American Airlines filed suit against Google in August over "sponsored ads" that appear when a keyword search using American Airlines trademarks are done on Google.

American claims Google is selling trademarked American Airlines terms, such as AAdvantage and AA.com, to other companies and profiting from it. So, if someone types in one of those keywords on a Google search engine, sponsored ads that are not connected to American Airlines appear alongside the search results.

In its motion to dismiss, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Google said placing the sponsored ads on the site was no different than drugstores placing generic ibuprofen next to Advil, nor is it different from a consumer who buys Tropicana orange juice and gets a coupon for Minute Maid on the back of the sales receipt or a house brand of jeans being displayed alongside Calvin Klein.

"In each instance, a company has 'used' a competitor's trademark, in the sense that the trademark is the criterion by which advertising is selected," Google states in its motion. "The fact that the advertising occurs on the Internet, rather than in a drugstore or on a sidewalk, makes no difference."

Source: bizjournals.com