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China Company to Sue Google Over Name

     

engine

11:42 am on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A Chinese company is suing Google's China subsidiary for copying its name, saying the U.S. search engine's registered Chinese name is too similar to its own and has harmed its operations.

A spokesman for Beijing Guge Science and Technology Ltd. Co. said Google's commercial name had led to the company being constantly disturbed by people calling up its office trying to contact the search engine.

"We just want Google to change their commercial name," Tian Yunshan, a company official, told Reuters on Friday. "We have already passed our demands on to Google ... We will see what happens in court."

China Company to Sue Google Over Name [uk.reuters.com]

pontifex

12:45 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Looks like they want to try, but Guge and Google is not even simliar... from my experience in Germany, our law would not act on that - too much difference!

P!

adfree

1:17 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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One letter or audio similarity and only if active in same markets. Not sure about China law though.

nzmatt

1:55 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What a joke...

Obviously trying to extort some cash...or at least publicity...which has worked already.

zett

2:12 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"We just want Google to change their commercial name,"

Hilarious!

China - the land of the new. And innovative! :-)

fischermx

2:19 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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How does it feel you Chineses!

Ibby

4:03 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"We just want Google to change their commercial name,"

We just want Google to change the name that they built an internet empire around because one time we got a phone call from an idiot mistaking us for Google. I swear this suit has nothing to do with money.

scraptoft

4:29 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I swear this suit has nothing to do with money.

You've got that right, and Gugle *I mean Guge* are working it well so far..

ergophobe

5:23 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Guge and Google is not even simliar

Uhh... HELLO! Read the first post.


registered Chinese name

All the comments so far have been based on the English names of those companies.

How many of you people actually even know what the Chinese names for those companies are?

How many of you speak Chinese?

What makes you qualified, then, to say whether or not the names are similar or whether or not there has been infringement?

bcolflesh

5:43 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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How many of you speak Chinese?

No one speaks Chinese, do they? It's Mandarin, Cantonese, or some local dialect...

iblaine

5:59 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Seriously...this is on the front page?

iThink

6:00 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For those looking for an example of perfect link bait...

HarryM

6:09 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Both names are in Chinese characters and are pronounced gu-ge in Mandarin. It seems that Google hasn't registered theirs, but the other company has. Will be interested to see what happens...

rstein68

6:29 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Like Google says, its all about localization. Google messed up, should be fun.

LifeinAsia

6:33 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Like Google says, its all about localization. Google messed up, should be fun.

One solution: Google should just buy the stupid company.

ergophobe

9:02 pm on Jul 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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No one speaks Chinese, do they?

Actually, my in-laws always refer to it as speaking Chinese, unless they happen to be in a context where it might be unclear and then they differentiate Mandarin, Cantonese, Beijing-wa or what have you. In the case of PRC trademark, I think one can assume Mandarin, though I have no idea.


Both names are in Chinese characters and are pronounced gu-ge in Mandarin.

Thank you.

bill

12:46 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



For those of you who obviously don't follow the Chinese search market:

Google says to call itself 'GUGE' in China [forbes.com]

04.12.2006 - BEIJING (AFX) - Google said it has adopted the Chinese-language brand name 'GUGE' for its Chinese operations.

At a conference in Beijing, company chief executive Eric Schmidt said the new name demonstrated Google's commitment to China.

The name 'guge' (Harvest Song in Chinese) was not popular [webmasterworld.com] among the Chinese and there was a site that campaigned against the use of this name NoGuGe.com. That site is no longer active.

You may also be interested to know who owns the domain name Guge.com and where it redirects.

lexipixel

2:03 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Domain Name: guge.com
Created on: 2001-Jun-06
Registrant: Google Inc.

They even got the .cn name years ago...

Domain Name: guge.cn
Registration Date: 2003-12-03 11: 32
Name Server: ns2.google.com

So, the question is, was this company doing business and known locally, regionally, nationally or internationally as "guge" or held some sort of legal mark which could be interpreted to be similar to "guge" before Google registered the names? And is "guge" a generic term?

U.S. law wasn't clear on this at first, (pre WIPO), and some companies lost out if their mark was also a generic term --- like "united.com"; where United Airlines, United Van Lines or First United Church could have grabbed the name...

This company "guge" is actuaully named:

Beijing Guge Science and Technology Ltd

I wondered if there is anything with "Guge" is the name that wasn't associated with either Google or the plaintiff:


"Guge, or Tsamda (Zhada), is one of the three regions of Ngari, situated to the South-west of Mount Kailash and bordering India on the west"


Wilkin Guge Marketing


Ruins of Guge Kingdom


"guge" at 43things..


Al, Beth, Sara, Robert and many other people with the sir name "Guge"...


and the already registered: "china-guge" dotcom....

redstorm

3:37 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The giant google is meeting an embarrassed occasion, they have the same names in Chinese: one is called Guge Information Technology (China)Co., Ltd, another is Guge Science Co., Ltd, and of course, the accuser registered "Guge" a little earlier than the search giant. Is it possible for Guge Information Technology (China)Co., Ltd to change its name?
According to my limited knowledge, google will not lose the suit: as the Industry and Commerce Administration approved the search engine giant's register application, no one can doubt Guge Information Technology (China)Co., Ltd is a legal name. The court, of course, will not support the accuser on name issue. Come on and see, Guy!
So the only problem that will leave is: will google compensate the accuser for the bothering the accuser suffered from people trying to contact the search engine giant?
Just my own point of view for reference!

Lexur

5:56 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There is a trademark law in China?
There is any kind of free court in China?

adfree

10:52 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is there even a remote similarity in business model or markets targeted? If not: this all is nothing but hot air really.

This is as hilarious as a friend of mine who worked at myinternet once. A lady called claiming she can't dial in anymore (90s).

"Aren't you guys running the Internet...?"

In South Germany we refer to the term GaGa as something stupid, unworthy to take serious. Wondering how this would be pronounced in other dialects or languages. Close to Google?

You betcha! What isn't today?

bill

1:46 am on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



There is a trademark law in China?

There certainly is: Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China [chinaiprlaw.com]. A quick search of the web turns up plenty on the topic if you're interested.

There is any kind of free court in China?
What's your definition of a free court? They certainly have court systems in China. According to wikipedia [en.wikipedia.org], "The Chinese court system is based on civil law, modeled after the legal systems of Germany and France.

duskdawn

5:10 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What's going on in many replies of this thread just shows how ignorant some people are. Please read the OP and find out what is going on before dumping your prejudice in.
This Chinese company has its full reason to sue google in this case. Obviously Google messed it up.
Google is branded as Guge (ΉΘΈθ) in Chinese market, it is in Chinese characters, just for those who don't speak another language except English.
Gee...
 

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