2005-05-09

Trademark problems

It was bound to happen, I guess. Both Yahoo! and Google have issued notices of trademark infringements. Instead of contacting me directly, they sent intimidating e-mails to my DNS provider. I have tried to argue with them, but have not had any success with that (yet). So what do you think I should do?
  1. Try to reach an agreement. Do you have any suggestions on how to convince them?
  2. Stand on the barricades, claiming there is not sufficient likelihood of confusion or risk of trademark dilution. Do you know any lawyers with experience in U.S. trademark law willing to assist me?
  3. Drop it and start using jaguhugel.com instead Perhaps you have a different suggestion for a domain name?
I would very much like some feedback from you on this issue. Just leave a comment on this blog post, or contact me on asgeirn at gmail.

30 comments:

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Etienne said...

I don't know man...

I think it was a great idea, wasn't it an April Fool's joke? Either way, if this was years ago, maybe everybody would have a sense of humor about it but now there are billions of dollars at stake and people get really cold and heartless.

It's all business.

Unless you can get some press behind you, I would look at my cards one last time and fold the current name (Sorry watching poker on tv)

Good luck

roth said...

i say you should fight this thing till the end.

manuvns said...

i think this site is a waste of time .

luddista said...

As far as I concern, who´s right on Justice decisions is who has the best (and most expensive) lawer. And as far as I concern, you don´t have money to pay better lawers than google or yahoo...

So, try to fight till the end, make some press scandal and, if their lawers or the FBI knock on your door, move on to the other address...

quasimodo said...

Definetly keep the domain name dude. You already have the traffic. You cannot afford to lose that. Change the logo a little. Use different fonts and maybe slightly different colors.

That's my two cents.

Mayunk said...

I think what the last guy said makes sense. It is cheaper to hire a good designer than to hire a lawyer. Maybe you can swap the logo styles and display yahoo in the fonts of google and vice-versa. That way you retain the "look" and are legally safe.

Hope you manage to retain the site and the name. I think it's very cool.

Good luck

Saboo said...

WEll.I think this site is a great idea. However, I don't see their problem as they both get equal space and you give them copyright on the home page.

They are just being nasty. Tell them that you are giving FREE advertising for them, so they shouldn't cry like little babies.

Secretary said...

I think you might want to change the domain name UNLESS you can get some press!

Get some press out of it before you start changing domain names or taking any action. You should type up a simple press release and then send it to the major newspapers. Find a list of them on the net, then start distributing. :)

Good luck!

Sheila

Nicholas Durant said...

I think what Mayunk said is right. Try to find some low down dirty way around it. Make the min amount of changes needed to get them off your back. Also if you’re not in this for the money, post your code so others can install this on there web servers. I do have my own server and I would hate to see yagoohoo!gle go away.

Trikobalt

ronkymac said...

Sorry to be a spoilsport, but I can see where both Google and Yahoo! are coming from.

If you think about it, they have spent quite some time trying to make their logos recognisable, so mangling their logos won't make them very happy.

They have every right to claim that you are infringing on trademark laws. The creation of logos such as YaGoohoo!gle is completely undermining the point of these trademark laws.

If I were you, I'd bring down the site until you make up your own logo. Both Google and Yahoo! have huge networks of lawyers to back them up, and both will simply crush any opposing parties, such as yourself.

After all, technically, you are 'stealing' the results from their databases to use on your own site.

Great idea, but you're going the wrong way about implementing it.

Ronald.

_______________
www.musdev.net

Administrator said...

If I were you I would try to get a trademark attorney to talk to the board @ each company personally. Perhaps there is an attorney that could do this pro bono. Personally I wouldn't be intimidated by an email "supposedly" from these companies. Let's face it people get away with sending mail from other peoples email addresses all the time. I think it would be benificial to you to explore pros and cons of fighting this. Ie: what could they sue you for, how much?, What are the chances you could prevail in court?. And of course don't forget to explore the possiblity of suing them.? It would be costly but it would get you a whole lot more press. Cant you just see it now?!?!:)

All joking aside it's a great site, it's nice to have the best of both worlds. As far as I'm concerned they have enough money as it is. I can't exactly see you running them out of business. If nothing else you can use this to spice up your resume`

Good Luck!

PS They can't take the domain name from you. I would make the site a "memorial" if you fail.

Angelo Embuldeniya (Strav) said...

why not just include a foot note on the homepage saying " logos were used for demonstrational pruposes only"

I haven't yet been served up with intimidating emails from yahoo, google nor msn, but it's probably my turn next as well.

