Google has won control over the domain name Googletranslate.com 11 years after it was registered, in a one member UDRP panel decision.
The domain name undoubtedly got a lot of traffic over the years making its owners a lot of money.
The domain GoogleTranslate.com has an Alexa ranking in the US of 226,000
Why Google waited 11 years to go after a direct match .com of one of its popular products is a real head scratcher but not unprecedented.
In 2013, Google won control over the domain name GoogleMap.com, 8 years after the domain name was first registered.
GoogleMap.com was another domain that had a lot of traffic making its owner a lot of money.
As we have stated before trademark holders have contributed greatly to the success of cybersquatters by allowing people to make lots of money on trademarked domains for a long period of time.
The UDRP panel of Debrett G. Lyons, questioned the long delay in Google taking action on the domain name and took issue with Google’s presentation of its case which she seemed less than impressed by:
“Given that the Complaint has been prepared on behalf of one of the largest commercial enterprises in the world, Panel is surprised to find that it is very casually reasoned. ”
“Complainant’s representatives are untroubled by the many UDRP cases which have considered laches as a possible reason to deny a complaint. ”
“The Complaint is silent on the decade long delay in the commencement of these administrative proceedings, a matter that calls for explanation. Moreover, that unexplained delay sits uncomfortably with the close timing in terms of the claimed first use of the expression GOOGLE TRANSLATE by Complainant and the date of registration of the domain name.
The domain name was registered in July 2004.
The Complaint states that Complainant “has made extensive use of the GOOGLE and GOOGLE TRANSLATE marks in connection with its online translation services at translate.google.com since at least as early as 2003.”
That claim is not supported by the evidence.
The evidence filed with the Complaint references the current popularity of the translation service provided under the GOOGLE TRANSLATE trademark, a fact essentially known to all and which does not assist Panel.
Otherwise, the evidence carries an oblique reference to the genesis of the project in 2001 and to a full service capability in 2008.
The only respectable argument based on the evidence filed with the Complaint is that the trademark GOOGLE was clearly well known by that time. The unavoidable inference is that registration of the domain name was made in the knowledge of Complainant’s GOOGLE trademark and business.
That being so, it can be inferred further that the domain name was registered in bad faith since it combines the arbitrary, invented word, GOOGLE, with the purely descriptive word, “translate”.
Even if GOOGLE TRANSLATE was not yet in public use in July 2004, or the launch of a translation service under the GOOGLE name was not yet known, it remains that such a service was a likely extension of Complainant’s business and so there is no good faith explanation as to why Respondent should have registered the disputed domain name.”