Over the past year, Google has steadily loosened its policies regarding when companies can bid on rival trademarks. Until recently, the trademark couldn't appear in the displayed ad text. Toyota, for example, could bid so that a search for "Honda" would display an ad for Toyota cars, but couldn't use the Honda name in its ad. Google changed that policy, effective June 15. That, says Rosetta Stone's attorney Terence P. Ross, is what prompted the lawsuit. Ross is a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington.

Arlington (Va.)-based Rosetta Stone takes issue with Google allowing other advertisers to use its name