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Rescuecom v. Google: Not an Open Invitation to Trademark Plaintiffs

  • 06.19.09
  • Tracy-Gene G. Durkin & Jeremy M. Klass
  • Washington Legal Foundation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that Google’s suggestion and sale of the RESCUECOM trademark as keywords constitutes “trademark use in commerce.” The decision keeps Rescuecom’s hope of winning its trademark infringement suit against Google alive.  It also harmonizes the Second Circuit’s view of whether keying an advertisement to another’s trademark constitutes trademark use with the decisions of most other courts.  This opinion draws significant distinctions between the targeted keyword advertising alleged in Rescuecom Corp. v. Google, Inc., ---F.3d---, 2009 WL 875447 (C.A.2 (N.Y.)) and the random pop-up advertising at issue in the Second Circuit’s 2005 decision in 1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. WhenU.com, Inc. 414 F.3d 400 (2d Cir. 2005).

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