Few companies are as cozy with the Obama White House as Google is. Google and Obama are on the same side of the Net Neutrality debate, Schmidt has met with President Obama multiple times, and for the Obama campaign, Schmidt was an informal advisor, a donor, and a fundraiser.
So when software maker Rosetta Stone picked a fight with Google, it was asking for trouble.
At heart is Google AdWords product. If I ran a gutter cleaning business, I might buy the adwords “gutter cleaner” and “clogged gutters” from Google. This means that when someone searched those terms, along the right side of the page, text ads for my business would pop up.
Apparently, competitors were buying “Rosetta Stone” as ad words, so that when people searched those terms, they saw text ads for other language software. Rosetta Stone sued Google. The Washington Post wrote:
Rosetta Stone said in the lawsuit that when other firms buy Rosetta Stone's trademarks for keyword searches, ads for their own Web sites appear and unfairly mislead people into thinking they are going to the Arlington firm's site. Some of the company's trademarks include “Rosetta Stone,” “global traveler,” “language library,” and “dynamic immersion.”
Now Rosetta Stone has taken its fight to Capitol Hill. A recently filed lobbying registration shows that Rosetta Stone has retained a new lobbying firm, Ogilvy Government Relations, which will lobby on “trademark issues related to key word advertising.”