Geico - Google has
been sued because of trademark infringement!
The complaint, filed by
plaintiff Government Employees Insurance Co. (Geico) against defendant search
engine companies Google Inc. and Overture Services Inc. on May 4, 2004 alleges
that defendants by selling the famed "Geico" mark as adword so
that the protected term can appear in sponsored search results, are infringing
on the complainent's trademark. According to the suit, that practice causes
consumer confusion in violation of the Lanham Act, the primary federal law
covering trademark registration and protection. Geico has asked for a
permanent injunction, attorneys' fees and damages.
And finally something for fans
of conspiracy theories: Geico is not only the largest direct marketer of auto
insurances in the United States, which makes it the most high-profile American
company to have filed a complaint against Google over their adwords, but also a
subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company owned by Warren Buffett.
Buffett is rumored to be a good friend of Bill Gates. The start of the search
engine war against Google?
May 19, 2004: Olsen,
sues Google, Overture over trademarks, ZDNet
company Geico has sued Google and Overture Services for allegedly violating
its trademarks in search-related advertisements, in the latest legal salvo
against the Internet companies."