London: World’s dominant search engine Google, the behemoth with a market capitalisation of 250 billion dollars, has threatened a young South African with a lawsuit, claiming his website infringes its copyright
Andries Maree Van Der Merwe, who turns 23 this week, received a letter threatening legal action because his site’s name and logo are too similar to Google's.
Van Der Merwe, who runs the site named ‘Doogle’, vowed to fight all the way in what his lawyer describes as a "David and Goliath" contest, the Guardian reports.
He had set up Doogle after dropping out of school at 16 to look for a job.
“The name just popped into my head. I said, ''That''s the name I''m going for – people will remember it.'' I searched domain names and it was available,” he recalled.
"For a year or so I suffered. I had nothing. I''m still using a computer I bought at a pawn shop for 600 rand and it's very slow,” he added.
Van Der Merwe said thet Google had complained that his logo and search engine infringe its copyright and there is a danger that users will assume Doogle is associated with Google.
He rejects the claims and has offered to place a notice on his site distancing it from Google.
According to the paper, his lawyer, Emmie de Kock, said her firm had been instructed to represent Doogle ‘in a possible David-Goliath battle against giant search engine Google’.
“The services provided by Doogle-it are distinguishable from the services of Google in the sense that Doogle-it provides online search facilities on its website for specific directories relating to businesses, job seekers, property listings and motor trading, for entries registered on its local databases,” she added.
First Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012, 14:54