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The Courts Government Businesses Google The Internet Censorship News

GEICO vs Google Ads: Google Wins 205

abertoll writes "A federal judge decided that Google is able to sell ads under the GEICO trademark, claiming that this is fair use of the trademark. GEICO's contention was that competing insurance companies were using the name GEICO under which to buy Google Ads, so that when someone searches for GEICO, their ad would come up."
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GEICO vs Google Ads: Google Wins

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  • Better Stick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots ( 753724 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:34PM (#11097730) Homepage
    The ruling is fine, as long as other judges/courts are sticking to the same ruling in the future.

    Moreoever it's quite widely recognized that companies are allowed to use/refer/compare other competitors under the terms of fair use, how else are companies going to mention competitors' products without infringing a TM?

    The judge said that "as a matter of law it is not trademark infringement to use trademarks as keywords to trigger advertising".

    Does that mean that it's okay to use "BesidesGoogle.com" or "BetterThanGoogle.com" for another online search engine service? Since it's only promoting fair competition as argued by Google. And domain name is simply a form of advertising keywords that people use to find a product.
    • or googlegear... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What about googlegear.com? They were forced to change names to zipzoomfly. How does that fit into all of this?
    • Re:Better Stick (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Scarblac ( 122480 ) <slashdot@gerlich.nl> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:41PM (#11097801) Homepage

      Moreoever it's quite widely recognized that companies are allowed to use/refer/compare other competitors under the terms of fair use, how else are companies going to mention competitors' products without infringing a TM?

      I wonder if there's going to be a repeat of this sort of law suit in some other country. After all, Google is an international business, and for instance in the Netherlands it is not allowed to mention competitor's products in advertising.

      • Re:Better Stick (Score:5, Informative)

        by harvardian ( 140312 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @07:06PM (#11098011)
        I went to a panel discussion on this topic, and one of the lawyers on the panel mentioned that Google has already incurred fines in France and Germany for this practice.

        For example: this story [weboptimiser.com]

        As a result of the ruling, searches under 'bourse de vols' will only generate search results linking to Mr Dariot's site. Google is looking to appeal the decision.
        So as happy as we are about this ruling in the States, it looks like France isn't so keen on letting companies bid on their competitors' trademarks.

        I don't know how this influences broad-match type scenarios, though. What happens if somebody searches for "(trademark term) cars", and a competitor buys "cars" rather than the trademarked term? This seems like it would be prohibitively difficult to stop.
        • by rsborg ( 111459 ) * on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @08:33PM (#11098835) Homepage
          So as happy as we are about this ruling in the States, it looks like France isn't so keen on letting companies bid on their competitors' trademarks.

          As grim as it sounds, I think that you first have to understand the law in that country first...

          AFAIK and IANAL/JNSPUA (Je ne suis pas un avocat), but French law dictates that all advertising cannot be comparative, ie, Evian can't say they're better than Perrier, for example. They have to use non-comparative sales tactics.

          So, naturally, extending this policy to the internet, when you lookup GEICO in this case, you should not expect to see their competitors (assuming search == advertising in legal terms). And cosumers in those countries would not expect to see it either.

          • JNSPUA (Je ne suis pas un avocat)

            Dude, I'n not an avocado either. Hardly anyone in Slashdot is (since JonKatz left). But I don't see the relevance here.
          • Canada here, not sure how the laws are on this but: often I remember seeing ads that don't mention a competitor, but rather "30% whiter than the leading brand" or "20% more ply than the next leading brand."

            Is this allowed in other countries? I do know that I'm seeing more directly comparing commericals nowadays, but that could just be the US sat stations...
            • "30% whiter than the leading brand"

              We see that a lot in the UK too. Not because its any more legal than mentioning the "leading brand" by name (in the UK, any comparisons have to be backed up with solid evidence), but because the advertisers hope that by not mentioning a specific competitor, noone will challenge them on the claim.

      • Re:Better Stick (Score:3, Informative)

        by Spad ( 470073 )
        The UK is the same - adverts always use "Another leading brand" or similar - or an older version of the same company's product - to compare to.
        • Actually, no it's not. In the UK you can use other brands name in your advert for comparision purposes, but I believe it's quite a new law.

