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Geico Settles Trademark Suit against Google

Geico yesterday announced that it had settled its lawsuit against Google, but said only that the matter was resolved "to the mutual satisfaction of both parties" and that the terms of the settlement are confidential, Adweek reports. No comment was immediately forthcoming from Google.

In its suit, Geico had charged that Google's ad system violated trademark law by displaying advertising listings when searchers typed in Geico's trademarked name.

A U.S. District Court ruled that an advertisement triggered from a trademarked search term is unlikely to cause "consumer confusion," which is a key test for trademark-infringement cases - but it did rule that such confusion might arise from the use of those terms in the text of the ads themselves.

Google changed its trademark policy last April, disallowing the use of trademarked terms in ad listings but permitting advertisers to bid on keywords that are trademarks.

Google faces other trademark cases in the U.S., France, Germany, Austria and Italy. French courts have ruled against Google, which is appealing those decisions.

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