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The name google is actually a compression of two words 'Go' and 'Ogle'.
When the domain was registered Larry and Sergey didn't know a lot about computers, and after repeated attempts of trying to register the domain, they said to themselves "Well, we can't get this stupid web page to register go ogle.com so we might as well squash it all up into one word and try that instead, people aren't silly they will still know what the website is all about, and will naturally understand that 'google' really means 'go ogle' as in go and ogle the internet, jees, what else would you call a search engine 'tut'"
The domain registration page returned a message saying "Your domain google.com has been registered" and the rest is history....
They might attempt to limit it's usage to the past-tense (I "googled" him). Or try to convince everyone that trademark protection on a "noun" is still intact when the same word used as a "verb" was allowed to become public-domain.
Not sure if either of these would work.
But it's too late to start crying fowl now. Not after they sat back and tacitly approved as this usage became widespread, to the point of being used in national magazines and TV shows.
Is anybody else here old enough to remember those
TV commercials (in the U.S.) for Sanka decaffeinated
coffee, that *always* said "Sanka Brand" (instead of
plain "Sanka") as if it were a single word?
With Ouverture buying Altavista (without ®) and Fast (without ®), with Yahoo! shifting gear, I really wonder how this will evolve.
In Belgium some new veryy good search engines are emerging. Metacrawlers are big power also...
In the past I used to Yahoo!, then I Fasted, now I Google ®
Scotch in any form is welcome!
One thing I would like to say about names etc is that isn't Xerox ultimately easier to say than photocopy, and isn't hoover easier to say than vacuum cleaner.
Search is just as easy to say as google. Plus the way the internet is based seems that loyalty is becoming far less common.
Search it is.
I agree with Brett, they should use it in all advertising and grab it back as their own verb pertaining only to Google search before, (like Bayer or Hoover) ... it becomes something other than what they want it to be.
Brett, I don't think this was a cease and desist or anything like that--it was just a request. Defining "to google" as "to search the web using Google" is more precise, more fair, and captures what most people mean when they say "I googled you." They don't mean "I typed your name into Excite or AltaVista"--they mean that they typed the name into Google. I'm pretty sure that's all we asked for, if you go back and read the email that we sent.
Bear in mind that this is just my personal take. I'm not a lawyer. A trademark attorney could tell you all sorts of intertesting things about the requirements for defending trademarks. I'm just pointing out that most people who say "I googled for this info" meant "I searched for it on Google," and the definition that Paul McFedries originally wrote didn't capture that completely. If you check out his current definition:
he's made the distinction much more clear--and I appreciate that. It's taken a lot of work to build Google into a place that people trust for search, and I think it's important to preserve that.
Did you notice that this issue got 791 posts on slashdot, but Overture buying FAST only got 152 posts on slashdot? Pretty wild--I would have guessed it would be more the other way.
Okay, that's my 3-4 cents. :)
Our brand is very
important to us, and as I'm sure you'll understand, we want to make sure
that when people use "Google," they are referring to the services our
company provides and not to Internet searching in general.
Google's response to Mr. McFedries sure is interesting. Google's response does hold an 'indication' that Google places importance on how the firm is perceived. Interesting thing here is that the firm's core competency is providing a search service/solution, but it seems to me that Google wants to be perceived as more than just a search engine/search-solution-provider.
Could this be an indication for Google 'portal-ization' intention?
I could just be reading into the lines...but yeah:)
[edited by: AgentSmith at 4:10 pm (utc) on Feb. 26, 2003]
It keeps people employed.
"Cresent Wrench" is another term that has become equated with "adjustable wrench".
The real danger is if the common usage shifts from "to use to Google search engine", to something more specific in meaning but less specific in brand, such as "to use a search engine to research a prospective mate."
Here is an article about trade marks [publaw.com]
It is interesting in that it goes into author's use of trademarks in books (eg Driving a Ford car) as well as trademark dilution
Is the use contributing to the dilution of the trademark? Dilution is the legal concept where a "famous" trademark that is so frequently used becomes generic in the mind of the buying public. Common examples of dilution are the trademarks Kleenex and Band-Aid, which have come to refer to all brand names for tissues and adhesive bandages. Unless it is necessary, an author should try to use the generic term instead of the trademark. A trademark that becomes a generic term loses its trademark protection. An example of this in the publishing industry is the mark "Webster's". Webster's was used so frequently that it became a generic term. When this occurred the original trademark owner lost the ability to protect its mark and other publishers could then use the term "Webster's" for their own dictionaries and related products.
For those wanting to know more try a bit of googling with "trademark dilution"
Reasonably often I get asked research questions by my staff and when it is something they could easily look up, and I am too busy (ie when I don't know the answer!) I always just say: "Google!"
In my mind this is shorthand for "Use Google to find out". However, it seems that this has been taken as the imperative form of the imagined verb.
I "FedEx" stuff all the time, and when I send something by UPS, I don't say "FedEx this with UPS."
I also say stuff like: "I Googled them", and people know what I mean.
I understand Google's official position (they have to do this), but they will never be able to stop it from taking off if it makes sense to people.
The law says that if they relax on protecting the trademark, it may expire.