          However, most advertising agencies have realized that 'any publicity is good publicity' and don't want to pay to advertise their competiors. Pepsi learned this the hard way in the early 90s by running a lot of adverts comparing it to Coca-Cola and got their hands burnt by building much more mindshare for Coca-Cola - it was getting advertised by Pepsi aswell as Coca-Cola
    • Re:Better Stick (Score:2, Informative)

      A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods


      So, with that definition in mind, I think a domain name does give an indication of the source of goods, and www.googlesucksadonkey.com would not be valid for a search engine name...

    • by mikeswi ( 658619 ) * on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:48PM (#11097858) Homepage Journal
      I wonder if it is a coincidence the six of the first eight google results for a search for Geico comes up with links to information about Geico's lawsuits?
      • > I wonder if it is a coincidence the six of the first eight google results for a search for Geico comes up with links to information about Geico's lawsuits?

        "Yo. I think it would be the googlebomb if you had the gecko getting beaten over the head with a subpoena while attempting to do the robot."

        I can see the commercials now. (Oh dear, wait'll they find out about the rendering engine for Mozilla...)

      • I tried searching Google for the term "Google", I noticed there are no ads.

        I entered Google's AdWords administration (the place to buy a "Geico" or "Google" advertisement) and they seem to let me buy ads in the results for "Google" as well as suggesting "google adwords", "google toolbar opera", "google pay per click" and others that actually serve up ads....

        Alas it doesn't seem that you can buy "Google" ads.
    • Re:Better Stick (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rokzy ( 687636 )
      good point.

      if domain squattig is bad, why not trademark squatting?

      if there's one thing that's more annoying than the whole patent/trademark/copyright mess, it's the sleazy companies that try peddling their 2nd rate rip-offs on the back of confusion. c.f. "buy g3n3ric v1a.g.ara.!!!!!"

      • Adwords is an auction, so if a company pays top dollar to be #1, another company can outbid them to get control of the word.

        We're not talking about Viagra spammers. We're talking about when you put in a name like "Pepsi" and you also find ads for "CocaCola", "RC Cola", and all the others.
    • > The ruling is fine

      This ruling is terrible. Google didn't "win," the consumer lost. Are you searching for a name_brand_whatever now be prepared to get hit with nice and highly-misleading ads from 2nd rate peddlers. More Sorny's and Margnetvox's for Xmas!

      Seriously, these kind of things are a failure to control advertising and have responsible marketing. I often have elderly relatives tell me "what is this check for" when they get junk mail in the form of a fake check. Or when telemarketersspammers
      • "Sorny" and "Magnetvox" would likely already be trademark infringement, whether or not they come up under "Sony" and "Magnavox". This ruling doesn't change that; it just means that if you search for Sony you can get ads from Magnavox and vice-versa.

        Really, competitors have been doing this for years less-obviously. Ever buy a brand-name product at a grocery store and get a register coupon for a competing product? Same thing.
      • Hmm. I wonder if the "bait and switch" legislation could be used in this case. At least as far as the ads go. The problem as I see it is enforcement. It's one thing if major companies buy each other's trademarks as adwords (coke, pepsi, shasta, etc.).

        But you can't just stick to trademarks, as they are somewhat dependent on their target market. "Windows" is trademarked by Microsoft as it applies to the computer industry. "Apple" is trademarked by Apple as it applies to the computer industry, and by an e
  • by wcitechnologies ( 836709 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:35PM (#11097738)
    ...is that google always wins. ALWAYS.


    Google for president.

    • Yeah great perhaps we can even replace the Evil Microsoft Empire with the equally evil google empire.

      Now write 100 times "google is a corporation now"

      Btw am I the only one disillusioned that google seems to concentrate on flashy new services (kitchensink.google.com) and less on improving their search algorithm. I know that the growth of the web makes it more and more difficult but google fails to provide even simple things like a possibility to filter out blogs or removing the most blatant dialer pages (y

  • Wow! (Score:2, Funny)

    by odano ( 735445 )
    That was quick. Slashdot posting the story and the decision within a day.

    Could this be the start of a trend in which news moves at the pace of slashdot?
    • Even the "dept." makes more sense than any I've read. Yeah, USAA owns. It's a shame more people aren't eligible for it; I'm glad that I am.
      • I have to agree with you. I'm a USAA customer, and I love them. Their customer service is wonderful. Even if you call the wrong department, they will try to help you, or transfer you *once*. I've also never been on hold more than about a couple of minutes. Also, I like their banking as well. They are the only ones who would give me a checking account, thanks to a ChexSystems listing. I also like the fact that they are completely "customer owned." I just got a dividend check from them disbursing my s
    • Could this be the start of a trend in which news moves at the pace of slashdot?

