Fashion Retailer Drops Trademark Battle With Google Over AdWords

A New York-based fashion retailer that sued Google over alleged trademark infringement in search ads has withdrawn the complaint, according to court records.

Teri Jon Sports' move came before Google responded to the lawsuit. The retailer, which officially withdrew the case on Thursday, didn't give a reason for its decision.

In the original complaint, brought in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Teri Jon alleged that Google enables the Hong Kong company Readmob -- which allegedly sells counterfeits -- to use the term "Teri Jon" to trigger ads on Google's search results pages. The retailer's lawsuit also includes claims against Readmob and against payment companies PayPal, American Express, Visa and Mastercard.

The lawsuit was one of two lawsuits brought against Google in late May over its policy of allowing trademarks to trigger AdWords ads, and sometimes allowing trademarked terms to appear in the ad copy. The other lawsuit, brought by the law firm Gorayeb & Associates, was also voluntarily dropped earlier this summer.



Google's polices have led to litigation in the past, but the company either prevailed in all the prior cases or settled them, according to Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman, who has closely followed the lawsuits.

The most significant ruling against Google occurred in 2012, when a federal appellate court ruled that a trial judge prematurely dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Google violated Rosetta Stone's trademark by allowing it to trigger search ads for other companies. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said Rosetta Stone should have been able to proceed to trial against Google. The companies ultimately resolved that case on confidential terms.

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