Skip to main content domain was promoting malicious Chrome extensions, says Google

Google has a long-standing history of domain name disputes. Last month, the administrative panel of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center ruled in favor of the search giant in a recent Google LLC v. Lei Shi case. In May, Google submitted a complaint against a person named Lei Shi who is located in China, accusing them of infringing the Google Meet trademark by registering a domain name

Google has been providing users with voice and video calling services through Hangouts for quite some time now. Due to the growing demand for video conferencing technology in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Google publicly shifted its focus to improve and increase access to its video conferencing platform. As a result, Google renamed Hangouts Meet to Meet (Google Meet).

Google LLC v. Lei Shi Domain Name Dispute

According to a document describing case proceedings seen by Techtsp, the disputed domain name was registered by a China-based domain name registrar Chengdu West Dimension Digital Technology Co., Ltd. on March 27, 2020, days before Google officially confirmed that Hangouts is being rebranded as Meet. A California-based law firm Cooley LLP filed a domain name dispute on behalf of Google on May 22, 2020.

Potential harm to Google users

Google claimed the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark, as per the case document. Google also argued that Lei Shi is malicious in the registration and use of the disputed domain name. Google also testified that was directed at a website that induced Internet users to download malicious and deceptive Chrome extensions.

Google asserted that it did not authorize or license Lei Shi to use its trademark or register a disputed domain name with a trademark nor found any other circumstances in which Lei Shi has a right or legal interest in Google or the disputed domain name.

As a result, Google also asked the administrative panel to rule on the transfer of the disputed domain name to Google citing previous judgments on domain name disputes. Google said that it applied for the registration of in March 2020. 

Domain transfer under process

At the time of ruling on the case, the disputed domain name pointed to a pay-per-click website with the majority of URLs related to Google, according to the case document. All of these pieces of evidence together convinced the administrative panel to conclude that Lei Shi deliberately attempted to mislead people by using Google’s trademark for commercial gains.

Based on the evidentiary material submitted by Google, the administrative panel accepted Google’s claim. The administrative panel also found that the disputed domain name indeed constitutes a confusing similarity to Google Meet trademark.

On July 17, 2020, the administrative panel of WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center ruled on the transfer of to Google. According to the WHOIS search data, the domain name transfer is currently pending.

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