Feeds

Google shoves cybersquatter off 763 Googletastic domains

'Gay network' owner had splashed over £6k on names

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google has seized over 750 domain names from a cybersquatter who used them to drive traffic to a series of "gay interest" websites and now wants Google's trademark cancelled.

The company has won a complaint covering 763 domains that all included the word "google" followed by the name of another company, keyword or celebrity, which it called "one of the most aggressive campaigns of domain name infringement that [Google] has ever encountered."

Google is now the proud owner of sites including googletranny.com, googlehonda.com, googlethepiratebay.com, googlegayfacebook.com, googleprophetmuhammad.com, googlekellyclarkson.com and far too many more to mention.

The complaint was filed in March with the US National Arbitration Forum under ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

According to the NAF decision, these domains all pointed visitors to the adults-only website tgn.xxx, currently a "Coming Soon" page promising a "Gay Network".

Google took this to mean that the squatter, New York-based Chris Gillespie, intended to exploit its good name to promote gay porn, but Gillespie said in his defence that he only redirected the domains to the .xxx site in order to measure the traffic they received.

According to NAF, he also claimed: "Users will come upon Respondent’s websites when they use the term 'google' as a generic verb to search for a topic, brand, or person."

Putting his money where his mouth is, after the UDRP complaint was filed, Gillespie filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office to have the trademark "Google" cancelled on the grounds that the term is now just a generic word for web search.

"The subject registered GOOGLE marks have become the generic name for the goods or services," Gillespie alleges.

None of this was enough to sway the NAF panel, which pointed out that Google has trademark protection on its brand in many more jurisdictions than just the US.

The panel found that Google has rights to its name, that Gillespie does not, and that the domains were registered in "bad faith", which are the three tests for a successful UDRP complaint.

Buying 763 domain names would have cost Gillespie a smidgen over £6,400, judging by the current list price at his chosen registrar, Go Daddy.

Despite the voluminous filing, it's not the biggest UDRP case on record. That honour is believed to belong to Inter-Continental Hotels, which won a case covering 1,542 domain names in 2009. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.