One day a 'Google' might be a form of currency, but in the meantime those without Google shares have to make do with registering all manner of Google domain names in the hope that either Google will buy them back or another speculator will buy them at a higher price.
The web search giant raised the stakes this week when it registered four new names suggesting that it will have need for other Google related domains in the not too distant future.
It has registered GoogleMagazines.com, GooglePapers.org, GoogleMicrofilm.com and GoogleLibrary.org.
But the world of Google domains gets more interesting when you type in new possibilities yourself. Such searches reveal hundreds of other owners of Google-related domain names.
One such is Wilf Percival, founder of Multimedia International, a Sheffield-based content provider to the mobile phone industry.
Percival registered the potentially highly sought-after domain name www.googlephone.com in 2002 and will consider any reasonable offer for it. He claims to have around 350 domains of which at least three are Google related.
Percival denies that he is cyber-squatting, insisting that the googlephone domain has been used for business purposes, although there is no page on the site at present.
"If Google contests my right to own the domain we can prove that we have traded using it and they will have to make me a pretty good offer," he told vnunet.com.
However, Percival appears to agree with the view that Google's new registrations may increase opportunistic registrations.
When told about the recent registrations by Google he said: "Oh, I'd better register a few more then."
Percival said that he is in the process of building a website to sell his domains directly, typically for £300 to £1,500 each.
Buyers of Google-related domains may find themselves in a similar predicament to those who were taken to court by Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioanno, who contested that domains beginning with the word 'easy' represented an act of cyber-squatting.
"I'll cross that bridge when I come to it," said Percival.
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