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Rosetta Stone v. Google Dismissal of Unjust Enrichment Claim

Rosetta Stone v. Google Dismissal of Unjust Enrichment Claim

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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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09/29/2010

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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 EE A S T E R N D I S T R I C T
O F
V I R G I N I A
A L E X A N D R I AD I V I S I O N
R o s e t t a
S 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 M O R D E R
T H I S
M A T T E R
i s
b e f o r e
t h eC o u r t
o nD e f e n d a n tG o o g l e
I n c . ' s
M o t i o n
t o
D i s m i s s .
( D k t .
N o .
9 4 . )
T h i s c a s e c 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 tG o o g l e
I n c .
( " G o o g l e " )
a c t i v e l y a s s i s t s t 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 sa 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 yu 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 dt 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 e x t
o r
t i t l e
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 i s s u e
b e f o r e
t h e
C o u r t
i s
w h e t h e r R o s e t t a
S t o n e
a l l e g e ss u f f i c i e n t
f a c t s
t o
s u p p o r t
a
c l a i m
f o r
u n j u s t e n r i c h m e n t u n d e rV i r g i n i a
l a w .
T h e C o u r t
g r a n t s G o o g l e ' s M o t i o n
t o
D i s m i s s b e c a u s e
( 1 )
t h e
f a c t s
s e t
f o r t h
i n
R o s e t t a
S t o n e ' s F i r s t
A m e n d e d
C o m p l a i n t
f a i lt o
p l a u s i b l ys u g g e s t
a
c l a i m
f o r
u n j u s te n r i c h m e n t u n d e r
V i r g i n i a
l a w a n d
( 2 )
t h e
u n j u s t e n r i c h m e n t c l a i m
i s
b a r r e d b y
t h e
C o m m u n i c a t i o n s
D e c e n c y
A c t
( " C D A " ) .
Case 1:09-cv-00736-GBL-TCB Document 226 Filed 08/02/10 Page 1 of 12
 
I .
B A C K G R O U N D
B a s e d
i n A r l i n g t o n , V i r g i n i a ,
P l a i n t i f fR o s e t t a
S t o n e
L t d .
{ " R o s e t t a
S t o n e " )
i s
i n
t h e
b u s i n e s s
o f
p r o v i d i n gt e c h n o l o g y -
b a s e d l a n g u a g e - l e a r n i n g p r o d u c t sa n d
s e r v i c e s .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
1 ( 1 1
7
&
1 4 . )
T o
p r e s e r v e
i t s
t r a d e m a r k
r i g h t s ,
R o s e t t a
S t o n e h a s
s e c u r e d f e d e r a l t r a d e m a r k r e g i s t r a t i o n
f o r
m a n y
o f
i t s
t r a d e m a r k s a n d s e r v i c e
m a r k s , i n c l u d i n g :
R O S E T T A
S T O N E ,
R O S E T T A
S T O N E L A N G U A G E
&
L E A R N I N G
S U C C E S S ,
R O S E T T A S T O N E . C O M , a n d
R O S E T T A
W O R L D
( t h e
" R o s e t t a S t o n eM a r k s " ) .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
l f l
1 5
&
1 6 . )
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 n i n t e r n e t c o m p a n yb a s e d
i n
M o u n t a i n
V i e w ,
C a l i f o r n i a w h i c ho w n sa n d o p e r a t e s
a
s e a r c h e n g i n e — ac o m p u t e r p r o g r a m
t h a t
a l l o w s u s e r s
t o
s e a r c h
t h e
W o r l d
W i d e
W e b
f o r
p a r t i c u l a r
i n f o r m a t i o n .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
H U
3
&
8 . )
G o o g l e ' ss e a r c he n g i n e
i s
a v a i l a b l eo n
i t s
o w n w e b s i t e
a s
w e l l
a s
o t h e r w e b s i t e s
t h a tu s e
i t s
s e a r c h
e n g i n e .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
1 1
3
. )
I n
2 0 0 2 ,
R o s e t t a S t o n e b e g a np a r t i c i p a t i n g
i n o n e
o f
G o o g l e ' s a d v e r t i s i n g p r o g r a m s c a l l e d A d W o r d s S e l e c t A d v e r t i s i n gP r o g r a m
( " A d W o r d sP r o g r a m " )
a s
a n a d v e r t i s e r .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
f
3 6 . )
A d v e r t i s e r s
u n d e r
t h e
A d W o r d s P r o g r a m
p a y
t o
h a v et h e i r
a d v e r t i s e m e n t s
( " S p o n s o r e d
L i n k s " )
d i s p l a y e d w h e n
a
w e bu s e r
e n t e r s
c e r t a i n w o r d s
o r
p h r a s e s
( " k e y w o r d s " )
i n
G o o g l e ' s s e a r c h
e n g i n e . ( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
U 1 I
3 6 & 3 7 . )
A d v e r t i s e r s
c a n s e l e c t
Case 1:09-cv-00736-GBL-TCB Document 226 Filed 08/02/10 Page 2 of 12
 
