Geico, Google Settle Trademark Case

NEW YORK Insurance company Geico said it has settled a widely watched lawsuit it filed against Google.

Geico said the terms of the settlement are confidential, and only that it was resolved “to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.” A Google spokesman confirmed the settlement but declined to give its details.

Geico’s lawsuit claimed Google’s search-advertising system violates trademark law by displaying advertising listings when searchers type in Geico’s trademarked name. In December, a U.S. District Court ruled that triggering an advertisement from a trademarked search term is unlikely to cause consumer confusion, a key consideration in trademark-infringement cases.

Google changed its trademark policy last April. Previously, a trademark owner could request Google remove the trademarked terms from its AdWords system. Under the new policy, Google only disallows the use of trademarked terms in the ad listings itself, but advertisers are permitted to bid on keywords that are trademarks.

Geico filed its suit against Google three weeks later.

Google still faces “several” trademark infringement cases in the United States, France, Germany, Austria and Italy, according to the company’s most recent quarterly report. French courts have ruled against Google in trademark actions, and the company is appealing those decisions.