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In the liability phase of the trial, insurance carrier GEICO has apparently successfully proven a case that Google's AdWords policies (previously allowing use of GEICO marks in the heading or text of ads) potentially created "confusion" in the minds of consumers and thus violated U.S. trademark law.

The parties have apparently been given 30 days to settle. If they cannot, the damages phase will begin. It appears that Google has already implemented a policy that anticipates the ruling. And it's not clear what additional changes may take place as a result of this decision. It is also unclear whether and how this will affect other PPC providers such as Yahoo!, Ask or Miva.


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