Google threatens SA man

2012-11-14 12:44
Google is threatening to sue a young entrepreneur from Middelburg. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Google is threatening to sue a young entrepreneur from Middelburg. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - Internet giant Google is threatening to sue a young entrepreneur from Middelburg in Mpumalanga because his website has a similar name, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Andries Maree, 23, owns domain name, a website that allows employment seekers to upload their particulars free of charge.

Maree, who left school in Grade 8 to help support his family, lost his job two years ago. He sold newspapers for Beeld for a while, during which time he met a lot of unemployed people, and became inspired to create a database for them.

He taught himself software and programming skills by "playing around on websites".

On 23 October, he received a warning letter from Google's lawyers, stating that the similar-sounding name could lead people to believe there was a collaboration agreement between the two companies.

Maree has denied the accusations and said he would be happy to place a notice on his website, dissociating himself from Google.

Maree's lawyer, Emmie de Kock, said they did not agree with Google, and were deciding how to proceed.

"This is a possible David and Goliath battle," she said.

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