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Google sends warnings for name use

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

Monday, August 14, 2006
16 years ago2,696 views

Google has sent warning letters to media organizations using their name as a verb (http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article1218805.ece):

'But the California-based company is becoming concerned about trademark violation. A spokesman confirmed that it had sent the letters. "We think it's important to make the distinction between using the word Google to describe using Google to search the internet, and using the word Google to describe searching the internet. It has some serious trademark issues."

But although an attempt to protect the company's trademark, the letters have raised snickers after they were leaked on to the web. Bloggers have been making fun of the examples Google's lawyers deem acceptable. They included: "Appropriate: I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party. Inappropriate: I googled that hottie."'

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

as said Eric Schmidt : "Don't Google, use Google!" :-)

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Wasn't Google added to the Oxford English Dictionary as a verb though? I thought that ment you could say "Google it"

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Mrrix32, It was, but this is to prevent the term from just meaning web search in general. I think the dictionary's definition said that this was usually done via the Google search engine. But it still didn't say exclusively via Google, so they may get contacted by Google as well.

While the term could come to mean just web searching in general, I still am not sure how this threatens the trademark, since companies like Kleenex and Lego haven't lost their trademarks despite becoming the word that defines the product in general.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

oh, Ok. I think I get it now, I miss read the post, I thought it said you couldn't use Google as a verb at all,

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

An ex-Googler writes:

<<The ad was intentionally tongue-in- cheek and, at least in my mind, a tacit admission that it's much more fun to use Google as a verb than to use it properly. I mean, who wouldn't rather say, "I googled that hottie" than the legally-mandated, but dull-as-an-old-brogan alternative?>>
http://xooglers.blogspot.com/2006/07/this-word-just-in.html

Piotr Konieczny [PersonRank 9]

16 years ago #

About brands that are used as general words, wiki has huge (!) list, almost for every country:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

NateDawg [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Nathan Weinberg had a great comentary on the "Google is a verb"/"yahoo doesn't care" story.

<quote>
Basically, they're asking users to create viral commercials using the brand in interesting ways. I must warn them that, much more so than "google", the term "yahoo" is perfect for abuse. Just think about where you'd like to stick your Yahoo…
</quote>

I had never thought of that word assocition before :D

Link:
http://google.blognewschannel.com/index.php/archives/2006/08/20/whats-bad-for-the-goose-is-fine-for-the-gander/

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