The owner of a new cab company with an almost identical name to a famous internet search engine has insisted he has not broken any laws.
Kaz Odutayo, 50, has rejected claims that Gooogle Cars breaches copyright restrictions and maintains it is a legitimate trading name.
The business in Streatham High Road, based next to the town’s main train station, sparked interest on the social networking site Twitter last month when a user posted a photo of the company’s logo.
The sign, which features Google’s trademark colours and font, includes an extra blue ‘o’, prompting another user to comment: “I predict a lawsuit!”
Chairman of the Streatham Business Board, Lee Alley, said: “[The owner] thinks it’s funny. We think it’s embarrassing.”
But Nigerian-born Mr Odutayo defended the name, saying a friend suggested incorporating his distinct African accent into the business title.
He said: “I have not used [Google’s] logo. If they have any problems they can contact me.
“It is because of my African accent. I say ‘Go and Gooogle it’. It is because of the way I speak.”
When questioned about whether he had acquired the relevant trading licences for his firm, he added: “We have done everything that needs to be done.”
Mr Odutayo, who has lived in Streatham for 12 years and owns several local businesses, said the taxi company would open in the coming weeks, adding that he hoped it would be a success.
“It is a very small firm to start with,” he said. “But hopefully when Tesco opens next door we will be able to expand it, because with any business you aim to go as high as you can.
“I am not going to put any limitations on our growth.”
Last year, Google warned a Chinese search engine to change its homepage logo after it produced an image using the word “Goojje”.
Google did not respond to requests for a comment about the latest imitation, but on its own website it said: “Do not shorten, abbreviate, or create acronyms out of Google trademarks.
“We are passionate about protecting the reputation of our brand as an objective and fair provider of search results.
“That means we have to turn down many requests [for use of Google brand features] because sites imply that Google is endorsing them or is otherwise affiliated with them.”