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Google wants all the "oogles"?
tedster




msg:700313
 3:01 pm on Apr 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google recently lost an ICANN decision over the domain name froogles.com - see USA Today [usatoday.com] for details. Now they're going after the same target in US District Court, but with a broader brush.

In the suit, Google maintains that it is the "senior user of marks that incorporate the formative " -- OOGLE" for Internet search services." That's news to the principal of a company that owns the domain name oogle.com, who yesterday said he had "not heard a peep" from Google.

[sun-sentinel.com...]


 

johnser




msg:700343
 11:17 am on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>>you are familiar with the itunes uk case? very not cool

If you read the judgement below in detail you'll probably agree with Apple & Nominet too. The decision explains clearly how "the little guy" was viewed as taking the P*** rather than Apple being bullys.

[nominet.org.uk...]

Hope Google lose but as with Apple above, is there more to it than meets the eye?
J

zootreeves




msg:700344
 11:56 am on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

maybe it's not such a bad thing for froogles.com, when google sued booble.com it was the best thing that ever happened to them :)

ish




msg:700345
 2:00 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well at least they have to keep their mits off this guy :)

[members.tripod.com...]

iblaine




msg:700346
 4:31 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google has good intentions and should protect their name. However Froogles.com was registered long before froogle.google.com existed and froogle sounds too much like the word frugle. The owner of Froogles.com is too nice. He should remove all commercial interests from the current site and replace it with critical content about google. The sites Verizonreallysucks & Fordsucks do this.

mack




msg:700347
 5:54 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I dont think placing anti google content on the froogles website would be a viable option. As it stands Froogles.com is a going concern.

I can understand Google inc wanting to prevent brand dilution, but attempting to secure legal rights and potentialy damage someone elses business is taking things just way to far.

Mack.

walkman




msg:700348
 6:31 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Google has good intentions"

for themselves they do. Their only fair option is to buy the guy out. Offer legal fees and tens of thousands in cash /stock to the owner. Even if Google wins, it would cost them more in legal fees and villification. $500+ an hour adds up really quick.

inuwolf




msg:700349
 6:50 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

they missed Booble :)

gemini




msg:700350
 9:01 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

... okay, now it freaks me out. My domain name exists in different variations, as I found out after I actually started to promote my site - do I need to go ahead and TM it? In case it become a moneymaker for me? It is actually an abbreviation of a team name and it doesn't match to the others which actually appear to be also different abbreviations and none of them related to mine.

Namaste




msg:700351
 9:03 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think there is a loophole in the TM law, which as you know was drafted well before internet domains became a reality.

As the Itunes case is showing, TM law needs to be redrafted to consider domain names, as independent of TMs.

piffdude




msg:700352
 10:18 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Has anybody noticed when froogle.com was registered....

Created on..............: 2001-Sep-11.
Expires on..............: 2014-Sep-11.

hmmmm.... guess they weren't looking at the news....

lela




msg:700353
 6:23 am on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

as Rosalind said,"There must be 182 variations of Froogle that substitute 1 letter, plus 234 possible variations that add 1 letter in various positions, not counting any hyphenated domains. I'm not going to get into the numbers of domains that differ by two or three letters, but you get the idea."

Hey, that's exactly right! If google want to own any words ended with "-oogle", it should pay out the entire revenue of these years since it's born.

^_^, that should be the best resolution for all such suits, or Google will must be dead beat with countless complaints and opposition proceedings.

zootreeves




msg:700354
 2:04 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why can't google sue my site: look at how froogles.com alexa ranking has spiked

[alexa.com...]

Marshall Clark




msg:700355
 5:19 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Trademark law is a funny thing and you have to protect your trademarked name or risk losing it. So I can see where this whole thing probably started - but someone in their legal department really should have stopped and thought first before going after an older non-infringing name with this whole froogles thing.

I think this is more a case of Google being a young company and making yet another stupid PR gaffe rather than them being some evil supercorp.

woollyhat2




msg:700356
 11:54 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

You have to wonder about google now.. I also wonder often about how the sandbox idea came about after the adwords system was put into practice - in many cases meaning new companies - or ones with new domain have to pay for adwords, or wait around for 3-6 months or whatever before they appear in the google search results. hmmm

Time for a new google me thinks.... I remember a good friend telling me alta vista was dominant and no other search engine could take its place, back in 1996.

[edited by: woollyhat2 at 11:58 pm (utc) on April 19, 2005]

woollyhat2




msg:700357
 11:58 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually I wonder on what grounds google is actually arguing their case.

