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Thursday, April 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Google Seeks Protection From Alleged Harassment

(CN) - Google asked a federal judge in Chicago to stop two companies from allegedly trying to extort money from the Internet giant by falsely claiming rights to its Google trademark and filing sham trademark litigation.

Google told U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall that it needed an injunction against Central Manufacturing and Stealth Industries to "avoid a repetition of Defendants' long-standing pattern of misconduct."

According to Google, Central and Stealth falsely claimed to own thousands of marks over the past decade and harassed hundreds of businesses, saying they needed to pay up or face a lawsuit.

If victims refused to pay, Google says, Central and Stealth filed suit to extract settlements, despite losing repeatedly in court.

In two such cases, courts found that the defendants offered "questionable and seemingly fantastical documents" and false testimony, and that their baseless motions "made a mockery of the entire proceeding" and evinced a "flagrant contempt" for the court, Google says.

Central and Stealth also filed more than 1,800 requests for extensions to oppose trademark registration applications in order to extort money from the applicants, Google claims.

When Google tried to register its "Google" mark, Central and Stealth allegedly sent a letter from "Google Brand Products & Services," threatening to sue Google. They demanded that Google either pay them $100,000 or a percentage of profits to rent the mark, or stop using the Google mark.

Google says the defendants admitted to targeting Google in order to produce a "cloud" over Google's rights and to damage its business.

Google claims Stealth threatened to accuse Google executives of perjury and to publicize the allegations, which they claimed would drive down its stock price and "result in 'the total destruction' of Google."

Google says an injunction is necessary to stop the "ongoing" misconduct and make sure it doesn't happen again.

The Internet search giant is represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges in Los Angeles and by Stetler & Duffy in Chicago.

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