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Rosetta Stone v Google Summary Judgment

Rosetta Stone v Google Summary Judgment

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Published by Eric Goldman
Blogged at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2010/08/google_gets_com.htm
Blogged at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2010/08/google_gets_com.htm

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Aug 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/02/2011

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I N
T H E
U N I T E D
S T A T E S
D I S T R I C T C O U R T
F O R T H E
E A S T E R N D I S T R I C T
O F
V I R G I N I AA L E X A N D R I AD I V I S I O N
R o s e t t aS t o n e
L t d . ,
)
P l a i n t i f f ,
)
V .
)
C a s e
N o .
l : 0 9 c v 7 3 6
( G B L / T C B )
G o o g l e
I n c . ,
)
D e f e n d a n t .
)
M E M O R A N D U MO P I N I O N
T H I S
M A T T E R
i s
b e f o r e
t h e
C o u r to n
P l a i n t i f f ' s M o t i o n
f o r
P a r t i a l
S u m m a r y J u d g m e n t
a s t o
L i a b i l i t y
( D k t . N o . 1 0 3 )
a n d
D e f e n d a n t ' s
M o t i o n
f o r
S u m m a r y
J u d g m e n t
{ D k t .
N o . 1 1 2 ) .
T h i s
c a s ec o n c e r n s
P l a i n t i f f R o s e t t a
S t o n e
L t d . ' s
{ " R o s e t t a
S t o n e " )
a l l e g a t i o n s
t h a t
D e f e n d a n t
G o o g l e
I n c .
( " G o o g l e " )
i s
a c t i v e l y
a s s i s t i n gt h i r d
p a r t y a d v e r t i s e r s
t o
m i s l e a d
c o n s u m e r s
a n dm i s a p p r o p r i a t e
R o s e t t a
S t o n e ' s t r a d e m a r k s
b y u s i n g
t h e
t r a d e m a r k s
( 1 )
a s
k e y w o r d
t r i g g e r s
f o r
p a i d a d v e r t i s e m e n t s
a n d
( 2 )
w i t h i n
t h e
t i t l e
a n d
t e x t
o f
p a i d a d v e r t i s e m e n t s
o n
G o o g l e ' s
w e b s i t e .
T h e r e
a r e f i v e
i s s u e sb e f o r e
t h e C o u r t .
T h e
f i r s t
i s s u e
i s
w h e t h e r
G o o g l e ' s p r a c t i c e
o f
a u c t i o n i n g R o s e t t a
S t o n e ' s
t r a d e m a r k s
t o
t h i r d
p a r t y
a d v e r t i s e r sf o r u s e
i n
t h e i r
S p o n s o r e dL i n k
t i t l e s
a n d
a d v e r t i s e m e n t
t e x t
c r e a t e s
a
l i k e l i h o o d
o f
c o n f u s i o n
t o
w a r r a n t g r a n t i n g
s u m m a r yj u d g m e n t
i n
f a v o r
o f
R o s e t t a
S t o n e
a s t o
C o u n t s
I
( t r a d e m a r k / s e r v i c e m a r k
Case 1:09-cv-00736-GBL-TCB Document 227 Filed 08/03/10 Page 1 of 46
 
i n f r i n g e m e n t u n d e r
t h e
L a n h a m
A c t ) ,
V
( t r a d e m a r k
i n f r i n g e m e n t
u n d e r V i r g i n i a
L a w ) ,
a n d
V I ( u n f a i r
c o m p e t i t i o n u n d e r V i r g i n i a
l a w ) .
N o t w i t h s t a n d i n g
a
f i n d i n g
o f
l i k e l i h o o d
o f
c o n f u s i o n , t h e
s e c o n d
i s s u e
i s
w h e t h e rG o o g l e ' s
u s e
o f
R o s e t t aS t o n e ' st r a d e m a r k s
a s
k e y w o r dt r i g g e r s u n d e r
i t s
a d v e r t i s i n g p r o g r a m
i s
f u n c t i o n a l
a n d ,
t h e r e f o r e ,
a
n o n - i n f r i n g i n g
u s e .
T h e
t h i r d
i s s u e
i s
w h e t h e r G o o g l e i n t e n t i o n a l l y
i n d u c e s
t h i r d p a r t y
a d v e r t i s e r s
t o
b i do nR o s e t t aS t o n e ' s t r a d e m a r k s o rk n o w i n g l yc o n t i n u e s
t o
p e r m i t a d v e r t i s e r s s e l l i n g c o u n t e r f e i t R o s e t t a
S t o n e
p r o d u c t s
t o
u s et h e
t r a d e m a r k s
i n
t h e i r S p o n s o r e d L i n k
t i t l e s
a n d a d v e r t i s e m e n t
t e x t ,
d e s p i t e
R o s e t t a
S t o n e ' s r e p o r t s
o f
i n f r i n g e m e n t ,
t o
w a r r a n t g r a n t i n g s u m m a r y
j u d g m e n t
i n
f a v o r
o f
R o s e t t a
S t o n e
a s t o
C o u n t
I I
( c o n t r i b u t o r y
t r a d e m a r k / s e r v i c e
m a r k
i n f r i n g e m e n t
u n d e r
t h e
L a n h a m
A c t ) .
T h e
f o u r t h
i s s u e
i s
w h e t h e r
G o o g l e
e x e r c i s e s
j o i n t
o w n e r s h i p a n d c o n t r o l o v e r t h i r d
p a r t y
a d v e r t i s e r s '
S p o n s o r e d
L i n k
t i t l e s
a n d a d v e r t i s e m e n t
t e x to n
i t s
w e b s i t e
t o
w a r r a n tg r a n t i n g s u m m a r y j u d g m e n t
i n
f a v o r
o f
R o s e t t a
S t o n e
a s t o
C o u n t
I I I
( v i c a r i o u s
t r a d e m a r k / s e r v i c e m a r k
i n f r i n g e m e n t
u n d e r
t h e
L a n h a m
A c t ) .
T h e f i n a li s s u e
i s
w h e t h e r
R o s e t t a
S t o n e
s u f f i c i e n t l y d e m o n s t r a t e s e c o n o m i c
l o s s
r e s u l t i n g
f r o m
a
d e c l i n e
i n i t s
b r a n d
n a m e ,
w h i c h
i s
a t t r i b u t a b l e
t o
G o o g l e ' s p r a c t i c e
o f
a u c t i o n i n g R o s e t t a S t o n e ' s t r a d e m a r k s
f o r
p r o f i t
t o
t h i r d
p a r t y
a d v e r t i s e r s ,
t o
w a r r a n t g r a n t i n g s u m m a r y
j u d g m e n t
i n
f a v o r
o f
R o s e t t a
S t o n e
a s t o
C o u n tI V
Case 1:09-cv-00736-GBL-TCB Document 227 Filed 08/03/10 Page 2 of 46
 
