Google is an American internet company founded in 1998, best known for the world’s most used search service. Today, Google is one of the world’s highest-valued companies and has one of the world’s highest-valued brands. In 2003, Groth & Co assisted Google in registering google.se and represented Google in a dispute regarding the same domain name.
Google was founded on 4 September 1998 by two PhD students – Larry Page and Sergey Brin– at Stanford University in California. At the time, existing search engines ranked search queries by looking at how many times the search term was written on a particular webpage. Page and Brin instead developed a ranking system based on relevance, which gave the searcher a better search result. The search engine therefore rapidly became popular both in the United States and internationally.
The name Google comes from the mathematical term “googol”, which denotes the number 10100. Today, Google’s brand is valued at $120 billion (2018), making it one of the world’s three most valuable brands.
In 2003, Groth & Co assisted Google in registering the domain name google.se. But this was no straight forward task. Back in 2000, Google had launched its search engine in Swedish, but then via the domain name google.com. Due to the current registration rules in Sweden, a U.S. company could not apply for a domain name under the Swedish top-level domain .se. Unfortunately, in spring of 2003, a Swedish IT company registered the domain name google.se. From our and Google’s point of view, it was likely that this had been done in bad faith to sponge on Google’s well-known brand and great goodwill. A website was not yet launched on the domain when we initiated a simplified dispute resolution (ATF) at the Internet Foundation in Sweden, IIS, with the aim of getting the domain name transferred to Google. We submitted comprehensive argumentation containing material linked to Google and its trademark both globally and in Sweden. IIS decided in our favor and the domain name was transferred to Google. Later, we also assisted Google in registering a number of domain names regarding Youtube and we registered Gmail as a trademark nationally in Sweden in 2008.
In Sweden, the Google search service has a strong position. 98-99% of 16-65-year-olds use Google at some point to search for information (2018). Globally, the same figure is 93% (2018). But in China, only 2.5% of internet users use Google (2018). Instead, domestic search engine Baidu dominates.
Over the years, the search engine has improved, including through features such as personalised search results and automatic completion of entered search terms. But Google has also grown into one of the world’s largest media companies and has services far beyond the first search engine. The company provides many other services such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Translate, Google Ads, Google Earth, Google Analytics and more. Google is considered to be one of the top performing tech companies on the US stock exchange, alongside the other internet giants Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Netflix. Together, these companies are often called the FAANG companies.