Virginia
12 January 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Google ‘committed fraud’ with Content ID trademark application


Google committed fraud when it attempted to trademark its YouTube Content ID audio recognition software, according to a new challenge from Audible Magic.

In its petition for cancellation, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on 10 January, Audible Magic said that Google adopted the Content ID mark, which is identical to its own, after licensing the technology between 2006 and 2009.

According to Audible Magic, it has been using the Content ID mark to identify its audio and video content detection and recognition services since March 2006.

In October 2006, Audible Magic claims it granted YouTube a license to use its Content ID services.

Soon after, Google purchased YouTube, with the license officially transferred to the new owner.

In 2009, the licence agreement was terminated and, according to Audible Magic, all intellectual property rights for Content ID returned.

Google’s new trademark application claims that it first used the Content ID trademark in connection with its services in 2008, but Audible Magic contends that it first used the name in 2006 and therefore has priority over Google.

Google committed fraud when it claimed: “The mark has become distinctive of the goods/services through [Google’s] substantially exclusive and continuous use in commerce.”

Audible Magic said: “Google knew this declaration was false when it submitted it to the USPTO ... Google was well aware of Audible Magic’s substantial use of the identical mark.”

“Such confusion may cause harm to Audible Magic and the consuming public and jeopardise the valuable goodwill and reputation Audible Magic has built up in connection with Content ID and its services.”

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