- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 11, 2009


Rosetta Stone Inc. on Friday sued Google Inc. for trademark infringement, accusing the search-engine giant of changing an advertising policy that could facilitate the unauthorized use of Rosetta Stone’s brand by competitors and software pirates.

Rosetta Stone, an Arlington, Va., company whose products teach customers to speak foreign languages, said Google’s AdWords advertising policy was changed last month to let advertisers use its trademark or similar terms in the ad text even if they don’t own the trademark or have approval to use it.

Advertisers whose ads appear on Google searches can choose key words that trigger the appearance of those ads. When consumers type in those key words, the sponsored links by these advertisers come up along with organic search results. Google gets paid by the advertiser if people click on those links, as well as through other means.

Rosetta Stone contends that rivals and other companies can use its brand name as key words and include them in an ad’s text or title to route folks to their Web sites or mislead people in other ways, with Google benefiting financially from the transactions.

A Google spokesman said the company hasn’t seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company gained $4.01 to close at $414.40 in Friday trading.

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