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National Arbitration Forum Dismisses Google Complaint

Thursday, November, 10, 2011


The National Arbitration Forum has dismissed a complaint filed by Google, Inc. over the ownership of domain names that closely resemble Google's own google.com.  At issue were three addresses known as "typo squatting sites:" goggle.net, goggle.com, and goggle.org.  The complaint was dismissed because the National Arbitration Forum felt it lacked the proper jurisdiction to settle the matter. 

 

The three sites are registered to David Csumrik, a businessman operating out of the Caribbean island nation of Barbados.  Their purpose appears to be to divert legitimate Google users to alternate sites where they are offered a survey that offers prizes including iPad computers.  Watchdog groups, however, warn that the purported survey is actually a scam.  According to the watchdog groups, the real purpose of the survey is simply to harvest e-mail addresses so that they can be spammed with large numbers of unwanted messages, most of them advertising emails.  Neither are there any real prizes to be won from the survey, according to these watchdog groups.

 

National Arbitration Forum Proved Unhelpful

 

The issue of typo squatting sites is a serious problem for companies and internet users alike.  Any website that receives a significant amount of traffic may become a victim of this strategy, which is frequently dealt with through intellectual property arbitration.  According to Benjamin G. Edelman of the Harvard Business School, some major websites have been the target of hundreds of typo squatting sites.