Google is reportedly going after a news outlet that religiously focuses on it. The Mountain View-based company has told 9to5Google that it is violating trademark by using its name in the site's moniker. While the technology blog figures out its next course of action, it says Google has also interdicted it from using AdSense, a Google-owned ad-networking business that many websites use to monetise their content.
Update: 9to5Google reports that Google has contacted it, and reinstated services. A Google representative was cited, "Our Policy Team has taken another look at this and decided to reinstate ad serving to your site. No further action is needed... Please reach out if you still have any issues with ads on your site."
Seth Weintraub, the founder and director at 9to5Google, wrote in a blog post about the ordeal, noting that Google didn't give the site an advance notice, and pulled AdSense support from the website on Wednesday. 9to5Google was founded in 2011.
"We are a news site dedicated to covering Google, not trying to masquerade as Google, so we're appealing this decision," he wrote. Meanwhile, the ad team wrote to Weintraub, explaining the situation and advised how he could legally use to continue to use Google's trademark. The letter has been posted by 9to5Google, and it takes a very apologetic tone about how the issue couldn't be helped - and how the Legal Trademark and Policy teams are required to act immediately - also implying knowledge that the letter would be publicly printed.
"We understand that you have been operating the site for many years and have even attended several Google hosted events without anyone bringing up an issue; however, our Legal Team must take action when they discover a trademark violation whether they discover it early on or much later," the letter reads.
While this may sound astounding to some, it is a real issue in the industry. Using someone's trademark in your domain name or other product, which may have some benefits, also exposes you to a range of legal issues that could happen years after you began the operation. For Google, or any other company, the issue is that if it doesn't defend it, the company risks losing the copyright as people would start assuming it as a genetic term.