Google Back To Suing Froogles

from the trademarking-the-oogle dept

It seems that Google's trademark lawyers are busy these days. Last year, they were sued by the creators of some children's toys/books called the Googles and that was quickly followed up by a dispute with the guy who ran a shopping search engine at Froogles.com, which Google obviously felt competed with their own Froogle.com. The big problem, though, was that Froogles had been around longer than Froogle (whoops!) leading to an arbitration panel letting the guy keep his domain. Google tried to defend their position by noting that Froogles was confusingly similar to Google (not Froogle). This way, they could make the claim that Google had been around longer than Froogles. However, what the arbitration panel doesn't give, perhaps the courts will. An unofficial Google blog is noting that Google has reopened the case -- probably after the guy refused to settle and was holding out for a bigger offer. Once again, though, Google is focusing on the earlier claim that Froogles infringes on Google -- and they go so far as to state that any use of "OOGLE" in relation to search may be considered infringement -- which might be a pretty credible claim. It seems unlikely a company would use "oogle" without there being some confusion with Google.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    degustibus, Apr 18th, 2005 @ 8:58pm

    froogaloo googaloo

    then there's boogaloo.com

    Cafe Boogaloo...Shakin’ Yo’ Booty Since ’95!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Sean, Apr 19th, 2005 @ 2:02am

    No Subject Given


    and they go so far as to state that any use of "OOGLE" in relation to search may be considered infringement -- which might be a pretty credible claim. It seems unlikely a company would use "oogle" without there being some confusion with Google.
    Yeah, and that'll be followed by "icro" for Microsoft, then "in" for Intel, leading to a court battle over "i" from IBM.....
    Seriously Mike, how could basing legal claims on the syllables of words constitute a "credible claim"???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Apr 19th, 2005 @ 7:30am

    Re: No Subject Given

    The credibility of the claim is based on how likely it is that someone will associate the given name with the trademark holders.

    That doesn't apply in any of the other examples you cited. However, anything that ends in "oogle" is immediately going to be associated with Google. There is no independent reason why an "oogle" should be related to search, other than because of Google's associated with it.

    That's not at all true in any of the other examples you give.

    Hey, I'm pretty harsh on most attempts at using trademark law to stop things, but, in this case, Google has a credible claim.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Alan, Apr 19th, 2005 @ 10:01am

    Trademarks

    > The credibility of the claim is based on how likely it is
    > that someone will associate the given name with the
    > trademark holders.
    You should add to that statement something like "...in the context of the product or service." The suit is about using an "oogle"ish name *in conjunction* with a search engine. (How about "Ogle"? Ha!") You might have noticed that Google uses the trademark symbol (TM) with it's logo, rather than the registered trademark symbol (R). That's because they can't get a registered mark for "google" -- it's been in the comman parlance for a long time: as the common misspelling of "googol" and in such terms as "googley-eyed". Which brings me to its use prior to the search engine company by this (now defunct) greeting card company, as an example:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20040511071017/www.geocities.com/mgreetingcards/ ...just to make a point.
    The Google - Froogles - Froogle case is a convoluted, chicken-or-egg case, however.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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