Google Pledges to Fight Online Advertising of Pirated Products

Google and language learning company Rosetta Stone announced
that Rosetta has dismissed its three-year-old trademark infringement lawsuit
and agreed to collaborate to "combat online advertising" for
counterfeit goods.

That comes as good news to critics of Google, who have
argued the company has not done enough to police AdWords for online ads for
illegal products.

"The companies will also work together to help law
enforcement officials around the world go after counterfeiters at the
source," Google and Rosetta said in a joint announcement. Saying they
would rather join forces to combat online counterfeiting than square off in
court, they added: "By working together, Google and Rosetta Stone hope to
improve detection methods, and better protect from abuse brands like Rosetta
Stone, advertising platforms like Google AdWords, and ultimately consumers on
the Internet."

One of those Google critics had been Rosetta, which
sued Google in July 2009 for patent infringement
for selling keyword
searches via Google AdWords that used trademarked terms that led Google users
to copycat Rosetta software.

The suit had been dismissed in 2010 by a Virginia U.S.
District Court, but was reinstated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fourth
Circuit in April.

Google helped lead the fight against the SOPA/PIPA
legislation - -which was defeated -- that would have given the government more
power to close down websites allegedly trafficking in counterfeit goods. The
bill's critics argued they opposed the bills because they were overbroad and
gave the government too much power without sufficient checks and balances.
Content providers countered that their opponents were defending a system that
tacitly condoned and profited from illegal sharing and counterfeiting of their
valuable intellectual property.

The dropping of the Rosetta suit follows the Oct.
4 announcement by Google
that it had settled a copyright infringement suit
with the Association of American Publishers over books and journals Google was
digitizing for its Google Library Project.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.