Google brought to Irish court over copyright infringement claims

6 Apr 2017

Google. Image: 360b/Shutterstock

A German company called TeamDrive Systems is suing Google for use of the name ‘Team Drives’, claiming that it infringes on its copyright.

TeamDrive Systems GmbH has a bee in its bonnet following Google’s late 2016 product rebrand, with the latter’s tool for business file sharing, ‘Team Drives’, sounding a little too familiar to the German company.

TeamDrive Systems makes similar cloud-based, collaborative, file-sharing software and, as Google’s product and name are quite similar, it has brought the tech giant to the Irish High Court.

TeamDrive Systems accused Google of trying to misappropriate its name, which has been registered under its trademark for more than a decade.

Interestingly, it wants an interlocutory injunction to bar Google from using ‘Team Drives’ as a name for its product, which it believes is “inferior” throughout the EU, according to The Times.

Google denies that it has infringed on any copyright. The case was put before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan yesterday (5 April), and is adjourned until next month to allow both parties to exchange legal documents.

According to The Irish Times, TeamDrive Systems also lodged proceedings against Google before the German courts some months ago, with a potential issue relating to jurisdiction.

Another headache

Google’s 2017 has been remarkably rocky so far, with its wildly successful YouTube operation undergoing some turmoil of late.

Last month, British government agency adverts began cropping up on extremist videos on YouTube. Content from the likes of the Home Office, the Royal Navy and BBC appeared on the controversial videos, with the decision to cancel advertising catching on quite fast.

Advertisers such as McDonald’s, Toyota and Audi soon pulled their ads after similar concerns. AT&T and Verizon followed, joined by pharma groups GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson.

In total, five of the top 20 US advertisers have boycotted YouTube, as well as other global brands, numbered in the dozens.

Analysts at Nomura Instinet have now claimed that the final cost for YouTube owner Google could be as high as $750m.

Google. Image: 360b/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic