Israeli Leisure Promoting Website Sues competing site for Copyright Enfringement

An organized leisure activity session is called a Hoog in Hebrew. the sound H is a gutteral sound made at the back of the throat., as in Hanukkah. This is sometime  transliterated as Ch. The vowel is like the u in Chanuckah / Hanukkah and so the word Hoog could also be transliterated at Chug.

Why is the important?

The developers of “Hoogle” or “hoogel” a search engine for extra curricular and leisure activities http://www.hoogel.co.il/ sued a competing site http://www.hug.co.il/ that is accessible via hug.co.il or chug.co.il or hoog.co.il, claiming passing off, unjust enrichment, copyright infringement, etc.

The hoogle website claimed that adverts placed with them were copied by the competing site, and that this was copyright infringement.

Judge Eitan Orenstein dismissed all claims and awarded damages to the defendants, ruling that:

  1.  the name was generic so there was no passing off, cybersquatting or copyright enfringment.
  2. the sites were similar to each other, but also were similar to other resource directory sites. There were differences, so there was no passing off or misleading. 
  3. Factual data of the type in the listings was not copyright protected.
  4. None of the features allegedly plagiarized were sufficiently novel to be protectable

Justice Orenstein dismissed the claims and awarded NIS 50,000 costs to the plaintiffs.

case: 1379/06 (Tel Aviv) Hoogle LTD. and others vs. Eran Raviv, Eran and others 

Comment

the judge is correct to see freedom of competition as more important than claims of unjust enrichment. Likewise the domain names are indeed generic.

Interestingly, there are hints that the judge saw discrepancies in the defendants version of affairs. It seems that the competing website was inspired by hoogle, but there is no grounds to give hoogle a monopoly.

I think the decision is correct.



Categories: Copyright, Domain Names, Fair Use, Israel Copyright, Israel Court Ruling, passing off

2 replies

  1. Hiya from Argentina! I have found your url on google. Handful content! Angela E. King x

  2. Top list,

    Thanks for sharing

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