Last Wednesday, the U.S. and China announced a successful month-long operation resulting in the seizure of over 243,000 counterfeit Apple, Beats by Dr. Dre, Blackberry, Samsung, Sony, and UL electronics. This was the first joint IPR enforcement operation between the U.S. and China’s customs agencies, and the largest bilateral customs enforcement effort ever conducted by
Google Settles Search Engine Advertising Litigation With Rosetta Stone—But Sponsored Advertising Disputes Will Likely Persist
Earlier this week, Google Inc. and Rosetta Stone Inc. settled their dispute over whether the sale of Rosetta Stone’s name to third parties for search-engine advertising constitutes an infringing use of Rosetta Stone’s trademark. Google’s AdWords advertising platform permits third parties to purchase “sponsored links” that are shown to users whose online searches include certain keywords. Rosetta Stone filed suit in 2009, alleging both direct and secondary trademark infringement based on Google’s sale of its name as a keyword used for this purpose. Although the terms of the settlement have not been made public, Rosetta Stone announced that they will work together with Google to “meaningfully collaborate to combat online ads for counterfeit goods and prevent misuse and abuse of trademarks on the Internet.”
In 2010, the Eastern District of Virginia granted Google summary judgment in the dispute, but the Fourth Circuit vacated that decision earlier this year. In evaluating the direct infringement claim, the Court focused on the question of whether Google’s actions were likely to cause consumer confusion. Even though Google itself was not passing off any goods or services as Rosetta Stone’s, the Fourth Circuit concluded that a reasonable trier of fact could find that Google “intended to create confusion” based on “knowledge that confusion was very likely to result from its use of the marks.” The court also cited evidence that consumers had in fact purchased counterfeit Rosetta Stone software from sponsored links that they mistakenly believed were authorized by Rosetta Stone. The Fourth Circuit further held that evidence that Google allowed known infringers and counterfeiters to bid on Rosetta Stone’s marks as keywords was sufficient to withstand summary judgment on the contributory infringement claim.
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District Court: ICANN Not a Domain Name Authority for In Rem Jurisdiction Under the ACPA
In a recent decision, a federal court in Washington, D.C. dismissed a trademark owner’s in rem action under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”), finding that the presence of an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) office in that district was insufficient to give the court in rem jurisdiction.
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