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"There is no stopping Google selling trademark terms as keywords. That is the message from the US courts this week. A judge from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has dismissed Rosetta Stone's case against the search giant, effectively killing off once and for all the conventional method of attacking the AdWords programme.

Rescuecom had already dropped its case against Google (in order to fight a suit on exactly the same issue but where it is the defendant). But the fact that a court has now dismissed this type of case is very surprising, as it shows that they cannot even get to court anymore. The message is that mark owners will be wasting their time suing Google for trademark infringement. The Court of Justice of the European Union recently said the same thing, although it left the door open for mark owners to sue those third-party advertisers that purchase competitors' trademark terms as keywords.

While the Best Buy v Rescuecom case will be tried from this particular angle, it appears that Google is off the hook. Users of the AdWords programme may sue each other, but the view of one US court at least is that there's no point suing Google. If trademark counsel want to stop the sale of their trademark terms to their competitors, they need to switch tactics. Fast."

Source: World Trademark Review

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