      You mean misspelled, late, and duplicated a few times?

  • Next Play (Score:3, Informative)

    by scribblej ( 195445 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:36PM (#11097748)
    Geico sues the Yellow Pages for letting competitors advertise right in the "Auto Insurance" section!

    Seriously. I'd like to say this is the stupidest lawsuit ever, but there's been a rampant stupidity in the courts.. well, for as long as I can remember.
    • Re:Next Play (Score:2, Insightful)

      While I agree with the verdict, the case isn't nearly as silly as you make out. If you looked under Geico in the yellowpages and the things you found under that heading were Geico's competitors, I could understand Geico being a bit upset.
    • what? geico has no TM over the term "auto insurance." geico, however, has TM over "geico" and they were suing competitors who were using "geico" to trigger google ads for their auto insurance.

      it's not as stupid as you make it out to be.

    • Company's have won against overture including geico. Overture settled with Geico. And your auto insurance example isn't accurate, it would be more like advertising in the white pages under the geico listing. Anyway, I think its going to get appealed. I don't really think it makes a big difference though, someone who is searching for geico website is obviously looking for geico and not likely to click on advertisements. Otherwise they'd be searching for "insurace" if they wanted insurance.
      • I don't really think it makes a big difference though, someone who is searching for geico website is obviously looking for geico and not likely to click on advertisements. Otherwise they'd be searching for "insurace" if they wanted insurance.

        Sure, if they were handicapped by your limited thinking skills, they would. (just kidding, it's a joke)

        When I'm looking for anyone who competes with a known brand, e.g., Geico, I'll both type in Geico to see who else comes up in their niche, and go to Dmoz or Yahoo a
  • by Grotius ( 836755 ) * on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:37PM (#11097757)
    I wonder how this case would have come out against Yahoo! where the paid advertisers' ads appear at the beginning of the search results [yahoo.com] (albeit with "sponsor results" faintly printed above). The court could have found that it gives consumers more of an impression that Geico was somehow involved in those sites which could cause consumer confusion. Google is a harder search engine for Geico to take on because Google puts its advertisers links on the side of the results [google.com] so it is clear to people that they are paid advertiser links.

    Nevertheless, it seems like the right result to me. It is difficult to imagine there is any consumer confusion when using a web search engine like Google. You enter any word, even a brand name, and you expect there to be at least a few hundred totally irrelevant results. In Google's case, you expect there to be irrelevant results including insurance companies unrelated to Geico.

    • by harvardian ( 140312 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:52PM (#11097894)
      Overture is significantly more hands-on with ad copy and keyword selection than Google is. They routinely reject ads that might potentially violate copyright because they're "not relevant". For example, Overture probably won't let a competitor bid on the term "Geico" because "Geico" isn't relevant to an ad for "ACME Insurance" (or say they'll say). What they do explicitly allow is comparative advertising, where an ad explicitly identifies the company as a competitor and offers an alternative.

      For example, if you search for "Geico" on Yahoo you see that the ad text says things like "instant quotes from insurance companies that compete with Geico." This is an example of comparative advertising that Overture allows.

      Google, on the other hand, is much looser with what they'll allow in ads, to some degree because they have less human editor intervention and more algorithmic relevance scoring. Their business philosophy is more free marketplace/large volume oriented.

      So this is one reason you'll see companies go after Google rather than Overture. They're lower-hanging fruit.
    • One other thing that should be mentioned is, GEICO made the same complaint with Yahoo! too, but Yahoo! decided to settle out of court. Ouch! I bet the feel stupid now.
  • by Neil Blender ( 555885 ) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:39PM (#11097768)
    Our company got a cease and desist from Google for using another company's name in our keywords.
    • Yes, yes it does. That's the thing with all this suing everyone for everything. There comes a time when you might need to put up a defense that is counter to what you yourself have actually been doing.

      The sword of justice has two edges.

      KFG
    • using another company's name in our keywords

      Spamming search results is not the same thing as having an ad next to the search results.

