Search giant Google Inc. has the rights to domain names that are similar to its own, the National Arbitration Forum ruled Friday.
The NAF, Minneapolis, said Google has rights to googkle.com, ghoogle.com, gfoogle.com and gooigle.com, even though an individual, Sergey Gridasov, had registered those names.
“We are pleased with the decision,” said Steve Langdon, a Google spokesman.
The NAF said that a company, Computer Services Langenbach Gmbh, doing business as Joker.com, was using the “mistyped” domain names to direct Internet users to Web sites that try to download viruses and spyware to the users' computers. In addition, those sites contained links to various products unrelated to Google.
Google filed the complaint against Gridasov on May 11, saying the mistyped domain names are “confusingly similar” to Google's marks. Gridasov and Computer Services did not respond to the complaint.
The NAF said that Computer Services is engaging in “typosquatting,” taking advantage of a potential typographical error made by Internet users seeking to reach Google's site.
“Typosquatting is itself evidence of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name,” the NAF wrote in its decision.
Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters