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Google Chews on Choices after Geico Rulings

Google is pondering whether to settle a trademark-infringement lawsuit with Geico after a judge ruled for Google regarding one part of the case but against it in another, writes DM News. In her written opinion, issued last week, U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema sided with Geico, ruling that the use of trademarked terms in the text of Google ads was "likely to cause confusion"; but she also ruled that Google can use trademarks as keywords to trigger the appearance of ads.

Google is "still considering [its] options" in the next phase of the case, Michael Kwun, litigation counsel for Google, is quoted as saying; he also pointed to the vindication of its policy on trademarks and keywords, saying "Google is extremely pleased with the outcome of this case."

As for the portion of the ruling favoring Geico, Kwun said Google protects trademarks through its AdWords trademark policy. "We already don't allow the use of trademarks in [the text of] our ads, when the owner objects," he said.

He admitted that in the past problems have occurred with trademarks appearing in ads, but he said that Google's current technology is "much more sophisticated than it once was, and there is much less of a chance that that sort of thing is going to happen."

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Related stories: - Judge Rules against Google in Geico Case - Judge: Geico Didn't Prove Case against Google - Google Wins in Trademark Targeting Trial, Creative Still at Issue - Google v Geico at Trial Today over Trademarked Search Terms - Google, Overture in Trademark Suit Setback

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