Google knew its billion-dollar trademark policy changes confused consumers
Newly unredacted court documents reveal that, in 2004, Google was aware that use of trademarks in sponsored link text resulted in a "high" degree of consumer confusion, with 94% of users confused “at least once” during the company’s own study. The papers, filed by Rosetta Stone in its ongoing appeal, also disclose that Google had predicted that the policy change that allowed for the use of trademarks in sponsored links could result in an additional $1 billion in revenue for the search engine.
The third revelation is that even Google's most senior trademark counsel could not tell that the difference between sponsored links leading to counterfeits and those leading to genuine products. The unredacted documents are an electrifying insight into what has to be the most provocative tranche of trademark litigation of our time.
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