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'Fake' Google dating sites taken down

Google UK forces Dutch man to close domains

The Dutchman who had a conflict with Google UK about a number of domain names has stopped using the domains.

Internet entrepreneur Marcel van der Werf owned eleven domain names that used the word 'google' or 'froogle' in their addresses: seven were .nl domains, three .eu and one .com.

Because some of the sites were hosted in the UK, it was Google's UK subsidiary that asked Van der Werf to stop using addresses with the company’s trademark in them. Van der Werf refused, arguing that a word in a URL is not related to a product or a registered trademark.

Last week, Google UK announced plans to file a lawsuit against him. On Tuesday Van der Werf agreed to stop using the domains immediately. "All Google links are now offline and taken off registration to prevent further escalation of the juridical conflict," Van der Werf said.

The dating websites that Van der Werf operated under the addresses googledatingsite.com and googledatingsite.nl are now available at vistadating.com and vipmatching.eu.

Van der Werf said he felt intimidated by Google, which had threatened to ask his hosting provider to block the websites.

Last week, Google UK stated that the accusations being made by Van der Werf were "factually inaccurate and legally baseless”.

Van der Werf had registered the following domains: googleh.nl, googlecommunity.nl, googlestore.nl, googlekijiji.nl, googleonlineshop.nl, googleonlineshop.eu, googlestore.eu, googledatingsite.nl, googledatingsite.com, froogleonlineshop.nl and froogleonlineshop.eu.


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