Chinese Translation Ours, Company Tells Google

Beijing outfit wants search engine to pick new Far East moniker, pay damages
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2007 3:24 PM CST
Workers clear a stage ahead Google global Chinese name launch ceremony April 12, 2006 in Beijing, China. Google said it has adopted the Chinese-language brand name 'Gu Ge' for its Chinese operations,...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A Beijing company has sued Google over the search engine’s Chinese name, insisting it registered “Guge” first—and that the Californians should pick a new Far East handle. Beijing Guge Sci-Tech says it claimed the name in April 2006, while its nominal American competition didn’t make its Chinese presence official until November of that year, the AP reports.

Google doesn’t dispute the chronology, but says its Chinese name—not a real word, but rather two characters meaning “valley” and “song”—was widely reported on the web before last April. But Beijing Guge SciTech claims the confusion has hurt its business, and wants Google to back off by changing its name—and, of course, pay damages.