Google Going to Court Over Its Chinese Name

"Guge" name had already been registered when Google re-baptized itself that way

By on December 14th, 2007 14:35 GMT
The Chinese people have a problem pronouncing "Google" and despite the Western world is turning the noun into a verb in all its dictionaries, the far East is incapable of even mentioning it aloud, because it lacks the translation of it into any of their Kanji. For that reason, Google China decided to go for the closest thing to a homonym it could find for its brand name. The result was "Guge", which can be roughly translated through the words "valley" and "song".

Criticized at the time for the decision, "Valley" not being one of the best names you could find for a company on the rise because of its… downward inclination, if I may say so, it stuck for a while. That the Chinese refer to Google as Go-Go at the time being is an entirely different subject that I won't approach for now.

The name of Guge was registered in China by Google on the 24thof November, 2006, and that was a little over seven months since the name had been recorded the first time there, by Beijing Guge Sci-Tech Co., officially registered at the Beijing Municipal Industrial and Commercial Bureau, on April 19th of the same year.

And with justice in hand, what else was there for the Beijing company to do but sue, provided that the use of its name by Google did indeed lead to confusion and hurt its business, as it claims. Guge Sci-Tech wants Google to change its Chinese name and pay legal costs, according to court documents, but no specific sum has been mentioned, yet.

This must be a huge blow for the lawyers who haven't done their homework before giving the big OK on the furthering of the name up to the Bureau, but after taking into consideration that the word was not formerly registered in the Chinese dictionary - any dictionary, all they needed to do is check the files with the names of the companies. That couldn't have been that hard, could it?
Google China's homepage
   Google China's homepage
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