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Domain name disputes can lead to litigation

Many people living in New Mexico and across the country today would have a difficult time making it to the end of the day without access to the Internet. It provides users with driving directions, social interactions, online sales and much more. Google is one company that many people think of when considering the Internet, which happens to be involved in a recent case regarding domain name disputes. In this dispute, two men claim that the company has become so popular that the word Google is too generic to retain its trademark.

The case began in 2012 when two businessmen purchased several hundred domain names that contained the word Google in it. Google soon filed a complaint. Court documents indicate that domains typically led people to what appeared to be pornographic sites. An arbitrator in that case agreed with Google.

As a result, the two men sued to have Google's trademark invalidated. They argued that the word was so generic that it simply meant to conduct an online search. Google countered with a survey where over 90 percent of respondents indicated they considered Google to be a brand name. A judge has recently ruled in Google's favor, saying that invalidating the mark because Google has worked hard to successfully market their product would be contrary to the spirit of the law.

Anyone in New Mexico who owns a business likely knows of the struggle to make their brand known. When a company such as Google sees success, it could be damaging to the brand if others use that success to bring attention to their own business or endeavors. Fortunately, there is legal recourse for domain name disputes. A person with experience with laws governing trademarks can help both those who have been a victim of infringement as well as those who are accused of it.

Source: mediapost.com, "Judge Sides With Google In Domain Name Dispute", Wendy Davis, Sept. 12, 2014

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