      ...if that is what you meant by "in our keywords", I'm not entirerly sure what you meant exactly.

    • Our company got a cease and desist from Google for using another company's name in our keywords.

      In your AdWords keywords, or your site's META keywords?

    • Were your keywords relevant to the product, or just a trademark that gets searched a lot?

      I can see the validity of insurance companies using GEICO as an ad keyword, but if you key your random widget ad to "Pamela Anderson video" I wouldn't be surprised if Google rejects it.

    • Isn't that the difference between paying for an ad and.. well.. fraud?
      • Ok. It's clear to me that everyone who responded to my post either A. knows nothing about Adwords or B. did not read the article or C. both. The keywords are used in an ad campaign to show ads that you pay Google to display. Geico sued Google for allowing other companies to use the keyword Geico in their ad campaigns. Geico lost.

        Our company put the name of our biggest competitor in our keywords so that if someone search for that company, our ad would show up. Google told us in legal form to stop.
        • Sorry I misread. I thought you meant you used your competitor's name as a keyword for your actual search result, not for a paid advertisement.

          However I think the google stance still makes since from their point of view. The there are two ways they can stop people from using competitors as keywords. 1) filter before hand 2) yell a complaint is filed. If they do #2, which is the easy way, they might still get sued for allowing it in the first place, unless the courts say it's legit. Even if the courts
  • Hypocrisy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by coolsva ( 786215 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:39PM (#11097771)
    Why is it what when claria/gator or anyone else does simillar things, it is evil, but when google does it, it is fair. I'm not against google, in fact I think they are the best thing that happened to the internet but then Geico does have a valid position. When a prospective policy buyer hears about geico on the radio or tv (paid for by Geico), they go to google and search for the web site.
    Now, I understand the ads are on the right side but the home page summary looks very bland on the search result, while the ad on the side is more attractive and the customer might go there instead.
    • Re:Hypocrisy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:47PM (#11097854)
      if I search for car insurance, I expect ads from car insurance companies.

      if I search for a specific brand, all the other brands saying "me too" piss me off. when searching for an official accessory, I don't want to see the million third-party companies selling shoddy rip-offs.

      ymmv.
      • if I search for a specific brand, all the other brands saying "me too" piss me off.

        So long as they are in their little pen on the side and not in the actual search results, I don't mind at all.

        The ones polluting searches with their worthless spam, however, are a different matter.
      • Just because you are looking for a certain brand doesn't mean that brand is the best at/for what you have in mind.

        It wouldn't be unheard of for that third party company to be selling something less shoddy than the official product
      • Re:Hypocrisy? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RobertB-DC ( 622190 ) *
        f I search for a specific brand, all the other brands saying "me too" piss me off. when searching for an official accessory, I don't want to see the million third-party companies selling shoddy rip-offs.

        Then Google AdWords is doing you a huge favor! If you enter "Geico", and you see an ad for "AAA Fly-By-Night Auto Insurance & V1a6ra Outlet", you know that they think it's appropriate to buy Geico's name. As an informed consumer, you can then make an informed choice.

        Another example: I just did a Goo
      • if I search for a specific brand, all the other brands saying "me too" piss me off.

        Yes, but should it be illegal?
        • Thanks for being one of the few level thinkers out there.

          Google is a business, and they have a hell of a lot of rights to run their search engine how they see fit. If people don't like seeing results from other companies when they search for a specific brand, they should switch search engines. There are other good search engines out there.

          Heck, Google isn't forced to index GEICO's website at all.

      • If you want to look online for Geico, go to Geico.com, don't go through some potentially biased, for profit company to tell you where to find Geico. Would Geico sue phoebook companies for placing adverts on the same page as their yellow pages listing?
      • I've bought from several places directly from adwords. I found adwords a useful addition to Google. Downside though. If I am searching specifically for PVR-250 and I click on an adword link and they only sell a Pinnacle capture card and not a PVR-250, it degrades the adword concept and waters down the usefulness of adwords. I think in time, this WILL catch up with Google and people will lose confidence in the whole adword system. A good example is nextag? Does anyone even click on their adwords anymor
    • Why is it what when claria/gator or anyone else does simillar things, it is evil, but when google does it, it is fair.

