Google Tells court to Trash Nigerian’s $150 million lawsuit

In a legal twist that could rival a Silicon Valley drama, Google, the tech juggernaut, is facing off against a Nigerian, Chianugo Peter, in a $150 million lawsuit.

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The lawsuit, which also involves, revolves around the shutdown of Peter’s domain name——which Peter bought eight years ago from GoDaddy to host his application.

Google, the parent company of YouTube, says that Peter’s domain name infringes on its trademark rights. On the other hand, Peter says that he bought the domain name in good faith. He also alleges that GoDaddy and Google encouraged him to make use of the domain name for the past eight years.

 Unmeritorious or Unstoppable? Google, the second defendant in this legal showdown, isn’t pulling any punches. In a statement filed on November 10, the company asked a high court in Abuja to dismiss Peter’s claims as “unmeritorious” and “unworthy.” They argue that Peter didn’t act in good faith and even approached Google before starting operations, acknowledging the tech giant’s rights.

What Peter wants:  A number of things. Peter wants a declaration that he rightfully registered the YouTube Audio business name and secured the domain name in good faith from GoDaddy. He also wants $50 million for the 8 years of promotional work and marketing efforts. He also wants to be paid $100,000,000 for loss of anticipated profits associated with the brand equity and goodwill of YouTube Audio and YouTube domain name. He also wants ₦50,000,000 ($62,292) for fresh registrations and securing an alternative domain name, along with ₦10,000,000 ($12,458) for legal expenses in prosecuting this suit.

Google’s reaction: Google counteracts, claiming that Peter lacks a bona fide claim and doesn’t own the YouTube trademark. According to Google, they are the international owners of the “YOUTUBE” trademark, registered in Nigeria since 2007, predating Peter’s use by eight years.

Missing from the spotlight: During a recent court appearance, Google’s defence was acknowledged, but is yet to join the legal dance floor. The court granted an extension to Google’s legal team, and the next hearing is set for February 12, 2024.


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