Google.