Google Denies Unlawful Use of Rosetta Stone Trademarks

Google Inc. denied making any unlawful use of Rosetta Stone Inc. (RST)’s trademarks in a filing today in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Rosetta Stone, which sells software for learning foreign languages, claims Google has sold keywords using its trademark to rivals and counterfeiters. Some of Rosetta Stone’s trademark- infringement claims, which had been thrown out by a federal court in 2010, were restored by a federal appeals court in April and returned to the trial court.

Google sells advertisers the rights to use certain words or phrases as keywords for the paid ads, known as sponsored links, on its search site. The links direct users to the advertisers’ websites. Advertisers bid what they will pay Google for each click on an ad triggered by the keyword. The highest bids, among other factors, determine whether the keywords can be used.

The software maker, based in Arlington, Virginia, has said the keywords Google sold to other businesses include “Rosetta Stone” and “Rosettastone.com.”

In today’s filing, Mountain View, California-based Google denied all of Rosetta’s Stone’s allegations and asked the court to dismiss the complaint.

The case is Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google Inc. (GOOG), 1:09- cv-00736, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

To contact the reporter on this story: Sara Forden in Washington at sforden@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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