Google uses Rosetta Stone’s trademark to identify relevant information to Google users who are searching on those trademarks.Â That is, if you search for Rosetta Stone, you will pull up Rosetta Stone, the language learning system.Â However, your Google search will also pull up competitors who have the Rosetta name in their Google entry.Â Google won summary judgment in federal district court when Rosetta Stone brought suit against Google for trademark infringement.Â However, Rosetta Stone has appealed the lwoer court decisionÂ and 36 technology and consumer product groups have filed amici briefs in the case. Â Rosetta Stone has argued a â€œlikelihood of confusionâ€ theory and Google has argued that Rosetta Stoneâ€™s data on consumer confusion is flawed.
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is one of the amici, but it has not taken sides in the case (both Rosetta Stone and Google are members) and focused only on the legal issues in the case.Â Yahoo and eBay teamed up for their brief, which supports Google. Coach, Ford, Tiffany, TiVo, and Viacom have taken the Rosetta Stone position in their briefs.
Meanwhile Decker Outdoor Corp., the owner of the UGG brand of boots, has filed suit against EMU Australia Ltd. for selling a copycat bootÂ that looks suspiciously like theÂ original UGG.Â EMU refers to its product as â€œUgg bootsâ€ vs. the name of the original,Â â€œUGGs.â€Â EMUÂ cries, “No infringement here!”Â byÂ Â maintaining that Ugg is a generic term in Australia.Â So, the trademark infringement battles go on, whether on the Internet or on the feet.Â The ethical issues, however, in profiting from the good name built by another (even when the legal standard for infringement is not met) remain.