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Domain Names Forum

Putting "google" in my domain name
Is this legal?

 5:19 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if it was legal to put google in my domain name. For example, "googlewidgeting.com".

[edited by: Webwork at 10:12 pm (utc) on April 5, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]



 5:38 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sure, you can do it. You'll be walking a thin line though. Slip just once and you'll fall right into a lawsuit.


 5:43 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

just know that G can bankrupt you at any time the wish to do so


 6:15 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

The only way to know for sure is to ask the Google legal department for permission. In the unlikely scenario they say it is okay, get it in writing.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and am not offering any legal advice. You take complete responsibility for your own actions.


 7:44 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't want to encourage you, but it appears to me that Google is particularly lax in this regard. I note that there are numerous products that contain "Google" in the product name.

One possibility is concocting something using "for". It's been popular for years to name products "xyz For Windows", and I don't recall Microsoft attempting to stop this or if they did having any luck in doing so.

Other words, such as "with" might work as well. These might work well for mash-ups involving some Google service. I'm sure you can think up some more joining words that make it clear that your site is some adjunct for use with Google, but does not imply that it is Google itself.


 7:56 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

but it appears to me that Google is particularly lax in this regard.

In another forum, recent threads actually suggest they're now enforcing their TM rights to the term.

It really boils down to knowing what to do and what risks you're willing to take.


 12:23 am on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

It is certainly legal, assuming you aren't in a very odd jurisdiction, but you will find that Google has a superior claim on the name to you, and they seem to be quite prompt in guarding it.
I wouldn't waste time investing in a domain name like that, myself, as I would expect to be called on it quite quickly.


 7:36 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all of your advice, I think I will play it safe and NOT use google in my domain name. Even though I might not have any problems, thinking long-term, I think the possible disadvantages outway the advantages.


 1:18 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it depends on how you use it.

www.ihategoogle or ilovegoogle probably not an issue.

but www.gooogle or www.gougle .. well, Google knows where you live....


 8:09 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Many people have been pushing Google AdSense and Google AdWords by building a web site providing information about them. Some of these people are looking to earn the referral fee for new sign ups. Some others are selling or reselling ebooks about these services. IMHO Google has ignored the trademark infringement of such websites, in its own interests. Other than that, one wrong step and Google can wring your neck. It's best to avoid using trademarked terms in domain names unless of course the trademark belongs to you. Spending years getting inward links, building organic traffic and losing the site thereafter for $10 doesn't sound very exciting. Does it?

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