Google’s recent announcement to launch Knol, a portmanteau for Knowledge Portal, cannot register the domain knol.com as it has been owned by a Dutch cleaning machine company of the same name in Dordrecht, South Holland for years.
The amusing part is that all of sudden Knol’s website is immensely popular, as the world assumed Google owned knol.com. When I heard of the project, my first impression was that it sounded Dutch, and now I know why. Hilco Knol in true Dutch merchant style was quoted as saying, “It will get interesting if they [Google] come with a six-zero figure since the Dutch tax office will take 52% of the amount that I would get for selling the website name. An offer of a million or more would be much sweeter.”