Internet giant Google.com has lost an arbitration case over the domain name Groovle.com. In a decision released today, The National Arbitration Forum, dismissed Google’s complaint which claimed that it was entitled to the domain name Groovle.com. Google claimed that the domain name is “confusingly similar” to its trademark for “Google”.
The unanimous three person panel ruled that Groovle.com “is not confusingly similar” to Google’s trademark, “Google”. Google has commenced 65 similar domain name disputes and this is only the second time that it has ever lost. Domain name lawyer and Internet law expert, Zak Muscovitch is responsible for successfully defending the “little guy” against the mega-corp Google.
The domain is owned by Canadian entrepreneurs Jacob Fuller and Ryan Fitzgibbon, who launched Groovle.com in 2007. As Fuller explains, “Groovle was created to provide users the ability to upload photos and customize their Internet start page. We thought it would be a cool feature to have a nice photo of friends, family etc., every time you launch your web browser”. Says Fitzgibbon, “since we launched Groovle in 2007, Google, Bing and Ask.com have each come out with something similar”.
The pair are elated with the decision. “We were stunned when Google launched the domain name dispute as we have great respect for Google and have always had a good relationship with them”, said Fitzgibbon. Fuller added that, “Google never had anything to fear from our web site. The arbitrators’ decision that the two domain names are sufficiently different should put Google at ease and we look forward to a renewed positive relationship with Google”. Muscovitch concluded “Google clearly miscalculated here however my clients are prepared to put this behind them”.