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Rosetta Stone AdWords Info Revealed In Google Brief

Interesting tidbits have emerged from Google’s release of an unredacted appellate brief from its trademark battle with advertiser Rosetta Stone.

While none of the information is earth-shattering, it’s interesting to note that Rosetta Stone earns a better return-on-investment from advertising with Google AdWords than any of its other advertising methods. Between July 2007 and March 2010, for example, Rosetta Stone “made more than $27 million from orders placed by customers who used Google paid and organic referrals,” the court papers reveal. It also received 330,796 orders from paid search referrals. Another mildly interesting revelation: it takes consumers two to four weeks to decide whether to purchase Rosetta Stone software.

The unredacted version of the Google brief in the case was made public after a push by consumer group Public Citizen and trademark attorneys Eric Goldman and Martin Schwimmer. Goldman and Paul Levy of Public Citizen both wrote blog posts about the unredacted document. Levy said Google’s counsel told him that the redactions were made at the insistence of Rosetta Stone.

The case, in which Rosetta Stone accused Google of infringement for allowing others to use its trademarks as keywords to trigger the display of their AdWords ads, is currently being appealed by Rosetta Stone. The trial court judge issued a summary judgment in favor of Google in April of 2010.

Other portions of the unredacted brief reveal that Google helped Rosetta Stone catch criminals involved with credit card fraud and counterfeiting. Rosetta Stone even praised Google’s Trust and Safety team to the FBI.

Rosetta Stone may be embarrassed by one particular element revealed in the unredacted brief. A 2005 survey of the general Internet population found that unaided recognition of “Rosetta Stone” was less than 2%, and aided recognition rose only to 13%.


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