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Google reaches agreement with Rosetta Stone over sponsored links search case

Google has settled a lawsuit with language-learning company Rosetta Stone over Google's alleged use of Rosetta Stone trademarks in its sponsored links.

In a statement, Rosetta Stone and Google said they have agreed to dismiss the lawsuit, which was first filed in 2009. Going forward, the two firms will "meaningfully collaborate to combat online ads for counterfeit goods and prevent the misuse and abuse of trademarks on the Internet."

The two companies also pledged to work together with law enforcement to help go after counterfeit goods at the source.

"By working together, Google and Rosetta Stone hope to improve detection methods, and better protect from abuse brands like Rosetta Stone, advertising platforms like Google AdWords, and ultimately consumers on the Internet," they continued. "At the end of the day, both companies would rather cooperate than litigate, and we believe this agreement is an important step toward eliminating piracy and trademark abuse on the Internet."

According to the original complaint, filed in a Virginia district court, Google allowed its online advertising clients to use words, phrase, and terms associated with Rosetta Stone as search keywords. If someone searched for Rosetta Stone on Google, for example, a rival service might appear in the "Sponsored Links" section above or to the side of Google's standard search results.

Rosetta Stone was also concerned that these sponsored links were for counterfeit Rosetta Stone products, or websites not related to language education.

"Google's search engine is helping third parties to mislead consumers and misappropriate the Rosetta Stone marks by using them as 'keyword' triggers for paid advertisements and by using them within the text or title of paid advertisements," Rosetta Stone said at the time.