The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

GOOGLE'S TROUBLE WITH TRADEMARKS
identity crisis
It looks like the legal tussle Google is facing from the Googles is just the tip of the iceberg. The search giant and intended Wall Street darling has so many pending trademark infringement suits against it on tap, concerning the Gmail and Froogle brands and even the "googol" inspiration concept, that you have to wonder if the company does any serious research before picking a name.

Even though the Froogles.com owner has a case based on registering the name before Google devised Froogle, I can't say the numbers indicate he was ever going to make it big in e-commerce:
"Now that Google has started using Froogle, it has been downhill" for Froogles.com, says [owner Richard] Wolfe. He said his savings have been depleted by $28,000 in legal bills. Wolfe added that "hits" on his site are down from a high of about 300 a day to fewer than 100 since he has been devoting more time and money to the legal fight than Web development.
I wouldn't call 300 daily hits a "high". Shoot, I approach that with this blog on good days, and I'm not even selling anything (other than entertainment ;) ). That could hurt his argument that Google actually had an effect on his business; it was so fledgling that it didn't look like it was going anywhere anyway.

UPDATE: The trademark-rights advantage suddenly shifts to Google, as it's revealed that the search engine got its start in the early 1960s. (From Fury.com via Dustbury)