Google and Geico

By Deane Barker on December 14, 2004

Court hears dispute over how Google sells advertising: Wasn’t this a big deal a few years ago? I remember Playboy suing over (other) porn sites putting banner ads on search results pages for the keyword “Playboy.”

Attorneys for auto insurance giant Geico told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema that Google should not be allowed to sell ads to rival insurance companies that are triggered when Geico’s name is typed into the Google search box.

This bothers me a little bit. Who is another business to come along and tell Google how to run its own? It’s not like Google is going this on an existing publicity outlet — Google created this outlet, so no matter what happens, Geico is doing better than it would be without it.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. Google won.

    Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Google’s motion to dismiss a trademark-infringement complaint brought by Geico.

    The judge said that “as a matter of law it is not trademark infringement to use trademarks as keywords to trigger advertising,” said Michael Page, a partner at Keker & Van Nest, which represented Google.

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