- Is this site affiliated with Google?
No, it isn't. It's merely a parody to Google.com.
- Doesn't Google mind you running this site?
We're not sure. We got the following letter from firstname.lastname@example.org on 2004-06-03
But when trying to react to this, the reaction boinced. When I asked email@example.com about if firstname.lastname@example.org was one of their addresses, this was the reaction:
Re: Infringement of Google's trademark rights on http://www.goegel.be (Our ref.: 8.215)
Dear Sir or Madam:
Google is the owner of the well-known trademark and trade name GOOGLE, as well as the domain name GOOGLE.COM. As you are no doubt aware, GOOGLE is the trademark used to identify our award-winning search engine, located at http://www.google.com. Since its inception in 1997, the GOOGLE search engine has become one of the most highly recognized and widely used Internet search engines in the world. Google owns numerous trademark registrations and applications for its GOOGLE mark in countries around the world.
Google has used and actively promoted its GOOGLE mark for a number of years, and has invested considerable time and money establishing exclusive proprietary rights in the GOOGLE mark for online computer services and a wide range of goods. As a result of its efforts, the GOOGLE mark has become a famous mark and a property right of incalculable value.
Google has developed a distinctive layout and design for its Google website. Over the years since its inception, Google has invested considerable time and money establishing exclusive rights in this layout and design. By virtue of these efforts, the layout and design of Google's website are recognized by visitors as originating with Google. Google aggressively protects and polices its intellectual property rights, including the various trademark and service marks used for its search services and related goods and services, the distinctive trade dress used to present its services to Internet users, and the copyrighted material on its website.
You have registered, without Google's permission or authorization, the domain name http://www.goegel.be (the "Domain Name"). You use the Domain Name in connection with a search engine. Your search engine uses a trade dress that is similar to Google's. Your use of a Domain Name that is similar to GOOGLE for a search engine suggests Google's sponsorship or endorsement of your websites and services and correspondingly, your activities. The use of the mark on your website, combined with use of a similar trade dress, further leads to the possibility that internet users would believe your site to be affiliated with Google.
Because the GOOGLE mark is famous, it is protected by the federal anti-dilution statute from users that are likely to dilute the distinctiveness of the mark. Your use of a Domain Name that is similar to Google's trademark constitutes trademark infringement and dilution of Google's trademark rights and unfair competition under federal and state laws. Your use of the Domain Name is diluting use because it weakens the ability of the GOOGLE mark to identify a single source, namely Google. Further, your registration and use of the Domain Name misleads consumers into believing that some association exists between Google and you, which tarnishes the goodwill and reputation of Google's services and trademarks, in violation of Section 43(c) of the Lanham Act.
In view of your infringement of our rights, we must demand that you provide written assurances within 14 days that you will:
1. Immediately discontinue any and all use of the Domain Name;
2. Take immediate steps to transfer the Domain Name to Google;
3. Identify and agree to transfer to Google any other domain names registered by you that contain GOOGLE or are confusingly similar to Google?s marks;
4. Immediately and permanently refrain from any use of the terms GOOGLE or any variation thereof that is likely to cause confusion or dilution; and
5. Immediately and permanently cease use of trade dress that is similar to Google's.
The Google Trademark Enforcement Team
Thank you for your note. The email you refer to did not originate with
Google. Google does not permit others to send unsolicited email through
its mail servers.
So why did it have a Google return address?
A number of unscrupulous businesses have sent out mass mailings with
forged Google return addresses. You are one of their victims. While
forging email addresses is easy to do, it is obviously unethical. Google
is actively pursuing all available legal means to stop these individuals
from abusing our name.
Thank you very much for your understanding, and please accept our
sympathies for the inconvenience this has caused.
The Google Team
- So who sent that first e-mail?
I haven't got a clue. It did originate from the US and the headers made it look like it was originaly from cyveillance.com, but it's impossible to be sure about that.
- What are you going to do now?
The site will be up again untill I'm sure it's Google that is trying to contact me. If it ever does disappear or change to the normal www.google.be, you know what probably happened.