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I think Google should smile and be happy, how much further can you go in branding?
In Serbo-Croat the word for razorblade is Gilette, that is maximum branding in my opinion.
If an SE optimized page is called an ulstrup'ed page I would'nt mind... ;)
Also, they have absolutely no control over when that verb is applied so someone in ths thread is being very precious when they claim that it ONLY refers to the use of the google search engine.
The verb might have have entered the language because of the google search engine but its meaning is now much more broader and includes any similar type of search.
It is therefore possible to google someone on yahoo.
In the future the word might have an even more general application to include 'background check' conducted off-line as well as on-line.
I am not about to change it tonight. I certainly hope there are no lawyer wanna-bees in the audience...
ANY English noun can be verbed.
As long as they own google.com and its counterparts in other TLDs, I don't see that they have a problem. If the average person wanted to google the Internet, what could be more natural than to type "www.google.com"?
So in fact, one could argue that google simply took a common english word, and in fact that they should have no right to trademark it since it could be confused with the googol search page (albeit not likley anymore).
If Tim B wanted to expand this googolsearch page into a commercial venture he would find that a firm named Google has already established a search engine preventing him from his dream of being a worldwide search engine, yet he started using the term first, and clearly people would get confused between the two names.
Sounds good doesn't it :-)
A very adult attitude.
And (being in no way a lwayer), as for the Google claim for "mouse pads, flashlights, lamps, license plate frames and holders," etc., etc. If the items are being sold, well, then there's a trademark claim. Being given away a promotionmal items? Much shakier ground.
And just how does somebody provide "an on-line searchable database featuring mouse pads, flashlights, lamps, license plate frames and holders, books" blah blah blah.
Are those the only items I can find on Google? Has anybody here ever gotten a lamp or license plate frame when they used Google?
They have to do what they have to do to protect the name but I kind of think we're going to be hoovering up a lot of scrap paper after the fight.
"do you yahoo?"
So for one search engine the centre of the marketing strategy is to turn their brand name into a verb
And for the other search engine they appear to not want their brand name used as a verb and threaten legal action against those that do.
And how ironic that the one who wants their name used as a verb cannot get this accepted and the one that doesn't is unable to stop it.
<edit>I see thefoomaster has already mentioned this above </edit>
Even the word 'Google' is now a part of our language. We can't be the only people who have used it as a verb - give it a year or two and you'll probably find Vb: to Google listed in the dictionary.
To Google would imply the use of this specific research method (use of Google)
To google would be proper use of google as a synonym for "search/research/investigate/etc..."
For the TM reasons mentioned earlier, where lies the destinction, is there any in this case?
Kleenex, Gillette, Coca Cola, etc. are used for things, to google is something you do, you don't kleenex when blowing your nose, you don't shave when buying Gillettes and Coca Cola is not a synonym of drinking.
Are there any other instances of brands being used as verbs?
As it's probably not appropriate to post a direct link, you can see the blurb by wandering over to Yahoo! Spilt Ink-on-me and, via their 'In the News' box, click on the link about Victor & Victoria's not so secret lil' court saga.
Raises an interesting question ... if a certain trademarks get diluted, do these become more transparent than the product fabric?
Before I post the link to the page where Larry Page used Google as a verb "way back", I wanted to communicate that I don't believe the lawyer's letter that started this whole discussion was saying that Google can't be used as a verb, but only that it should be clear that when used as a verb it is referring to using Google. Interesting that Mr. Page used it without a capital G...
the end of a message posted on egroups July 8, 1998:
"Expect to see a lot of changes in Google in the next few months. We plan to have a much bigger index than our current 24 million pages soon. Thanks to all the people who have sent us logos, HTML and suggestions. Keep them coming!
Have fun and keep googling!