Virginia IP Law > Troutman Sanders LLP

Google fends off Rosetta Stone

In a decision that has gotten attention from national, non-legal media (e.g., see these articles from Businessweek and CNet), Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the Eastern District of Virginia has entered two orders that amount to a complete win for Google.

In Rosetta Stone LTD v. Google Inc. (case no. 1:09-cv-00736), the prominent maker of language software sued Google for trademark/service mark infringement, contributory infringement, vicarious infringement, and dilution under the Lanham Act, as well as trademark infringement, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment under Virginia law.  (The First Amended Complaint and a number of other case documents are available from RECAP.)

The case revolved around the treatment of trademarked terms in Google’s AdWords advertising program, under which persons other than the mark owner can bid to have their site appear in searches for the trademarked terms.  As the CNet article linked above notes, Google has successfully defended such suits before.

Judge Lee’s orders (entered April 28, 2010) granted Google’s motion to dismiss on the unjust enrichment claim and granted Google’s motion for summary judgment on the first six claims.  As yet, the opinions giving the rationale for the Judge’s decision have not yet been posted.  In the meantime, you can check out Google’s memoranda in support of the motion to dismiss and the motion for summary judgment (in redacted form).

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