( t r a d e m a r k / s e r v i c e
m a r k
d i l u t i o nu n d e r
t h e
L a n h a m
A c t ) .
T h e C o u r t
g r a n t s s u m m a r y j u d g m e n t
i n
f a v o r
o f
G o o g l e
o n
C o u n t s
I ,
V a n d V Ib e c a u s en o r e a s o n a b l e t r i e r
o f
f a c t
c o u l df i n d t h a t
G o o g l e ' s p r a c t i c e
o f
a u c t i o n i n g R o s e t t a S t o n e ' s
t r a d e m a r k s
a s
k e y w o r dt r i g g e r s
t o
t h i r dp a r t y a d v e r t i s e r s
f o r
u s e
i n
t h e i rS p o n s o r e dL i n k t i t l e s a n d
t e x t
c r e a t e s
a
l i k e l i h o o d
o f
c o n f u s i o n
a s t o
t h e
s o u r c e
o r
o r i g i n
o f
R o s e t t aS t o n e ' s
g o o d s .F u r t h e r m o r e ,
b e c a u s eG o o g l e u s e sR o s e t t aS t o n e ' st r a d e m a r k
t o
i d e n t i f y r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n
t o
u s e r s s e a r c h i n g o nt h o s e t r a d e m a r k s , t h e u s e
i s
a
f u n c t i o n a l a n d n o n - i n f r i n g i n g
o n e .
T h e
C o u r t g r a n t ss u m m a r yj u d g m e n t
i n
f a v o r
o f
G o o g l e o n
C o u n t
I I
b e c a u s e n o r e a s o n a b l e t r i e r
o f
f a c t
c o u l d f i n d
t h a t
G o o g l ei n t e n t i o n a l l yi n d u c e s
o r
k n o w i n g l y c o n t i n u e s
t o
p e r m i ta d v e r t i s e r s s e l l i n gc o u n t e r f e i t R o s e t t aS t o n ep r o d u c t s
t o
u s et h e
t r a d e m a r k s
i n
t h e i r S p o n s o r e d L i n k
t i t l e s
a n d a d v e r t i s e m e n t
t e x t .
T h eC o u r t
a l s o g r a n t s s u m m a r y j u d g m e n t
i nf a v o r
o f
G o o g l e
o n C o u n t
I I I
b e c a u s e n o r e a s o n a b l e t r i e r
o f
f a c t
c o u l d
f i n dt h a t
G o o g l e e x e r c i s e s
j o i n t
o w n e r s h i p a n d c o n t r o l o v e r t h i r d p a r t y
a d v e r t i s e r s '
S p o n s o r e d
L i n k s
t i t l e s
a n d
t e x t .
N e i t h e r G o o g l e ' se m p l o y e e s
n o r
i t s
Q u e r yS u g g e s t i o n
T o o l
d i r e c t s o r i n f l u e n c e s
t h i r d
p a r t y a d v e r t i s e r s
t o
b i d
o n
R o s e t t a S t o n e ' s
t r a d e m a r k s
w h e n
t h e y
s u b s c r i b e
t o
G o o g l e ' sa d v e r t i s i n g
p r o g r a m .F i n a l l y ,
t h e
C o u r t
g r a n t ss u m m a r yj u d g m e n t
i n
f a v o r
o f
G o o g l e o n C o u n t
I Vb e c a u s e
t h e r e
i s
n o
g e n u i n e d i s p u t e
o f
m a t e r i a l
f a c t t h a t
Case 1:09-cv-00736-GBL-TCB Document 227 Filed 08/03/10 Page 3 of 46

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