Baidu Loses Itself In Japan

    April 9, 2007

Baidu is China’s top search engine – the king, or, because or its relative youth, the prince.  But the search engine company is experiencing some difficulties in Japan, where another corporation has laid claim to the domain  This pauper calls itself the “CBC Company.”

If the CBC Company was playing by the rules, Baidu would already have been declared a clear winner in this dispute.  According to Reuters, “The Web site of the Japan Intellectual Property Arbitration Center . . . shows that Baidu lodged a complaint with the centre, which last month issued a ruling that the domain name should be transferred to Baidu.”

But, as you can see, the CBC Company appears to have ignored that ruling.

To be fair, the CBC Company isn’t trying to pass itself off as the original Baidu; the Japanese characters on the disputed page declare, according to Reuters, that the “company has absolutely no connection with Japan Baidu K.K. and is a legal Japanese corporation.”  Still, cybersquatting is heavily frowned upon, particularly among the corporate heavyweights.

Google certainly didn’t react well to one apparent case of cybersquatting: it took a group of Polish poets to court over the domain  Of course, those poets appear to have a valid claim to that site, and as our Jason Lee Miller explained, “Google hasn’t had much success in Europe claiming the variations on Gmail domains,” but it’s still useful to see how these big companies react.

Expect to see Baidu try a few more things to snatch back, then.  If it doesn’t succeed, well . . . this prince may just have to accept that its power doesn’t extend beyond China’s borders.