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I wonder if we're eventually going to hear people saying they Overtured each other ;)
Interesting that according to WordSpy, "googling" means to use an Internet search engine SUCH AS Google. I'm not sure I would agree with the "such as". IMO it means using Google period.
[Previous response slipped in while I was dozing. Change my response to "me too".]
If there is one thing pop culture doesn't like, it is when companies co-opt phrases or slang they came up with. Remember the back lash in the early 90's when Nike tried to use the Beatles Revolution in a commercial?
That's just what Google needs to do: own it as their own creation and use it everywhere. Only then does it fall off the radar and they get it back. Make it a branding dream phrase.
To google something/someone is already recognized as a new word in the English language. I don't remember them complaining when it was used on TV shows such as West Wing. Realistically there is really nothing Google the company can do to stop it unless they are going to wander the streets slapping C&Ds on passers-by who happen to use the G word.
They would be better to use it as a PR (the Public Relations PR) tool.
There was a court case in NW Oregon, I can't rememeber the name of the town, but Starbucks threaten to sue a quaint little coffee house over the use of the owners last name "Bucks. I'm not sure who won, but one could only image.....
One doesn't Coca Cola, nor does one Virgin when they travel, one doesn't Marriott in the same way one doesn't Explorer, and I do not Starbuck in the morning, so why on earth would anyone use Google as a verb.
But you probably xerox - I certainly do.
IANL, but I believe to retain the rights to a trademark the holder must be able to demonstrate in court that it has been actively defended. If the lawyers don't send out letters requesting that the trademark be acknowledged then the company is in effect abandoning it. That is something Google certainly wouldn't want to do. (Our resident lawyers can give us more details I'm sure.)
I may well Xerox, and I use a biro (but we call them pens over here), I even ask for Scotch when I mean tape and yes the maid does hoover from time to time.
But am I wrong in saying that these guys invented something?
Xerox were the first to produce the copier, and Hoover the hoover etc.
Google has not invented anything it is a search engine, it came out with an idea, wrote the code (amazing as it is) and went in the direction of simplicity and speed when other search engines were moving towards portals.
I do not mean to take anything away from Google, they are currently the best search engine around imho but to use it as a verb - not a chance.
As pointed out, people do "Xerox" and they also "rollerblade" and Rollerblade is a brand name.
I have tissues on the counter that aren't Kleenex but I never buy gelatin unless it's Jello, probably because Knox just doesn't equate to gelatin for me... Granted, those aren't verbs, but that have entered into "common usage" and I don't see any of those companies getting upset because the brand is so popular that people accept it as the de facto standard.
>>Google has not invented anything it is a search engine
<added>Google owns a few patents, best proof I can think of to show someone that you invented something. They might not have invented "search", but arguably, they came up with the best search on the web.</added>
I don't think the "scary" letter tactic will work for Google and taking the case to court would certainly tarnish that image they like to keep spit shined.
[edited by: digitalghost at 3:23 am (utc) on Feb. 26, 2003]
If you do not defend your trademark, you lose it. When you lose it, anyone on Earth can use it however they want and you can't do anything about it legally.
At that point a competitor can use the word "google" for its search engine title and be completely within the law.
This is not really an issue that Google has much choice about. If they ever need to defend there trademark in court, they need to be able to show that they attempted to protect it.
I think the only thing they can do is go the other way and embrace it. Use it as their own in their own material. Make it their tag line. Get it to the point it is synonomous with internet search itself.
That makes me think of those TV commercials where the narrator asks, "Do you, uh, Yahoo?" I don't know if Yahoo! was trying to address this same issue, but it was certainly an attempt to broaden use of the word into a trademarked verb.
Per David Diamond's Trademark Advice [3dark.com] essay:
One of the ways to protect against [losing your trademark protection through generic use] is to use the marks that describe *your* particular product or company adjectivally. This is why you will always hear the makers of the following items describe them as:
Band-Aid ® Brand Bandages
Jell-O ® Brand Pudding
Kleenex ® Brand Facial Tissues
I think it's frivolous because it's not being used by someone to infringe on anyones rights, it was being used in a context which is rapidy becoming part of popular vernacular.
So bite me :)
To see for yourself, google some of those keywords. ;-)