A great example or this type of protection is the Rollerblade case:
Rollerblade had to get aggressive to protect their name, because people were using it as a verb. Had they not pursued it, anyone could use the term "rollerblade" to market similar items.
Three-quarters of all online searches use Google or sites that use Google's search results /snip/ "Googling" has become a synonym for searching online.
I'm not sure whether it's a good thing for brands to overtake the generic term.. But then again I don't vacuum my living room I Hoover it.. ;)
Do you Yahoo?
May I have a Coke? (For any cola)
People with shave heads "Bic it" to remove stubble.
Transparent tape is always Scotch Tape.
You always use Duck Tape to fix things no matter what brand of Duct Tape you have...
May I have a Coke? (For any cola)
To enter the discussion on the protection of trademarks I remember an article from quite a few years ago where Coca Cola had one person traveling the country. He made stops at bars and restaurants along the way and ordered a Coke with no ice. The "Coke" would be poured into a sample container and shipped off for analysis. If it wasn't authentic the offending establishment would receive a lawyerly reminder.
Also an issue when you order a burger and a Coke at large fast-food chains where they serve the other brand. Counterpeople usually remind you that they serve Pepsi.
<aside>A couple of friends each had establishments where they only used brand-name mixers. They both received numerous complaints that the Coke in customers rum and cokes wasn't the real thing. Turned out that people were more used to the taste of RC Cola, which has a large share of the bar market here. Both owners changed to using small bottles so people could not legitimately complain. <aside-aside>One owner still can't understand why people didn't like the orange juice he squeezed before their eyes but preferred the 'not-from-concentrate' store-bought stuff.<aside-aside><aside>
Trademark protection _is_ enforceable. They can (and do) send the U.S. marshals out to shut down a business, removing all materials deemed in violation. What this definition site is asserting is not only that "Google" is being used as a verb (an incontrovertible statement) but also (which goes far beyond the evidence) that "Google" is being used to refer to use of ANY OTHER SEARCH ENGINE. Google has the right and the legal obligation to challenge that assertion, in court if necessary.
The website could have perfectly well define "Google" as "to search the web using the Google(TM) search engine" -- which fits the context and would not have aroused the legal beagles.
I think the lawyer's time would be best spent by getting ICANN to honor registered trademarks without a lot of paperwork and fees.
That's our main problem. People add a hyphen to our trademark or make it plural or geez, dot us, dot tv and the next thing you know we have to remind some dolt that no matter how clever a name is, if it's not yours leave it alone! We still have squaters and you name it trying to extort money for variants of our tm.
Anyway, I'm sure they didn't mean to "Excite" Google, hmmm, it's late and I'm out of puns.
"Our brand is very important to us, and as I'm sure you'll understand, we want to make sure that when people use "Google," they are referring to the services our company provides and not to Internet searching in general."
But then I read the following statement in the recent Wall Street Journal article -
""Googling" has become a synonym for searching online."
see - [sg.biz.yahoo.com...]
These are the kind of statements that have to be giving their lawyers nightmares!
(P.S. - do you think that Google will demand a retraction from WSJ and Yahoo?)
It givesa cule to their planed marketing efforts.
Word Mark GOOGLE
Goods and Services
IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Providing an on-line searchable database featuring mouse pads, flashlights, lamps, license plate frames and holders, books, notebooks, pens, greeting cards, stickers, decals, tote bags, duffel bags, backpacks, luggage tags, umbrellas, mugs, tumblers, shirts, t-shirts, modem cords, vests, caps, hats, and other clothing items. FIRST USE: 19990900. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990900
IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: Electronic retailing services via computer featuring mouse pads, flashlights, lamps, license plate frames and holders, books, notebooks, pens, greeting cards, stickers, decals, tote bags, duffel bags, backpacks, luggage tags, umbrellas, mugs, tumblers, shirts, t-shirts, modem cords, vests, caps, hats, and other clothing items. FIRST USE: 19990900. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990900
IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Mouse pads, calculators. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990731
IC 011. US 013 021 023 031 034. G & S: Flashlights, lamps,. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990731
IC 012. US 019 021 023 031 035 044. G & S: License plate frames and holders,. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990731
IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Books, namely children's books, books on the subject of computers, notebooks, pens, greeting cards, stickers, decals. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990731
IC 018. US 001 002 003 022 041. G & S: Bags, namely, tote bags, duffle bags, backpacks; luggage tags; umbrellas,. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990731
IC 021. US 002 013 023 029 030 033 040 050. G & S: Mugs, tumblers,. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990731
IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, namely, shirts, t-shirts, vests, hats, caps, boxer shorts; children's clothing, namely, t-shirts,. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990731
IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Toys and sporting equipment, namely, model trains, plastic exercise balls, plastic toy figures,. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990731
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 76314783
Filing Date September 18, 2001
Owner (APPLICANT) Google Inc. CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 2400 Bayshore Parkway Mountain View CALIFORNIA 94043
Attorney of Record Julia Anne Matheson
Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
History of Application:
I know receiving formal letters on official letterhead is always intimidating, but look at this way: said lawyer could have sent you a more typical letter saying, "Yes. Okay. Please change your dictionary. If you don't, I'll probably have to sue you."
Those kind of letters can really get you boiled up and ruin your day.