Firefly Digital , a Web site design, development and hosting company, filed a federal lawsuit against Google last week, alleging the Internet search engine giant infringed on two of its registered trademarks.
The trademarks are for its “Website Gadget,” a content management system, and “Gadget,” a user-friendly application that works with its “Website Gadget.”
The company received a state trademark for “Website Gadget” in 2002 and federal trademarks for both in 2009.
In the lawsuit, the company alleges that Google’s use of features and programs, such as “Google Gadgets,” “Google Gadgets Editor,” “Google Gadget Ventures,” Gadgets API,” and “Gadget” has created a likelihood of injury to Firefly’s business reputation and a weakening of the distinctive quality of Firefly’s famous marks.
On Friday, Spears said the case is “about a small business standing up for its rights, even if that means going up against an industry giant like Google.”
Andrew Pederson, a spokesman for Google, said Friday the company believes the claims are entirely without merit and “we will defend against them vigorously.”
Spears said he believes otherwise and the company’s trademarks represent a significant innovation in Web technology and “a significant investment in not only our product but the trademarks as well.”
Spears added that the terms are more than mere words.
“They embody our passion, our vision and our values,” Spears said. “They are descriptive of our products on many levels. Firefly is a business given life through ingenuity, hard work, the contributions of our employees and the trust of the many clients we serve. We’re prepared to protect that.”
We have written often on the fact that every dictionary word has been trademarked.
We also know that trademark groups are pushing for even stronger enforcement laws and the Utah trademark law flew through committee this week on the way to what looks like a quick passage.
It maybe the only hope we have, are suits like this, against companies like Google, will illustrate to how even the big boys can be negative effected by over broad, over reaching trademarks and will bring to light this problem all domainers face and slow the trademark train down