Google Loses Domain Name Dispute

By: Doug Caverly - January 1, 2010

Google’s empire hasn’t exactly crumbled, and to be honest, the average person will probably never even realize what’s happened.  But what’s happened is this: for just the second time in its history, Google’s lost a domain name dispute.

Google submitted a complaint about a site called Groovle to the National Arbitration Forum (which ICANN lets decide domain name disputes) on November 6th of this year.  The search giant argued that Groovle is "nearly identical or confusingly similar" to its own name.

Complicating matters is the fact that Groovle markets itself as "your groovy custom search homepage," while noting on every page, " is not owned, operated, or sponsored, or endorsed by Google."

Anyway, a bit of back and forth ensued.  Then the National Arbitration Forum sided with Groovle, and in a document released today, it explained the decision.

"Respondent argues that the disputed domain name is not a misspelling of Complainant’s mark; Respondent asserts that the disputed domain name contains the significant letters ‘r’ and ‘v’ which serve to distinguish the sound, appearance, meaning, and connotation of ‘groovle’ from Complainant’s GOOGLE mark.  Furthermore, Respondent contends that its alterations clearly transform the predominant word of the <> domain name to ‘groove’ or ‘groovy,’ not GOOGLE. . . .  The Panel agrees . . ."

This is a blow for Google in a symbolic sense, at least – it’s participated in 65 disputes – even if the development has no measurable effect.

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> ICANN Becomes More Independent

Doug Caverly

About the Author

Doug CaverlyDoug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

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  • Mark

    Yay Canada. :)

    I’m not even sure why Google would contend this. It’s pretty obvious that it’s not a trademark infringement…

    Groovle is kind of a cool idea btw.

  • Dan Lew

    ok, now someone go and register – groovie :) that will then really complicate things :)

  • Mexico dentist

    I think that Google is too big for it’s britches. They have to try and totally dominate everything, and can be difficult to work with. I have to use Adwords for my business,, and wish I could do something else.

  • bernad


    oh it is fantastic

  • DomainsMode

    yes it is very clear that is not
    but it’s a good pub to groovle :)

  • Buy Kratom

    Why would google even dispute that. The names arnt even close.

  • The Shit

    Google is lucky they are currently tyrants…greed will get the best of them in the long run.

  • tski

    Unfortunately these days the company has become no different to any other massive entity.. run by bankers, attorneys and accountants. Ironic then that it’s motto is apparently “do no evil”.

    I think google really needs to start losing some court battles in a big way, that will be about the only thing that will teach these big headed cyber louts a thing or two about keeping your feet on the ground… and treating folk how you would have them treat you.

    It quietened microsoft down a bit… it would quieten google down as well.

  • mat

    and now watch crash out of the SERP’s…

  • Guest

    Google may have lost an arguement, but it loses far more integrity and credibility every time it goes after a smaller entity in some infantile and petty squabble.