Google settles over Groggle trademark

Google settles over Groggle trademark

Summary: After an extended negotiation process between internet giant Google and Aussie online start-up Groggle, the two have reached a settlement that involved Groggle changing its name to Drinkle.

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TOPICS: Google
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After an extended negotiation process between internet giant Google and Aussie online start-up Groggle, the two have reached a settlement that involved Groggle changing its name to Drinkle.

Beer Goggles

(Beer goggles image by A of DooM, CC2.0)

Site founder Cameron Collie told ZDNet Australia that after a six-month negotiation period, the two companies have reached a settlement with undisclosed terms that will see Groggle relinquish its domain names and trademarks to Google and move to a new Drinkle.com domain.

"The site will be exactly as it was before but just with a new brand name," he said. "It's the same typeface with a 'd' instead of a 'g'."

The trouble began for the start-up back in April when the founders received a letter from Google's lawyers requesting that the company ceases trading under the name Groggle and hand over all its registered domain names to Google. The company entered negotiations with Google at the end of May.

With negotiations now completed, starting the new Drinkle site simply meant redesigning the logo with the new name, Collie said. Google has allowed the company to retain the Groggle domains for a short period of time to redirect visitors to the new website.

"They're in our possession for a short amount of time and as per the terms of the settlement we have to relinquish them after a short amount of time. They've let us use them for redirection as a show of good faith. They said 'you can have them for a while so long as they're redirecting to your new domain and you're not sitting on them doing anything else with them'."

Collie said the extended settlement process with Google had prevented the company from taking off in the last six months; he hadn't wanted to talk to potential stakeholders, retailers or distributors if the company had to change its name.

"We didn't want to do that and turn around and say 'oh look we've had to change our name'. We thought it would be over in a month or two and it just kept rolling," he said.

"It's like the car's in the garage and we just keep polishing it all the time."

Collie said he was playing it careful with the new site name and he didn't expect Google to have any problems with it.

"I'm pretty sure their lawyers are aware of our new name and there wasn't any feedback on it," he said. "If anything it's taught me what you think might be a tongue-in-cheek play on words in this country, some large multinationals can really take offence to it."

"I don't blame them, Google's a great company. [But] from an international realistic point of view it was a bit silly, I don't think there was ever going to be any confusion and I don't think we were playing on their name enough that there was ever going to be any confusion about it," he added.

In regards to a previous claim against the Groggle trademark by discount alcohol website Boozle, Collie said that because the trademark had been withdrawn, the claim wouldn't apply but said he would have to wait and see if the company had a problem with the new name.

Google Australia had been contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of writing.

Topic: Google

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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8 comments
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  • Yes Cameron, and I should have no problem using the name Forsters Lager, for a new brand of beer !
    Wallingford-314a6
  • Common Sense, R.I.P.

    Now the little kid who invented the original word "googal" in the first place should be claiming royalties from "Google" due to the extreme similarity.
    Treknology
  • Haha that's ridiculous. It's not even that close. Terrible example.
    JimEllis
  • Wot.............................Forsters to Fosters, or Groggle to google. You have to be kidding ?
    Wallingford-314a6
  • It's not close. You're being a troll...
    DaleUSC
  • So Forsters to Fosters is not even close to Groggle to Google. Hells bells, I must come form a distant planet. Mind boggling to say the least, but I guess I will simply wear it ? (If you say so.)
    Wallingford-314a6
  • Which kid said that ?
    Wallingford-314a6
  • OK make it Frosters to Fosters ! Any better ?
    Wallingford-314a6