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Googles v. Google

 

Steven Silvers, is the creator of animated characters known as "Googles," described as "lovable, friendly four-eyed alien creatures that live on the planet of Goo" that are used to "communicate to children in non-violent themes social lessons, conceptual awareness and educational values, and give children of today, visions of tomorrow." Silvers alleges that he developed the Googles concept in the late 1970s, and began using the name as early as the mid-1980s. In 1997, Silvers obtained the Internet domain name, "googles.com".

Stelor, now the legal owner of the Googles mark, alleges that the Google search engine (along with its related goods and services) "has become so well-known... that it now overwhelms the public recognition of the "Googles' trademark, domain name, and Website, and is preventing Stelor from flourishing on the Web or entering new markets..." It further claims that "Google's infringing use of the name 'Google,' which is substantially identical to Silvers' 'Googles' mark, has caused, and will continue to cause, 'reverse confusion' in that the consuming public will now falsely believe that Stelor's goods and services, 'googles.com' domain name, and Website, are connected, affiliated, associated, sponsored, endorsed or approved by Google, and that Google is the source of origin of the 'Googles' concept, books, music, 'googles.com' domain name, Website, merchandise, and related goods and services..." Stelor now pursues the four-count amended complaint, originally filed by Silvers against Google, alleging trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. 1114, unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. 1125(a), unfair competition under Florida law, and "cancellation of Defendant's registration." 

 

In September 2008 the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied Stelor Productions Inc.'s motion to compel defendan's principals, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page for deposition. Stelor had claimed that only Page and Brin have knowledge of (1) the background and evidence related to the first commercial use of the Google mark, (2) the Google, Inc. applications for trademark registrations, and (3) the statements made by the Google principals under oath in support of those applications. Stelor now must first take the deposition of Rose Hagan, Google's Rule 30(b)(6) representative.

 

For court documents see: Stelor Productions, Inc. v. Ooogles n Googles et al, Justia

 

 

 

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