Rescuecom drops trademark suit against Google

After Best Buy sued Rescuecom for using the same advertising tactics Rescuecom decried in its suit against Google, the PC support company makes peace with Google.

PC support company Rescuecom has dropped a trademark lawsuit against Google, giving it time to defend itself against a similar suit filed by Best Buy.

Rescuecom declared "victory" in a press release Friday, although it wasn't clear if anything had changed since Rescuecom was able to win an appeal of a 2006 decision dismissing its lawsuit over Google's keyword-based ad system. Rescuecom objected to the fact that competitors could buy ads that would appear when Google users searched for "Rescuecom," and was able to convince a federal court last year to rehear the case after it was initially dismissed.

But it will go no further. Rescuecom said it dropped the lawsuit after getting what it wanted out of the process, but the fact that it is currently involved in a dispute against Best Buy--where it is essentially arguing the opposite side of its dispute against Google--might have played into its decision.

Best Buy sued Rescuecom last year for using the term "geek squad" in keyword advertising, which Rescuecom has defended as an appropriate use of another company's trademarks in "comparative advertising." Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University who follows online trademark disputes closely, was quoted earlier this year by Online Media Daily as calling Rescuecom's position with Best Buy as "intrinsically inconsistent" with its position regarding Google, where it argued that Google did not have the right to sell its trademark to competitors.

Google released a statement on the dismissal. "As we've consistently maintained, Google's trademark policy strikes the proper balance between trademark owners' interests and consumer choice, and now even Rescuecom concedes that it's legally entitled to use a competitor's trademark as a keyword trigger. We're pleased to see Rescuecom finally affirm our position by dismissing their claims."

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