Google, the American public corporation,has lost an arbitration over the domain name Groovle.com.
Google contended in the complaint that the dispute domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark.
Small Canadian start-up claims victory.
The National Arbitration Forum, dismissed Google’s complaint (Claim Number: FA0911001293500) that it was entitled to the domain name, Groovle.com. Google had claimed that the domain name Groovle.com, is “confusingly similar” to its trademark for “Google.” The National Arbitration Forum is an international arbitration service accredited by ICANN, the international agency that oversees the Internet, to provide resolution services for domain name disputes around the world.
The unanimous three person panel composed of two retired American judges and one American law professor, ruled that Groovle.com “is not confusingly similar” to Google’s trademark, “Google.” To-date, Google has commenced 65 domain name disputes and this is only the second time that it has ever lost.
Young Canadian entrepreneurs Jacob Fuller and Ryan Fitzgibbon, who have been friends since high school, launched the innovative Groovle.com web site in 2007, and it has proven immensely popular with young Internet users. 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, instead of the very plain Google.com and Yahoo.com page.” Says Fitzgibbon, “Since we launched Groovle in 2007, Google, Bing and Ask.com have each come out with something similar.”
Groovle’s young creators 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 Ryan Fitzgibbon. Jacob 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.”
Groovle was successfully defended by renowned domain name lawyer and Internet law expert, Zak Muscovitch, who says, “Google clearly miscalculated here, however, my clients are prepared to put this behind them.”