Ban on use of Google trademark in googl.ru and gugl.ru domains upheld
MOSCOW, February 21 - RAPSI. The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal from Weblink Ltd against the court ban on using the Google trademark in the googl.ru and gugl.ru domain names, the court told RAPSI on Thursday.
Last November, the court held for Google in its claim to protect its exclusive right to the Google trademark, banning the defendant from using similar domain names.
The court ruling states that the defendant uses the domain name 'googl.ru' to offer services similar to those provided by the plaintiff, while the domain name 'gugl.ru' is not used for emailing or websites.
In addition, Weblink Ltd bears no relation to Google Inc. and does not have its permission to use the trademark. Garant Park Telecom, a website registering company, was brought into the case by the court as a third party.
The plaintiff's representative stated during the hearing that Google launched its operations in 1998, whereas the defendant only acquired the domain names in the summer of 2011. The names look and sound very similar to the plaintiff's trademark, he said.
However, the defendant's lawyer rejected the claim, stating that the resemblance needed to be confirmed by experts.
Google's attorney said that experts had established that the names were confusingly similar. Meanwhile, the defense argued that one expert conclusion had to be excluded from consideration, as certain violations in the way it was compiled made it ineligible.
Google secured interim relief from the court in the form of a prohibition on Weblink's transfer of the googl.ru and gugl.ru rights to a third party.
Google is the world's largest Internet company. Its US GAAP net income rose 15% to $9.74 billion in 2011.