With trademark law, you normally have to argue a 'passing off' action - i.e. that an 'infringer' is using a confusingly similar name/mark as your own to deliberately fool people into thinking that the 'infringer' is the same person/organinsation as you, the trademark owner.

hyperkik




msg:700358
 12:27 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

There's nothing wrong with obtaining a trademark, and using it to hammer anybody who attempts to profit from confusion over your name. Google doesn't have to buy every "oogle" in order to justifiably go after people trying to profit from confusion with its trademarks.

The issue of Froogles is a bit more complicated, by virtue of the prior use. I see that Google has made a settlement offer to the owner of Froogles, which seems quite reasonable and leaves them both with their marks and sites intact; I don't see any description of counter-offers from the other side. If the guy is expecting to force Google to walk away from its Froogle brand, or hopes to obtain an unreasonably high price for his website, why should I feel sympathy for him? Google is not going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars litigating against a site it could buy for a fraction of the cost of litigation.

mack




msg:700359
 1:12 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google is not going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars litigating against a site it could buy for a fraction of the cost of litigation.

If the site was for sale!

I think it has to be said that most people in this sort of situation would have accepted the first offer or tried to off load the company to Google. I admire the guy for wanting to take this head on and actualy stand up for what he belives in.

For many people a website is a lot more than a busines. It's something you have worked hard for. Something you have put a lot of time and effort into and something you feel strongly enough to want to fight for.

Imagine how you would feel if a well known company bought a domain one letter different from yours and set up a site offering almost the exact same sevice that you offer. How would you deal with it. Would you do anything different. I know that if I was in this situation I would fight it with everything I had.

Mack.

hyperkik




msg:700360
 1:22 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would deal with it by asserting my registered trademark - yes, I have one.

I wouldn't file for a trademark after-the-fact, attempt to piggyback on the other company's name and marketing, decline reasonable settlement offers, or try to extort more than my site was worth if they were interested in buying.

mack




msg:700361
 1:39 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yea but the fact remains that Froogles does have a registered trade mark. This really is a grey area online. If anything is to be learned from this it is that the current TM and patent laws need to be modified to accomodate the web and domain naming.

In the case of small to medium sized businesses, many do not go down the TM road simple because they either overlook it or just do not see it's importaince. It can also be a great area of confusion.

To be honest I don't feel that we should be disgussing the legal aspects on here. I cant speak for anyone else but I am not a lawyer and legal issues are not my place.

All we can really do is look at it from an outsiders point of view and try to see things from both points of view.

No one will argue that Google was here first. That issue has never been disputed. But I fail to see any confusion between "Google" and "Froogles" Now lets assume Google never launched it's froogle service, in this case I think we can safely say This dispute would never have happened. I just cant see any logic for Google to then open a serive on a domain that so closely resembled that of another site. Froogle? tell me what that has to do with shopping? apart from it being named one letter different to another shopping site. I dont think Google deliberatly named their service to try and mimic the froogles service. Lets face it they dont need to. The Google brand is by far powerfull enough to market pretty much anything. I just cant understand why they didn't research their choice of name to ensure it wasnt likely to clash with any other site.

Mack.

hyperkik




msg:700362
 1:44 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

(The shopping connection: Froogle is a play on the name "Google" and the word "Frugal".)

mack




msg:700363
 2:03 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

My whole point is did they have to name a service to close to another shopping service.

Why F and not S?

I can see froogle being a play on Google but I dont see any relevance between froogles and google.

Mack.

hyperkik




msg:700364
 4:59 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Judging from what is in archive.org, froogles seemed more like an affiliate link farm than a shopping service. Odds are, it passed below Google's radar screen when they were choosing a name for Froogle.

Chico_Loco




msg:700365
 3:29 pm on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

froogles seemed more like an affiliate link farm than a shopping service.

Then Google's Froogle pretty much copied them. Granted Froogle don't get commissions on sales YET, but once it's out of beta you can be pretty sure they'll have some kind of premium service where they get some kind of cut on partner stores.

I mean, would you give all those sales away when you could tap into it, especially if you were a public company?

hyperkik




msg:700366
 4:44 pm on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

C'mon. You can't tell the difference between Froogle (even a hypothetical Froogle that charges commissions) and an affiliate link farm?

walkman




msg:700367
 5:32 pm on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Judging from what is in archive.org, froogles seemed more like an affiliate link farm than a shopping service."

what does that have to do with the guy registering the name first? Can I take your name if I make a "better" site? Check this out: [answers.com...]

tedster




msg:700368
 7:14 pm on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am all for protecting your intellectual property - and that definitely is getting harder and more expensive to do these days. But I would be very surprised if the court supports Google here. Disallowing any and all rhyming marks would be a major "chilling effect" and not at all in the spirit of the law, IMO.

ICANN already ruled against Google, rightly, I feel, and this lawsuit is a "nice try" but deserves a second slap-down.

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