Shades of confusion

Why Google just recently got google.no.

Nonsense from the Google Blog:

You’ve probably wondered why there’s never been a Google domain in Norway. As it turns out, our name means „sunglasses“ in Norwegian, and, well, even the non-lawyers can see where this sort of problem leads.

Google does not mean „sunglasses“ in Norwegian — try „solbriller“. Aftenposten has the real story: The Norwegian company SMSfun registered the domain in 2001 when the Norwegian domain registry dropped the tight registration rules. In May 2002, the site carried a short message: „We will soon open the doors to our exciting shop with the most googly sunglasses on the market“. Later that year, google.no turned into a semi-protest, semi-shopping site where you could buy sunglasses with the domain name printed on it. It contained a link to shopstop.no which at that time contained a lengthy explanation by the SMSfun director. Part of it read: „I associated the name [google.no] with the English word for sunglasses, even if after having looked at the english word list I quickly found that it wasn’t quite right.“ Very credible to confuse goggles and Google considering that the search engine already had passed 100 million queries a day at that time. SMSfun won the first court case, but lost the appeal and had to turn over the domain name to Google, Inc.

1 Kommentar

  • Die norwegische Sprache ist aber auch so erfindungsreich, dass man durchaus annehmen kann, irgendwo in Grünnerlokka sagt man durchaus Google (Gühgäll) zu Sonnenbrillen. Ok. Dort scheint eh nie die Sonne.