Case Study: Rosetta Stone V. Google

Law360, New York (January 27, 2011, 1:13 PM EST) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is reviewing a decision that many trademark owners believe opened the door for accused infringers to avoid liability if they can prove that they are using another’s trademark in a “functional” way.

In Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google Inc. (Case No. 1:09cv736, E.D. Va.), Rosetta Stone sued Google for trademark infringement and dilution based on Google’s practice of selling Rosetta Stone’s trademarks as keyword triggers in Google’s "AdWords" program.

In April 2010, the district court granted summary...
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