Someone from Slovenia sent me this fan logo of the site, using the name, but che's changes the colors and stuff. i think if u were to do the same it may work.

Good luck with it all :)

secretdubai said...

First and foremost, protect yourself. Change the style of the logo at least. At least make it appear to both Google and Yahoo that you are attempting to cooperate.

Then try to find a lawyer specialised in this field, who may represent you for free/low cost. There are organisations out there campaigning for the "little people" because they believe in the open source, community spirit of the internet.

I can't see that what you are doing from technical side is an infringement: I mean how many sites are out there with their own "Google" search boxes?

At the end of the day, you have created a brilliantly useful, brilliantly clever resource.

secretdubai said...

Twingine looks great - it's also much more memorable. The Yagooghoogle is much harder to remember and spell correctly!

Christian Zaguetti said...

I´d like to congratulate you for this great idea! I Always use YaGoohoo!gle.
If you want to translate something in future for the Portuguese, maybe I can help you.
I thing you have to continue with this idea and the name to the site… humm... maybe something like commercial name: searchbox.com ou mixedsearch.com
Good look from Brazil...

Fastoh said...

http://www.gooyaglehoo.com/ or http://www.splitsearch.com/ your evil twins are in operation.

Ryan said...

Hi, im Ryan from rjnsmith (http://rjnsmith.com) Here is a picture you could use, totally different colors, and googles font is 100% different! Think this would work? I would like some cridit if you use it... I am unable to post it here, so here is the site you can find it at
http://rjnsmith.com/search/yagoohoogle.htm

Timmy Wong said...

jaguhugel.com! I love it!

Timmy Wong said...

Between jaguhugle.com and twingine.com, I prefer jaguhugle.com. Anyone want to start a poll?

Michael said...

Though YahooGoogle is great, the phonic-alternative is also cool:
jaguhugle.com.
And, not to self-promote, I work in PR and would offer to help promote the site. Or, give you some good more tech PR references who could help.
Regardless, good luck.

sky2k4 said...

twinblooble might be a good name,lol ...name it something simular to youre current name ..But they can get ya for ryming the names too..You dont want to go to court they are big and youre taking a service away from them in actuality..i have you on my new site now so good luck and keep me informed!

littleoslo said...

Jeg har laget dette og tror du jeg snart får problemer som du har fått?

Også jeg fikk masse trafikk etter å ha vært rapportert på boing boing.

http://littleoslo.com/eng/blogpoly.htm

lsdb said...

hi there!
i don't understand what their problem is. and you know what? don't ask me how i know, but i do know that Y!/google DO use your site to compare search result performance. so there is some kind of hypocrisy going round.i suppose they like to compare performance but not in the public eye. (would be like comparing penis size in the open)

anyhow. congrats on the great functionality, if it is just a matter of logo/brand, looks like u found out how to get round it.
and don't worry, both yahoo and google will keep using your site;)

RCH said...

For the Logo: How about the name Ya!Goo-Who?gle, and reverse the colors. In other words make Google all red and color Yahoo with Googles colors. By changing hoo to who and adding the "?", it's all new. Hey it's their fault they didn't come up with the idea.

Evan said...

Let's see here...
Yahoo and Google are being idiots. You are giving them free advertising! I can sort of see where they are coming from though. If it comes down to where you have to change the name, I like jaguhugel best.

GeoNeo451 said...

You should search YaGoohoogle to see if it has a copyright or trademark on it and if not, then grab it as fast as you can man. Change the font and color of logo and your done. They cannot touch you. All they can do is send you bully letters. Don't back down and sue them for harassment. Get the media on it. I first heard of you on G4TV, blog there help.

GeoNeo451 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Baladarren said...

Dude u should use DUAL SEARCH as a name cause its sounds better then Twingine

Adam said...

is there anyway that you could post the code for twingine? I'm interested in using it for more than just google and yahoo (i think it'd be cool if you could have a segment that did ebay and froogle) Anyway, it would be for personal use and I can give you scouts honor that it wouldnt' be posted online, if not, could you at least give me a push in the right direction for the coding so I can do it myself. I am but a wee young lad, and have not yet mastered any coding lanuguages other than html and a little bit of java. I just think that there are so many different possibilities for this code and I would like to see it turned into open source... if not, could you PLEASE email it to me at Adam.mp3.storage@gmail.com? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated, I have all summer to tool around with this stuff and I would love to help develope cool ideas for both myself and to resubmit to you to make this site as good as it can be.