Saturday 21 April 2018

Google moves to block Groggle over 'similar trademark'

Bonnie Malkin in Sydney

Internet search giant Google has threatened an Australian businessman with legal action if he tries to register his company Groggle as a trademark.

Cameron Collie has spent two years setting up the alcohol price comparison website, and was in the process of getting the name Groggle trademarked when he received a letter from Google claiming the name was "substantially identical with and deceptively similar to" its own trademarks.

The letter came after Mr Collie, 36, had spent thousands of dollars setting up the company and buying the relevant domain names on the internet.

The site, which allows consumers to search for the cheapest price alcohol - or grog - in their area, was in the beta test phase and Collie was planning a formal launch within weeks, as well as an accompanying iPhone app.

His trademark application had been accepted by IP Australia, which grants rights in patents, trademarks, and designs, when the cease and desist letter arrived.

The letter demands that Mr Collie withdraw his trademark application, change the company name and transfer all domain names to Google, according to the Sydney Morning Herald's website.

If Mr Collie does not comply with its demands the letter said Google would "make an urgent application to the court seeking interlocutory injunctions restraining Groggle and its directors".

Mr Collie told that he could not afford to fight Google in the courts.

"We don't have the financial backing to fight them on this, we just want them to reconsider because it's just crazy," he said.

Mr Collie said that Groggle was simply a play on the word grog, Australian slang for alcohol, and he had decided on the name after discovering that was taken.

"We want Google to reconsider and realise that we're not a threat and never will be," he said.

Google Australia have declined to comment.

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