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Friday, August 17, 2007

Google Cease & Desists Logo Use

Frank Fuchs, a regular reader and tip provider here, created a rather innocent page titled “Guide On HowTo Get Your Business Listed On Major Local Search Engines”. On it, he mentions local search engines like Yahoo Local, Ask City or Google Maps, as well as yellow pages services such as And he happened to use the logo of each service next to his short description. Here’s a screenshot of what the page looked like not too long ago:

Innocent? Well, not by Google’s standards. Frank (who works for Yahoo) received the following Cease & Desist email from the “Google Trademark Enforcement Team”:

Dear Sir/Madam:

It has come to our attention that you are using the GOOGLE logo on your website ( without our express written permission. Please note that we allow use of our logo only if we have granted express written permission; see 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.


The Google Trademark Enforcement Team

Frank, accused of “misleading consumers”, removed the entry and logo on Google Maps now. He says, “I’m not the only one using their logo, and I don’t even use it to make money or to discredit them. After all, I’m sending them visitors.”

[Thanks Frank!]


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