Page last updated at 22:13 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Google loses Canadian Groovle domain name claim

Google webpage, AFP
This is only the second time such a complaint by Google has been rejected

A Canadian company behind a search engine called Groovle.com has won a case filed against it by online search giant Google.

Google said the domain name used by the small business, 207 Media, was too similar to its own, but mediators the National Arbitration Forum disagreed.

In the complaint, Google asked for the judges to rule that 207 Media transfer the domain name over to it.

But three judges appointed by the forum refused the request.

They said the name was not similar enough to confuse people and the word 'groovle' was more closely linked to "groovy" or "groove" rather than Google.

Legitimate interest

The judges also refused to examine other claims made by Google, including that the Canadian business had no "legitimate" interest in the domain name and had registered it in "bad faith".

The entrepreneurs behind Groovle.com said they had used the site for more than two-and-a-half years without any complaints by Google.

The site is powered by Google but describes itself as a way for users to create a customised internet homepage.

People can upload personal images onto the site and then go on to search the web from that page.

The National Arbitration Forum is an agency, approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to sort out domain name disputes.

It is only the second time out of 65 that a complaint made by Google against companies about domain names has been rejected.

In 2004, Richard Wolfe, the owner of froogles.com managed to persuade an arbitration panel his site could not be confused with Google.com.



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