Two big, uh, points against Booble

google, grab bag, law, society, technology, wackiness

I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV. But I did graduate from law school and I know a pretty open-and-shut case when I see one.

Booble, the “adult search engine” that is claiming to be a “parody” of Google, has been sent a takedown notice by the latter and has subsequently sent a defiant reply, perhaps just milking this for all the free publicity.

It’s pretty clear to me that Booble’s lawyers should have used training bras before filing their argument, because while they may be abreast of (mostly) relevant case law, they’re nonetheless gonna be sadly deflated from a court loss.

Here’s why:

– Booble has not done enough to be seen as a parody rather than a predator
Had the Booble folks been a little less airheady, they would have included a PROMINENT disclaimer at the TOP of their pages, rather than in tiny point at the bottom. Additionally, Booble is directly profiting from Google’s likeness (via porn site sponsorships)!

– Booble is profiting from business in Google’s space!
By positioning itself within Google’s space, not only does Booble cause likely consumer confusion, it also directly competes with Google (where undoubtedly people seeking porn often turn to for their needs).

Booble’s going down. The only questions are what damages will be assessed, and whether Booble will have the assets to pay up.

6 comments… add one
  • SAB Feb 4, 2004

    I agree that most of the ?legal? advice Booble claims looks like its lawyers were in training bras, but it is a good, but sleazy publicity effort.  Booble may have known its legal argument is laughable, but went ahead for the publicity.

    Designed with a striking resembleance to Google, a new pornography search engine was launched on January 20.  Booble.com was hit with so much traffic just 24 hours after its launch that its servers went down temporarily, trying to serve over 100,000 requests.  How was this ?marketing success? achieved?

    Remember MikeRoweSoft vs Microsoft.  Microsoft conceded that it may have taken its trademark rights ?a little too seriously? in pursuing the 17-year-old Canadian high school student and settled amicably. The settlement followed a crush of international publicity, much of it casting Microsoft as Goliath vs. Rowe as David, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of visitors to MikeRoweSoft.com.

    One week later, Booble appears sending press releases positioning itself to be the David in a fight against Google, which it claims it merely wants to parody. 

    But Booble?s founder is no Mike Rowe.  Booble?s founder has an established sister porn site, Sir Rodney.com.  Mike Rowe was also not earning money from everyone of click as Booble/SirRodney does.  Unlike Mike Rowe, Booble?s founder is too embarrassed to give his name because he does not want to be associated with porn, while at the same time mocking Google for not wanting to be associated with his porn.

    I have never been a fan of large companies over aggressively enforcing their trademark rights a position I have stated in my eBook on business domain names, at seemly.com. But in this case, it?s likely that Booble intentionally got itself into this trademark mess for the publicity and is a disgrace to legitimate trademark difficulties such as MikeRoweSoft.

    A harmless publicity stunt?  Not to Google?s image or legal costs. 

    —-

    ADAM’S ADDENDUM:
    This is a thoughtful and appreciated comment.  However, I must respectfully warn my visitors that the link below opens up both a PDF file and a popup :|.  IMHO, that’s not very friendly, but after some consideration, I’ve decided to not remove the link.

  • ... Mar 18, 2004

    This war will never stop. Check out http://www.freebooble.com !

  • Palmetto Oct 26, 2006

    Palmetto

  • James Mar 11, 2008

    That should be banned by Google, if Google really believe it’s a direct competitor than why Google gives space to it.

  • tim Jul 2, 2009

    i guess you were all wrong, it’s still up and running strong.

  • dodage2 Aug 20, 2009

    Most of the chicks on there are so ugly with ugly boobs..the boob contest is a joke..ugliest girl wins or worst boobs?

What do you think?