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Google Sues ‘Poor’ London Cab Driver Who Named His Company Goooglie

Ellen Milligan

(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s “mighty” Google faced an unlikely figure in a London court on Monday: a cab driver from South London.

The search company sued Goooglie Cars’ sole director Sohail Nagi for 10,000 pounds ($12,800), arguing the cabby had been “unfairly free-riding off its reputation” by presenting the company name in Google’s style -- using a very similar font and color scheme as the tech giant’s logo.

In 2012, after a two-month discussion with Google, Nagi agreed to change his logo to black with cricket balls in place of the O’s to represent the cricket term for a slow spinning ball -- a “googly.” Google’s lawyer Maxwell Keay said this hadn’t been implemented however, and the logo was only changed this year, after the firm had filed its suit against the taxi company.

Judge Gordon Nurse ruled in favor of the company after it agreed to cap its legal costs at 10,000 pounds, about half of what it incurred, which Nurse called “a very generous limit.” Nagi was ordered to pay the sum within 28 days and was warned that Google could make a claim against his home in London’s Mitcham neighborhood if he fails to do so.

“I’m a very poor man and it’s very hard to survive,” Nagi told the court.

But Nurse didn’t give Google everything it wanted. The judge rejected Google’s request that Goooglie Cars change its name because its new cricket-style logo is “extremely difficult to associate with Google, the mighty tech company,” he said.

Google didn’t immediately return a call and email seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Milligan in London at emilligan11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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