Evangelical group sues Google
Jews for Jesus says blog hosted by the Internet search firm infringes on its trademark.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Christian evangelical group Jews for Jesus is suing Google Inc., saying a Web log hosted through the Internet search leader’s Blogspot service infringes its trademark.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York on Wednesday, seeks to force Google (Research) to give Jews for Jesus control of the site as well as unspecified monetary damages.
“We have a right to our own name and Google has allowed the use of our name on Blogspot without our permission,” said Susan Perlman, associate executive director with Jews for Jesus.
“Our reputation is at stake,” Perlman told Reuters.
Google’s Blogspot and Blogger services allow people to set up Web logs, or online journals known as “blogs” for short, for free. A Google spokesman declined to comment, saying the firm had not yet reviewed the lawsuit.
The disputed blog, http://jewsforjesus.blogspot.com, was started in January 2005 by someone taking the name “Whistle Blower” and airing critical views of the San Francisco-based organization, which seeks to convert Jews to Christianity.
The site has only three entries, the last of which was made on May 9.
Comments on the blog showed that Jews for Jesus attempted to persuade Whistle Blower to transfer the domain to the group but was rebuffed.
Perlman said the critical tone was not behind the suit.
“One of the wonderful things about the Internet is that there is freedom of expression, but there should be a protection … so that organizations like ours can represent ourselves,” Perlman said.