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Google wins against Danish cyber squatter

 1:39 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)
Google.dk used to be a Danish book store.

(non english document):




 1:45 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

only a matter of time till this happened.



 1:46 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wonder if google.no is on that list... ;)

<edit>judging by what they say on their page, this is already underway...</edit>


 1:51 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

> only a matter of time till this happened.

Exactly - Google re-claimed gogle.dk og guugle.dk last summer.


 1:52 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

is any domain name with google going to be on the radar screen?


 1:54 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

SMSfun har i tillegg sagt at de har vært villig til å tilby halve førstesiden av Google.no til Google Inc. - som dermed kan lage sitt eget innhold og lenke videre til Google.com

That's a quote from a digi.no article about the Norwegian case... The company has offered half the homepage of google.no to google Inc. Can you imagine sharing a homepage with Google (I know its not going to happen but you can dream, right?).


 1:56 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

money talks, and b'@#x>x& walks.

only a matter of time before they will have all the domains they want, and quite rightly so.



 2:00 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

only a matter of time before they will have all the domains they want, and quite rightly so.

Yup. And the owners will wish they had sold out when initially approached.


 2:11 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I saw a couple of newsletters mentioning it this morning and I agree, it had to happen - just a matter of time. Not sure if I would call it squatting though. Perfectly legit company afaik.

IMO Google will win even more market share once the Danes get to know this domain. Imagine how many people type google.dk today?

So, how do you think it will relfect the market situation in Denmark?


 2:27 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just read the premises.
The owner (google.dk) was running an affiliate for the English bookstore iBS with a generous helping of banner advertising.

He claimed to be in good faith, because:

  1. He himself had coined the word Google out of Go and ogle. Thus Google should mean "come and look".
  2. He thought Google had accepted his domain since they added him in their own directory: directory.google.com/Top/World/ Dansk/Netbutikker/Bøger/

Well done, Google!


 2:33 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

maybe when Google open an office in Denmark, they can invite a few of us over there :)


(private joke to certain people on the board)

troels nybo nielsen

 4:25 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

This ought to give Google a bit of extra momentum. How much will that matter? That may partly depend on what they do now. Will they take some new initiatives? Of course I expect them to create a new logo!

> when Google open an office in Denmark, they can invite a few of us over there

I'll come. Even if I have to go to "Devil's Island" (Jutlandish name for Copenhagen).


 4:36 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)



 6:20 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

While this particular case was found in Google's favor, and justifyably so, the UDRP process is nonetheless extremely flawed.

I recently lost a claim lodged against me by a very large search engine (not Google), even though none of their trademark names were contained within my domain name. I presented a cogent and valid response, and all who read the response agreed I would win hands down. Every one of their allegations were countered with clear and valid answers, justifying my position. There was little doubt in anyone's mind I would win.


They lucked out when the NAF assigned a magistrate to rule on the case who somehow agreed with their position. I presented hard, indisputable evidence that I was using the domain name in conjuction with a bona-fide business (not just Internet related), which was totally ignored. I showed clear and overwhelming evidence that the Complainant was using the process to reverse hijack my domain name (it was a perfect, catchy name that would reflect an upcoming merger with another company), but it was ignored. I presented e-mails that showed the Complainant offered me money for the domain name, well over and above the registration costs, also ignored. It seemed as though the arbitrator did not read the entire case, rather a very poorly synopsized version of the case, written by the Complainant themselves.

To win a case, a Complainant must prove three different areas were infringed upon. Not just one, or two, but all three. They were unable to present evidence to realistically prove one, yet they still won. Additionally, even in light of the above, there are three areas where, if the Respondent (me), can prove valid use of the domain name, the Respondent wins. I submitted evidence which should have been enough for me to prevail in all three areas, but still lost.

Truly mind-boggling, but it sheds light on serious flaws with the process:

#1, as long as the corporations which use the process extensively are able to choose panelists on three-member panels, some panelists may routinely lean towards ruling in favor of those corporations, lest they not be chosen in the future by those corporations. I don't know how much they make for arbitrating a case, but it is likely significant.

#2, as long as there are no rules in place to rectify a faulty decision, or review a case where the rules were clearly broken by the Complainant or arbitrator, it is not a valid process.

Thanks for letting me rant, and naturally all the above is my opinion.


 11:59 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sounds like a bad experience for you, big_softie. I'm glad that we got google.dk though--I think most people would expect to see Google when they went there.