k e y w o r d s
t h a t w i l l
t r i g g e r
t h e
S p o n s o r e d L i n k s d i r e c t i n g u s e r s
t o t h e
a d v e r t i s e r s '
c h o s e n
w e b s i t e .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
U
3 6 . )
T h e s e
S p o n s o r e d L i n k sa p p e a r
a b o v e
o r a l o n g s i d e
t h e
s e a r c h p a g e
a n di n
a c o l o r ,
t y p e f a c e ,
a n d
f o n ts i z e
s i m i l a r
t o t h e
s e a r c h
r e s u l t s g e n e r a t e df r o m
a
w e bu s e r ' s
q u e r y . I n
a d d i t i o n
t o
t r i g g e r i n g S p o n s o r e d
L i n k s ,
t h e
k e y w o r d s
m a y
a l s o
b e
p u b l i s h e d
a s
p a r t
o f
t h e
a d v e r t i s e m e n t
i t s e l f .
( F i r s tA m .
C o m p l .
U H3 8
&
3 9 . )
C o n s e q u e n t l y ,
a d v e r t i s e r s
a r e a b l e
t o
p l a c e
t h e i r
a d v e r t i s i n g
i n
f r o n t
o f
c o n s u m e r s
w h o h a v e
i d e n t i f i e d t h e m s e l v e s
a s
i n t e r e s t e d
i n
c e r t a i n p r o d u c t s
o r s e r v i c e s .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
H
2 7 . )
F o r
m a n y
y e a r s ,
G o o g l e p r o h i b i t e d a d v e r t i s e r s
f r o m
p u r c h a s i n g
s p e c i f i c
t r a d e m a r k s
a s
k e y w o r d t r i g g e r s
f o r
S p o n s o r e d
L i n k a d v e r t i s e m e n t s .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
H
4 4 . )
H o w e v e r , G o o g l e
r e v i s e d
t h i s
p o l i c y a n db e g a n
a l l o w i n g
a d v e r t i s e r s
t o
p u r c h a s e
s p e c i f i c t r a d e m a r k s
a s
k e y w o r d
t r i g g e r s f o r
t h e
S p o n s o r e d
L i n k s .
( F i r s t
A m .
C o m p l .
H
4 4 . )
B a s e d
o n G o o g l e ' s
n e w
p o l i c y ,
R o s e t t a
S t o n e b r i n g s
t h i s
a c t i o n a l l e g i n g
G o o g l e ' s
u n a u t h o r i z e d
u s e
o ft h e
R o s e t t a
S t o n e
M a r k s .
R o s e t t a
S t o n e
a l l e g e s
t h a t
b y g i v i n g
o t h e r
p a i d
a d v e r t i s e r s u n d e r
G o o g l e ' s
a d v e r t i s i n g
p r o g r a m s ,
i n c l u d i n g
A d W o r d s , t h e
r i g h t
t o
u s e
t h e
R o s e t t a
S t o n e
M a r k s ,
o r
w o r d s ,
p h r a s e s ,
o r t e r m s
s i m i l a r
t o
t h o s e
M a r k s
a s
k e y w o r d
t r i g g e r s
t h a t
c a u s e
S p o n s o r e d
L i n k s
t o
b e d i s p l a y e d ,
G o o g l e ' s
s e a r c h
e n g i n e
i s
h e l p i n go t h e ra d v e r t i s e r s m i s d i r e c t w e b
u s e r s
Case 1:09-cv-00736-GBL-TCB Document 226 Filed 08/02/10 Page 3 of 12

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