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I have my own search engine with meta search crawling capacity. I installed it on a website and called it Ving.

Is it legal to have a search engine with the name Ving that is similar to Bing?

  • Do you really think that is a good idea? – John Conde Apr 15 '15 at 13:14
  • Yes, i think it is good cause i used my 4 months to build it – Ankit Yadav TrK Apr 15 '15 at 13:15
  • Time spend isn't really a good measurement of something is good ;) But it can be a learning experience in the least, might give you interesting insights – Martijn Apr 15 '15 at 13:17
  • It is fresh and working without the help of any other search engine – Ankit Yadav TrK Apr 15 '15 at 13:19
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    A reminder to those who are down voting this question: just because the question has an obvious answer, it doesn't mean it is a bad question. It wouldn't have been asked if the answer were obvious to the person who asked it. If you down vote, you are expected to explain why you do so with a comment. – Stephen Ostermiller Apr 15 '15 at 16:58
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"Bing" is a registered trademark of Microsoft. Trademark law gives them exclusive rights to use that name in the search engine field. It also gives them the right to sue anybody that uses names that might be similar enough to cause confusion in the marketplace.

Your name of "Ving" sounds confusingly similar to me. A trademark lawyer would be able to give you legal advice about your risk of being sued when using it.

From a branding and marketing standpoint, you want your name to be very different as well. I would not recommend making your brand name anything that sounds like another brand in your field.

Microsoft didn't choose the name "Boogle" for good reason. Not just because they didn't want to get sued, but also because they wanted to build their own strong brand.

Using a similar name can actually make your brand look like a cheap knockoff. This quote from The Simpson's TV show illustrates it nicely:

Homer: Look at these low, low price on famous name-brand electronics!
Bart: Don't be a sap, Dad. These are just crappy knock-offs!
Homer: Pfft! I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see one! And look, there's Magnetbox and Sorny!

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This is more of a legal question than a webmaster question, but here goes.

It really depends on intent, how good MS's lawyers are at proving intent, and the mood of the judge that would preside over the case.

It is perfectly legal for me to create a company called Zony that manufactures leather belts. However, it is gray area for me to create the same company that manufactures consumer electronics. This is where intent comes into play. A Sony trademark lawyer could look at Zony and ask "Is that company trying to mimick our image and credibility with the purpose of offering a competing product/service?" If the answer is yes, then you're likely to get sued if you get big enough to get noticed.

Here's what they'll use in the arguments:

  • It performs the same functions a Bing
  • It sounds like the trademarked name Bing and could be confused in vocal conversation, which would result in less users using Bing and lost ad revenue.
  • The letter "V" is directly next to the letter "B" on most latin-based keyboard setups so that would-be users attempting to navigate to www.bing.com might accidentally navigate to www.ving.com and therefore might not notice the difference and use Ving anyway, which would result in lost ad revenue for Bing.

Just about the only thing you would have going for you would be that the burden of proof resided with the Plaintiff, which would be Bing. However, that wouldn't be difficult. Your only hope would be to start a corporation in another country that is less strict on copyright laws and extraditions, such as Switzerland, and have the domain registered to that corporation and the hosting servers in that country.

Your best bet is to go with a completely different branding. If you were to ever get noticed by Bing/Microsoft and they could ever prove that you got even a fraction of a percentage of search results, I'd bet my life savings that you'd be sued.

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Is it allowed to have a search engine?
Yes. Innovation would be difficult otherwise, Bing! never would've existed because of Google, Google never would've existed because of Yahoo, etc.
The tricky part is how you rank your result. The pagerank principle is patented, you can not use that technique, you have to come up with your own methods.

Is it legal to have a search engine with the name ving that is look alike bing?
This one is more dangerous. Even if you make 100% sure you don't look like Bing, act like Bing, smell like Bing and taste like Bing, you're still in a dangerous place, because they will secure their territory and they have more money than you. I really suggest a name change to avoid this.

Small note though: Not to hurt some feelings, but I asume your not really any competition from their perspective, I doubt they'll even notice you, at least in the beginning.

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  • No it is not act like any other search engine, it is unique – Ankit Yadav TrK Apr 15 '15 at 13:18
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... I have my own search engine with meta search crawling capacity. I installed it on a website and called it ving. ...

There are two things that are scary in that statement when combined. Ving and Search Engine. As you know, there is already a search engine called Bing. Given what you told us so far about your creation, it sounds like you're better off ditching the idea and starting with something brand new with a brand new name.

...Is it legal to have a search engine with the name ving that is look alike bing....

This is why your question received at least -2 votes. Because you're interested in creating a search engine that is identical and that is almist the exact same name as another search engine minus a one-letter difference.

If the search engine is more unique than the rest out there, then at least give it a new name, otherwise (like what one commenter have said above), you could end up in court and/or jail for basically stealing others work.

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Usually not.

Microsoft can claim brand dilution. The lawyers can prove intent because you already admitted intent in your question.

The attorneys have to either demonstrate intent, marketplace confusion, or make a compelling argument about how your success would be impossible if you didn't use the "Ving" name.

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