Google Wins Fight Over “Google Coronavirus” Domain Name

Google wins fight over “Google Coronavirus” domain name

Man agrees to give domain name to Google after facing cybersquatting complaint.

Picture of man wearing surgical mask with the word "Coronavirus" overlayed

A Massachusetts man who registered GoogleCoronavirus .com has agreed to hand it over to Google after the company filed a cybersquatting complaint.

Ben Ghosh registered the domain—at Google Domains, no less—on March 13. Google filed a cybersquatting complaint with National Arbitration Forum just three days later.

The domain name had a basic WordPress installation with no additional content.

Rather than fight the case, Ghosh consented to transfer the domain name to Google.

Companies have been registering domain names including their brands and terms like coronavirus and Covid-19 to protect against cybersquatting. For example, Facebook registered over 500 domain names including its brands and these terms.

It’s almost impossible to register every possible permutation. It probably makes sense for large websites to register obvious domains like brandCoronavirus. Beyond that, they can turn to cybersquatting mechanisms under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolutions Policy to get control of domains that people register.

Google also filed a case against CoronavirusGoogle .com, which was registered by Walter Lafky of Oregon. That case is still pending.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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