Google Geiko Trademark Suit Settled Out of Court

CNN reports the remainder of the landmark trademark case between GEICO and Google was settled out of court:

GEICO, the No. 4 U.S. auto insurer and a unit of investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Research), said a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia was "resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties."

Google has allowed rival insurance companies to bid on the term GEICO to target pay per click ads. Some rivals also included the term in the ad copy. In the past a US district court judge ruled against allowing trademark terms in ad copy, but as of today I still see three insurance companies listed in AdWords when you search Google for [GEICO].

If you bid on competing company names recognize that it is viewed as being somewhat aggressive by many business owners, and some of them may:

  • bid on your name

  • spread hate messages about you or your company
  • send bogus C&D or lawsuits your way
  • try to undermine your business in other ways

The settlement terms were confidential. The article also stated that these settlement types usually involve money. No doubt this is huge for Google, as it further validates their business model.

Not sure if this will pan out, but some search marketer might do well to run an ad on Google triggered by GEICO today. :) Daventics got a bunch of link popularity by doing so in the past.

Published: September 8, 2005

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!

    Email Address
    Pick a Username
    Yes, please send me "7 Days to SEO Success" mini-course (a $57 value) for free.

    Learn More

    We value your privacy. We will not rent or sell your email address.