I am feeling Special – Google Cease & Desists Logo Use

by Frank Fuchs on August 20, 2007

So most of you will have probably already read about this at Philipp’s blog but for the two people reading my blog but not blogoscoped here is the story…

I checked my e-mails and found a refreshingly positive subject on one of the notes.

Unauthorized use of the GOOGLE logo on http://www.locallytype.com/pages/submit.htm

it said. And the sender was the “Google Trademark Enforcement Team” immediately raised a picture of the A-Team in my head.

The mail reads like this.

Dear Sir/Madam:
It has come to our attention that you are using the GOOGLE logo on your website (www.locallytype.com/pages/submit.htm) without our express written permission. Please note that we allow use of our logo only if we have granted express written permission;
see http://www.google.com/permissions/guidelines.html. Such unauthorized use constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition under both federal and state laws. It misleads consumers into believing that some association exists between you and Google; and it weakens the ability of the GOOGLE mark and name to identify a single source, namely, Google.In the hope that these events have resulted from your inadvertence rather than your deliberate actions, we ask that you contact us within seven calendar days of receiving this email message, and confirm that you will:

1. Cease and desist any further use of the GOOGLE mark and/or logos on your website and any solicitations, packaging, marketing, or other materials without our express written consent.

2. Take commercially reasonable measures to limit the unauthorized use of the GOOGLE mark and/or logos on materials that have already been created.

3. Agree not to use any trademarks owned by Google (including the Google logo) without the advance written consent of Google.Sincerely,The Google Trademark Enforcement Team

Again the A-Team picture 😀 – I changed the page and removed the Logos – and added a note where the Google logo had been placed.

Space formerly dedicated to a US startup that launched the second search engine with two OO in the name. Sadly this company has concerns with me using their logo and mark. So I had to remove mentioning and logo (due to the same reason there is a “hole” in the page header). Just so that you know this US startup does have a reasonably popular service in the wider area of local and maps – which now is no longer listed here. Special Thanks go to the OO people in Ireland! Really good use of ur time! And hey do a search for your company name and Logo and you will find like ~9mio results. So IMHO the job you guys have should be pretty safe over this summer holiday season! Cheers

I’ve replied as follows.

Hi Guys,Thanks for the note.I’ve removed the Logo from the page, and just wasn’t aware of the limitations. Sorry for that.But out of curiosity – I don’t make money off this page I’m just providing and overview of services – actually refer people to you. And there are millions of pages out there using your Logo to advertise their paid services – so how come you picked me?Uh and/or is this whole thing new?
Many Thanks

Not so really well formed response – but hey I’m German and I was so excited – it was the A-Team – uhm well sort of…

It would have been nice to hear back from the guys. I know – based on personal experience – that it’s impossible to please every customer/user with personal attention sometimes and there are bigger fishes out there to be prosecuted by the A-Team I know but still …

Well and so I contacted Philipp to get his opinion on this and to hear if he had heard about similar cases – he replied and proposed to blog about it to see what the blogsphere would make out of it.

So what is my take on this? After having slept over this – I still haven’t changed my mind – its just a little too bold to act like this, even if you are a big brand and you have to protect it, there should be a way to allow people like me to use the Logo without “express written permission”.

But to be fair I’ve had a look at our Brand Guidelines – that consist of 41 chapters! – and we are not really too different and pretty picky about our brand and logo etc. because of good reason – obviously 😉

Uh and I really don’t want to come up with examples of Google Logo use
that seem much more like an appropriate target for the TE team. But the
whole thing reminded me of a picture Barry posted, I’ve seen at Search
Engine Roundtable.

Internet cafe in Cairo 

I hope the guys did the right thing and asked for permission for this – as removing it might be a little harder than deleting a   😉

This post was written by...

– who has written 270 posts on LocallyType*.

OSS (Operating Systems & Services Evangelist at Microsoft formerly consultant at Valopex, Co-Founder Ypeas.com, Author & Speaker , ex Yahoo! Local & Maps / Answers, C64 Fanboy

Contact the author

Previous post:

Next post: