Googles can sue Google appeals court rules that SM Kids can sue Google

It seems before the search juggernaut came along there was a children’s company called Googles Children’s Workshop. In 1997 they registered the trademark GOOGLES. They of course also registered the domain name Googles.com.

The website did not launch until 1998 when that little company in Mountain View came on the scene. While they have many tm’s Google’s first tm looks to have been given in 2004. It was in 1999 but not registered til 2004.

In 2005 Googles Children’s Workshop sued Google for trademark infringement.

From JDsupra.com:

In 2007, the Googles Children’s Workshop founder assigned all rights in the mark GOOGLES to Stelor Productions. In 2008, Stelor and Google settled the trademark infringement dispute, with Google agreeing to not intentionally make material modifications to its then-current offering of products and services in a manner that would likely create confusion in connection with the Children’s Workshop mark GOOGLES. Specifically, Google agreed not to create, develop and publish children’s books and fictional children’s content with the title of “GOOGLE or a GOOGLE-.”

So it looks like everything cool, not so fast. Googles Children’s workshop goes through many corporate changes with the intellectual property getting assigned to new businesses.

The current holder of the Googles ip believes Google violated the agreement when they launched Google Play and You Tube for Kids.

From the article:

In February 2018, SM Kids sued Google and its affiliates for breach of the 2008 settlement agreement. SM Kids alleged that Google had breached the agreement by creating Google Play and YouTube Kids, which publish and distribute children’s content. SM Kids also objected to Google’s acquisition of several children’s entertainment businesses, including Launchpad Toys and the “Toontastic” application.

Google argued that the trademark was not being used by SM Kids in the marketplace so they were really not the holder of the trademark. The district court treated this deficiency as jurisdictional and granted Google’s motion to dismiss.

SM Kids appealed and The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated and remanded the district court’s dismissal.

Interestingly there are other companies with live marks on Googles. It will be interesting to see if SM Kids wins.

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