In a somewhat confusing set of events Google has been awarded the use of their country-specific brand, Gu Ge, by Chinese courts. Bejing GuGe Science & Technology Corp was ordered to pay Google 100,000 yuan or about $14,624 in the suit and to relinquish the brand to Google.
According to a Reuters report from 2007, Bejing GuGe initially filed suit against Google for alleged trademark infringement. It’s unclear when the turnaround came and Google filed the countersuit against Bejing GuGe.
Articles I found offered conflicting information. It seems the trademark timeline in question was pretty rocky. One source indicates Google filed their initial trademark paperwork in January of ’06 while Bejing GuGe filed for their trademark in March 2006. Another article indicates Google filed for the trademark in November of 2006.
Luckily it was up to the Chinese courts (and not me) to sort this all out—awarding Google the right to be Gu Ge in China.
Carrie Hill is the SEO Team leader for Blizzard Internet Marketing where she specializes in optimizing travel, tourism and accommodations websites.