Industry News

News > May 2007


Google Dispute With Domain Owner

Google plan to sue Marcel Van der Werf who has registered various Domain Names including the name Google. The Dutch man has used domains which Google contend on infringing copyright such as,,, and

Van der Werf explained "A brand is linked to a product, but not to the alphabet. The name used in the address bar is a way to reach a computer. It is merely an indication and not a brand,".

The conflict is with Google's English office due to some of the sites being hosted in England. "The hosting provider had, urged by Google, disconnected the database from, after which I moved it to Russia," Van der Werf says and feels a victim of intimidating action.

"We have a million members that paid a hundred euros to gain access, and now we have lost them, because we don't have a backup of the database," he explains.

Most of these sites are still online. Only and, an online store at eBay, have been taken down.

A Google spokesperson confirms the dispute. "Mr. Van der Werf has registered a number of domain names which infringe Google's trademark and other intellectual property rights. We are in the process of starting legal proceedings against him. The accusations being made against Google by Mr. Van der Werf are factually inaccurate and legally baseless.Google believes that controlling its intellectual property is essential to prevent confusion among our users and others using them in ways that are inconsistent with Google's rights and culture."