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Written Decision in Geico v. Google AdWords Case

A written opinion released 8 August by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia reiterated and expanded on a verbal opinion from last December in the Google v. GEICO lawsuit.  The Court found that GEICO failed to produce sufficient evidence to establish that advertisements that do not reference GEICO’s trademarks in their text or headings violate the Lanham Act, even though Google’s advertising program enables those ads to appear when a user searches on GEICO’s trademarks. The Court also held that the use of GEICO’s trademarks in the heading or text of advertisements that appear when a user searches on “GEICO” does violate the Lanham Act, leaving as the only remaining issues in the case whether Google is liable for such violations and, if so, the measure of damages. These issues remains to be resolved, either through an agreement by the parties or in a continuation of the trial. The two parties were directed to try and reach a settlement during the next 30 days.

GEICO's press release

  • August 18, 2005: Google: AdWords-Richtlinien sind legal, Golem:
    "Der Suchmaschinen-Betreiber Google widerspricht Berichten, man habe im Streit um die Nutzung von Marken in Googles AdWords-Programm mit GEICO eine herbe Niederlage hinnehmen müssen, durch die das Geschäft mit Keyword-Werbung gefährdet sei."
  • August 17, 2005: Mills, Elinor, Geico decision rocks Google, ZDNet:
    "The ongoing row over one of the Internet behemoth's major income sources has taken a turn in insurance firm Geico's favour."
  • August 8, 2005: GEICO v. Google Opinion (Finally) Issued, Technology and Marketing Law Blog



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