      What has gator done that was similar to accepting a competing company as a keyword to generate an onubtrusive ad on the side of the search results in their own, free web page?
  • All Gone (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Zegnar ( 704768 )
    Although it seems that 'at time of going to print' Google have removed all ads from a search for 'GEICO'. How nice of them :/
    • I believe it was a 'cease and desist' before going to court. So, google has to stop using the GEICO keyword until a ruling is given
  • correlation? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by viva_fourier ( 232973 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:41PM (#11097794) Journal
    Hmmm, Google goes public, stock price soars 100 points.... how can we grab some of that cash...
    Let's ask our lawyers!
  • by Nitroshock ( 525868 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:41PM (#11097800)
    Google Adwords, because 15 minutes could steal you 15% or more potential Geico customers. -Nitro
  • I think that advertising like that is highly distasteful, but since these ads are through a free system that noone is being forced to use this was a sound judgement to make.

    I would respect Google more if they did not use that kind of advertising, even MSN search only comes up with Redhat related ad results when you search in it.

  • by 31415926535897 ( 702314 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:43PM (#11097811) Journal
    I didn't read the article or the judgment, but this is common sense.

    Google shouldn't have to babysit every ad that is sold. At the same time, the article summary gives the impression that Google is allowed to advertise themselves using a trademarked name, but Google is just selling ads to whomever will buy them and allowing these users to place whatever text they want.

    I would be willing to bet that there is trademark infringement, but Geiko is going to have to go after the companies that are buying the ads.

    You know, this seems very similar to the whole P2P argument going on. The *AA are trying to stop the vehicle of p2p when it can be used for good or evil when they should be going after the specific infringers. This seems very similar. Google just provides a vehicle for advertisement. This can be used for good or evil, but Google should not be held liable for the evil of others. And I almost wish this could be used as a sort of precedence, but I don't think our legal system would understand the logic.

    Nevertheless, I digress...
  • I think the whole case is an effort to gain advertising hype. I could be wrong though.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    that Geico Lost.

    The good news is I made hundreads using google stocks.
  • by shawnmchorse ( 442605 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:45PM (#11097841) Homepage
    The first sponsored link I saw with the Google search for "geico" [google.com] was this:

    It's Only Me, Dave Pell
    I'm taking advantage of a popular
    case instead of earning my traffic.


    Cute. So cute I felt compelled to click on the ad once just because I knew he'd get billed for it by Google at the end of the month.
  • GEICO vs Google: Google wins.
    GEICO vs the Advertisers: who wins?

    I have an insurance website, we do not use trademark names of insurances we sell in fear they sue us. To me it doesnt make sense, in the end you are helping them sell more, but insurance companies have this kind of philosophy.

    I dont know GEICO (I guess it's US based), but say I was selling GEICO insurances, and I used Google adwords... now that GEICO cant go after Google, what prevents it from going after me?
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:48PM (#11097861) Homepage Journal
    I saved a bunch on my car insurance!
  • by Clockwurk ( 577966 ) * on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:49PM (#11097867) Homepage
    I think this was a good decision by the judge, it frees google of having to research trademarked keywords and yet it still keeps the door open for companies like Geico to sue companies that abuse their trademark.

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:51PM (#11097886)

    ...and a federal judge made a ruling with computers involved that made sense.

  • by Goldenhawk ( 242867 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:52PM (#11097891) Homepage
    My small business has a product we advertise using both Google Adwords and Overture... very useful methods of advertising. I've found one of my most productive ad buys is using my primary competitor's product name as a search term. And I'm absolutely certain I'm not the only one doing this, and frankly I don't feel the slightest bit bad about it. Customers looking for a product are often looking for a class of products, not the specific product, and simply only know one particular brand name to search. (How many people are looking for copiers in general when they type "xerox"?)

    After all, it wasn't too long ago that it was ruled okay to refer to your competition in an advertisement (like Coke mentioning Pepsi, etc.), so this is just another example of the same thing.

    Also, even in the non-targeted (non-paid) results, you'll often find multiple competing products, simply by virtue of similar characteristics and reviews of multiple products on a given page.
  • Geico is cheap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aggrazel ( 13616 ) <aggrazel@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @06:55PM (#11097919) Journal
    When the lawsuit story broke, just for fun I added "geico" to my list of adwords. I put it on as 0.05 per click.

    Guess what, even then my ad was placing 2nd or 3rd on the list, for a nickel!

