Google Wins Key Round vs. Geico

  • December 15, 2004
Geico suffered a major setback Wednesday in its trademark dispute with Google about the company's practice of allowing Geico's rivals to display ads to consumers who type "Geico" into the search engine. Federal District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled from the bench that the practice did not violate Geico's trademark, because it did not create the possibility of consumer confusion.

The ruling, which came three days into the trial, leaves Google free to continue its keyword bidding model of allowing competitors to bid to appear when consumers search for trademarked business names. Brinkema adjourned the case for several weeks to issue a written decision, and to give the parties time to resolve one remaining issue concerning advertisers who use the Geico name within their ad copy.

--Wendy Davis

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