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First Coast Connect

8/28/2017: Google Trademark Lawsuit; 'First Coast Success'- Ben Hakimian;; Cole Pepper

Monday on “First Coast Connect,” we heard from Jacksonville attorney Richard Vermut (02:02) about a lawsuit that threatens to remove Google’s trademark. This month’s “First Coast Success” segment features Benjamin Hakimian from Hakimian Holdings (25:04). We spoke with co-founder Aaron Rosenthal (34:18), and Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news (41:01).  

Google Trademark Lawsuit

Words like cellophane, aspirin, and thermos used to be protected brand names in the U.S. until courts found them to be "generic" and stripped away their trademarks. Two men are asking the Supreme Court to do the same thing to Google, arguing the company's name is an everyday verb and should no longer receive legal protection. David Elliott and Chris Gillespie are asking the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling this spring that upheld Google's rightto use trademark law to stop them using its name on websites like "" and "" That ruling, issued by the 9th Circuit in California, found that "google" may be a verb, but that it is still a brand in its own right. For example, lyrics by the rapper T-Pain show "google" can be synonymous with "search the Internet," but justices pointed out that no other search engine calls itself "a Google," meaning the company's name is still distinct.

‘First Coast Success’: Benjamin Hakimian

Benjamin Hakimian came from Iran to the U.S. when he was 17, and now he’s the owner of more than 20 retail shops. This local business titan also used to be the owner of one of the biggest auto parts stores in the country. He spoke with Karen Brune Mathis of the Financial News and Daily Record in this month’s edition of “First Coast Success.”

The local startup was recenty recognized by Inc. magazine was one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. is an income tax preparation website that claims to offer faster refunds and lower fees than its competitors. The software is offered via cloud, which helps keep costs down. And Aaron Rosenthal says the company doesn’t share customers’ information advertisers.          

Cole Pepper

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone has selected Blake Bortles to continue as the starting quarterback, as the team heads into the final preseason game Thursday in Atlanta. The college football season gets underway Saturday as Florida meets Michigan in Dallas and Florida State faces Alabama in Atlanta. The Armada beat Indianapolis on Saturday, and the Jumbo Shrimp finish out the season this week. They are likely playoff bound next week.     

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.