Google doesn't like Polish Poets

10 comments

We've heard before about Google losing rights to "Gmail" and gmail.de domain. Here is short story about Google's adventure in Poland.

Disclaimer: The story below is solely based on this article. Gazeta.pl is a portal, which belongs to the biggest Polish daily newspaper.

A group of young people got together and decided that they'll create a website where anyone could publish poems for free. They picked a name "Grupa M?odych Artystów i Literatów" (GMAiL), which in my freestyle translation would be "Group of Young Artists and Writers". Naturally, they wanted a domain - it came up that gmail.pl was free, so they've registered it. Now Google claims that this is a violation of Google's rights and - via lawyers - suggested them to unregister this domain. Grupa M?odych Artystów i Literatów offered to sell the domain to Google, but the answer from G was no. Also, Google already filled a lawsuit regarding gmail.pl, and gmail.com.pl. (The article doesn't say anything about gmail.com.pl owner(s).)

Now the best part: Gmail was launched in 2004, (in April, right?), and the gmail.pl domain was registered Nov 1, 2006. That's more than 2 years... Second - Google did not filled trademark claim for Gmail in Poland.

My personal note:
Don't be evil?

Comments

As someone with a business

As someone with a business based in Poland, let me say Google REALLLLY do not want to lose a hearts and minds battle there.

A bit of a problem there

Now the best part: Gmail was launched in 2004, (in April, right?), and the gmail.pl domain was registered Nov 1, 2006. That's more than 2 years... Second - Google did not filled trademark claim for Gmail in Poland

There is a bit of a problem with the former as it makes it more difficult for Polish guys to defend the case. The latter is good.

Grupa M?odych Artystów i Literatów offered to sell the domain to Google, but the answer from G was no.

IDIOTS! never, never, never do anything like this as it makes it a whole lot easier for the lawyers to prove ill intent!
Actually, this whole thing is called a reverse domain hijacking and I suggest reading this one - quite a lot of good info. I myself enjoyed watching this case a lot :-)

A brown envelope to the

A brown envelope to the right would sort it out in Poland. I guess Google do not play that way though :) Does not really need to be called gmail though. In Australia Burger King is called "Hungry Jacks" and it did not stop me buying a hamburger there.

>>My personal note: >>Don't

>>My personal note:
>>Don't be evil?

Google has to defend it's trademark or lose it. That is trademark law.

Negligent

If the domain is worth Google's while to sue about it should have been worth Google's while to register it for themselves in the first place. That's the most basic line of trademark defense!

Leaving it open for someone else to register seems downright negligent to me.

Don't think so. Why go to

Don't think so. Why go to the expense of parking a car in every space to block them all when you can just tow away the offender who parks illegally?

Google only needs to defend it's brand, not make preemptive strikes. Maybe if George Bush joined the board they might go down that road ;)

Cheaper

Registering obvious domains to head off problems is likely a lot cheaper than paying lawyers to chase *alleged* infringers, and a lot better for public relations, too.

The way the original post describes the site has nothing to do with mail so where's the trademark infringement? Especially if it's true that Google didn't register the trademark in Poland?

we use white envelopes here,

we use white envelopes here, max.

this is funny. i heard G are not really happy with people they have in Poland. Another reason for them

Google actually have quite a

Google actually have quite a few problems with this as I have discussed in a blog post over the weeked. I live in Poland and agree on the hearts and minds - almost everything in Poland is populist atm.

Google can't claim prior use very easily, because the company in the UK or Germany, both also being in the EU might have more rights to it. Also they are not using the trademark in direct competition. It is a trademark and not a registered trademark and even if it was registered it would still have to be registered for multiple industry segments.

There are also other factors including the change in terms of service with the registrars, and the simple fact that this will take place under the current old rules, not new rules coming into force soon.

I doubt arbitration will cost the people currently holding the domain anywhere near as much as arbitration costs in the US

for what it's worth

the acronym Group of Young Artists and Writers makes perfect sense in Polish.

In all of the ex-Soviet countries these kinds of acronyms were very popular dating all the way back to Vladimir Mayakovsky and the Russian Revolution. Example being LEF (journal of the Left Front of the Arts).

The suits at Google are starting to look really stupid. The engineers are still pretty good.

Imagine sueing the Group of Young Artists and Writers over trademark while runing open season on trademarks in AdWords and acquiring video free for all YouTube.

What's good for the goose...

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