 12:39 am on Mar 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Big dollars and squeamish magistrates make for poor justice.

Here in Canada we have a furniture-mega-chain-store we'll call "widget bargain warehouse." It legally pushed a small one-store family furniture business out of its legitimate name, "widget furnishings," even though the name of the family was "widget" and the business had been operating 20 years longer than "widget bargain warehouse."

This is what you can do if you have the big dollar lawyers.

Like most others, I think cyber-squatting is a tricky business and you may end up getting what you deserve . . . nothing.

On the other hand, I refuse to blindly celebrate the squashing of little people doing legitimate business just because someone bigger with more expensive lawyers comes along. Gives me the shudders.


 1:01 am on Mar 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

GG, looks like a squatter owns google.md


 9:50 am on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google.dk was bought in january 1999.

According to your own company info: "On September 7, 1998 Google Inc. became a reality and opened its door in Menlo Park, California".

So the danish domain, which was used for an online bookstore, was bought 4 months after Google was founded. At that time, Google was very far from world domination... and in Denmark, very few people had even heard about it.

So only if the buyer of google.dk, Jens Nielsen, was smart enough to anticipate the succes of google, he would have an interest in "squatting" the domain. At that time, I guess a lot of other domains would be more interesting candidates to "pirate"...

The question is: was the name "google" trademarked in Denmark or even Europe before Jens Nielsen bought the domain? - <b>In my opinion, the trademark system should be the foundation for verdicts in these cases</b>. Size shouldn´t matter.

What if someone in Iceland (for instance) had made an icelandic online sunglass company in may 1997, google.is. Would it be fair that google.com had to hand out the domain-name today?

Maybe GoogleGuy can clarify some of these issues - maybe there are some facts of the matter that I don't know of.


 4:35 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy > I think most people would expect to see Google when they went there.

Very possible. Jens Nielsen told that he had between 3.500 and 4.000 visitors per day and yet he couldn't produce proof that he had spent a nickel on advertising.

BrandBoerge > and in Denmark, very few people had even heard about it.

The operative word is "very few" (well actually, that's two words :) )

PC Magazine had named Google among the 100 best homepages in december 1998 and Jens Nielsen was apparently very Internet-savvy - having been active on the Net since "around 1997".

At least, I find this much more probable than the "go ogle" explanation (why didn't he buy Go-ogle.dk?)


 1:47 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think this graph [alexa.com] relfects the current reach between the 'names'.

It will be interesting to see how the curves develop.


 6:31 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Very possible. Jens Nielsen told that he had between 3.500 and 4.000 visitors per day and yet he couldn't produce proof that he had spent a nickel on advertising.

Google has millions of hits per day and they didn't spend money on advertising ...


 10:01 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

It says in the "verdict" that the current owner has to transfer the ownership to Google Inc. within 4 weeks after this decision. (March 3rd. 2003). That means that the transfer has to be completed at the latest within March 31st.

Can the current owner delay this transfer by appealing the decision in any way?


 10:26 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

IANAL but I think you answered your question yourself by putting "verdict" in quotes.

It's an arbitration system - designed to be fast and inexpensive.

You might want a full legal system with appeals, higher courts, supreme justice and high-profiled lawyers, but that would really restrict the field to the big player$

[edited by: Hagstrom at 11:08 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2003]


 10:40 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

So that means that the "verdict" is final and that we most likely will see Google.dk containing Google content quite soon?


 11:11 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's the way I understand it.

BTW: I have written to the arbitrator - asking for an English translation of the ruling - but they don't have any translations, not even a press release.


 11:58 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another list of Google cyber squatters :

[google.ac ]
[google.ag ]
[google.by ]
[google.bz ]
[google.cz ]
[google.gs ]
[google.hu ]
[google.is ]
[google.ly ]
[google.ma ]
[google.no ]
[google.nu ]
[google.ph ]
[google.ru ]
[google.sk ]
[google.sr ]
[google.st ]
[google.tc ]
[google.tk ]
[google.vu ]


 12:11 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

<sarcasm>We don't know that they are cyber squatters! Maybe they all coined the word "google" out of "go ogle".</sarcasm>

Remembered the <sarcasm>-tags this time ;)


 1:06 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

They are just waiting for Google to offer them $5,000 (or some other optimistic settlement) to get their own name back.

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