    If Geico is so bent up about people searching their name finding other competitors, why don't they just pay for some ads on their name themselves. Its not like it costs a mint, and they are rich bastards.
    • They are already the first result in the main listing. What more could they get? One listing to the side? I can see why they're peeved. Their other (non-web) advertising is bringing customers to Google who end up going with someone else. However, that doesn't mean that they should have won.

      What if it were agents of Geico who paid for the ads? What if it were related services (e.g. autobody repair, new car sales)? What if it was a customer that Geico doesn't pursue (e.g. Europeans)? Further, if Geic
  • Ben Affleck, star of such films as Gigli, recently sued AFLAC insurance, claiming that their ads implied that he was a duck.

    Affleck lost the case to AFLAC, 4 to 2.
    • Ben Affleck, star of such films as Gigli, recently sued AFLAC insurance, claiming that their ads implied that he was a duck.

      The AFLAC duck then sued for defamation, claiming that being associated with Affleck diminished any chances of being taken seriously as an actor. He was awarded $10 million.
  • I wonder if Geico could make a TM infringement claim against "Gecko Insurance Company" whose mascot is a rabbit.
  • Does that mean I can register www.BetterThanGeico.com and sell my car insurance? Wouldn't that fall under the same reasoning? Historically, people get slapped for registering companyxsucks.com (although usually they are using the company's own trademarks)
  • This is a very good decision. It makes me feel a little bit better, there are still reasonable judges out there with regard to copyright/trademark/patent law. One can only hope we can get some true reform through congress, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • I wonder how much it would cost me to advertise Linux under the Microsoft[tm] keyword?
  • Geico routinely sues (Score:5, Informative)

    by cat_jesus ( 525334 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @07:14PM (#11098079)
    Geico sends C&D's and sues people all the time over weird shit like this. Upper management seems to be pretty clueless about the internet. If you have a domain name with Geico in it, you will be contacted eventually and threatened.

    It's funny though because they took the domain http://geicosucks.com [geicosucks.com] from someone and decided to point that domain name to the same ip address as geico.com. So you can get a quote and everything from geicosucks.com. They could have done a simple redirect but their internet "expert" claims that they would have to get another $10K web server in order to do a redirect from geicosucks.com to geico.com

    Of course the PHBs won't listen to anyone but the buttmunch who insists that they'd need a new server for a redirect. Funny how the useless and clueless IT people end up in managment.
    • See I could be an IT profesional! I know how to do the redirect without changing the name, but not the redirect that changes the name! I'm qualified, because I'm just as awful as the average IT professional, and all that and I didn't even have to go to school to suck...
  • Or do you expect me to believe that a judge actually made a fair decision in an IP case?!

  • So I can buy the Google adword "google" to market my search engine portal? Does exclusivity cost more than exclusivity on "GEICO" for my insurance portal?
  • My grocery store has been printing coupons with the receipt forever.

    I buy pampers, and a Huggies coupon pops out.

    What's the big deal? Litigation for litigations sake, and the low possibility that they'll win, meanwhile they (both sides) get lots of press and the people who already love google or geico will side with their brand. People who don't will be branded and will recognize the name later but probably not the reason they remember the name.

    It's an expensive advertising campaign at best, and
  • Offtopic but I still want to see the reality show "Tiny House." It must be better than the ones that currently exist. Or at least more funny. Geico's ads are better than most other's regardless of the company itself. At least it isn't "yet another car ad" or "generic medicine curing unknown diseases."
  • How can Google be held liable for associating rival companies on it's OWN search engine?

    Google is not a public resource, no matter how beneficial they are to the online community.
  • Exec: How is that lawsuit going? I heard that we were expecting a ruling from the judge today.

    Lawyer: I just got back from the court where the judge issued the ruling today, and I have great news!

    Exec: We've been awarded damages from Google?

    Lawyer: I just saved a load of money on car insurance by switching to GEICO!

  • This reminds me of Penthouse sending nasty cease & desist emails to webmasters that included the word "penthouse" in META tags or web content. Webmasters will typically do something like that to try and draw traffic from search engines by using such keywords as "penthouse".
  • This is crazy in my opinion. When Playboy filed suit against Netscape for selling search words "playboy" and "playmate" to other sites, words that are standard English, they won. And now Google can use Geico, obviously a trademark term?

The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill. -- Robert Heller

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