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Search engine giant Google, known for its mantra "don't be evil", has fired off a series of legal letters to media organisations, warning them against using its name as a verb.
In June, Google won a place in the Oxford English Dictionary, while "to google", with a lower case "g", was included last month in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, America's leading reference book.
To Google Or Not To Google? It's A Legal Question [news.independent.co.uk]
biased article. I don't see this as Google being humorless or uptight; they're just doing what it's needed to protect their trademark.
[edited by: engine at 3:19 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2006]
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I guess we will never know if Google wants their name to be a verb because from now on they are not allowed to say if they like it. I have often said the reason Google is winning is because of things like this. With the band aid example there are many different brands of band aids now but Band-Aid as a brand will always sell the most. In Texas we ask for a coke and people then ask back what kind of coke. We call all pop coke here. As long as most people consider Google the place to go when you want to find something they will be #1 in search no matter how good or bad their results are or how good other engines results are.
'google' was a word 1st.
errr... 'googol' was.... not 'google'...
To put in my 2c worth... what a complete crock of $$it - why sue people that are actually promoting your brand when they are not exactly competitors.
they need to fix their search first
Well that's it isn't it... they can't! So why not create some waves some other way...
Talk about getting above your station here... it's not like Y have created a service called "google software" or "google me silly".
Hope the lawyers strip them bare...
Surely this is a reroll of old news. We had this same story in the forums 3 years ago. hmmm something is really wrong here.
2003 Dictionary lists google as a verb:
Trademark Generic Problems:
Wait - There's More:
To put in my 2c worth... what a complete crock of $$it -
I think Google would rather rely on $500-an-hour legal advice than 2-cent legal advice. :-)
This is pure hype.
They want you to GOOGLE everything.
They know you have GOOGLED in the past.
They hope you will be GOOGLING in the future.
After this stunt they will tell us we can't use "G" as a pronoun or adverb.
I got Googlish results.
(as a pronoun meaning, no relevant results, please click a paid ad)
Googling - (futile) searching
Googlish - irrelevent (results)
Googlest - least significant (results)
Exgoogler - one who used to Google
Ungoogle - to Yahoo!
Antidisgooglization - same as "to google" (anti + dis is a double negative)...
The sad fact is that G's results are so bad I am back to using Yahoo! as my first choice for search.
There "G", your hype worked... you got me to mention you for free a dozen times.
BTW - EVERYONE IS FORBIDDEN FROM TYPING "LEXIPIXEL" IN PRINT OR ONLINE OR I'LL SUE! <grin>
It's not too much about Google wanting to be known as THE search company but to prevent that in years to come everyone GOOGLES using whatever engine including top competitors and nobody cares if your results come from Y!
THAT certainly IS of major concern to G and a big learning curve we should all have inherited from P&G.
For the record, Google did not invent the word or the spelling Google
Which doesn't really have much to do about the need to protect a trademark.
There are literally 1000's of registered trademarks for common words (even numbers) that the trademark owners have been granted and now have a duty to protect.
which makes it even a better trademark IMO.
I'm not sure I can see why this is such a big problem for them - but maybe I'm looking at it from the wrong perspective...
The ultimate effect of not vigorously protecting your trademark is that others can use it in their own product names or advertising.
E.g., in the year 2030 - "We google better at Yahoo!" "SuperGoogle, the new search engine that uses arrays of cloned human neurons!"
We're obviously a long way from anything like that being anything other than blatant infringement, but Google expects to be around for many decades and wants to keep their well-regarded brand free of any nibbling at the edges.
I do associate google with search, but they are being less and less associated with find.
I use Yahoo and Dogpile, but I use Google for news because the Yahoo page is blank until you ask for something specific. But all you get in Google these days for organic search results are pages that didn't offend their upper middle class sensibilities. Thats not why I ordered an internet!
I want to be informed, challenged, entertained! Not fed pre-digested pap that won't upset their pet bluechips.
There is an interesting use of the term 'google' in our household. It started after a rubbish organic update but really took off after the latest Adwords fiasco. When my roomate and I go to the park or walk down the street, or we visit my folks on their farm - we are always very careful never to step in any 'Googles'.
[edited by: Alex_Miles at 9:40 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2006]
The company has no right to prevent individuals using the word in almost any context they see fit (provided it is not defamatory). However...
Trademark law gives the company the right to prevent the word "Google" being used in a manner that might mislead people to believe a relationship exists between the company and another party.
In other words, this is a battle Google cannot win. However, their lawyers will make millions - just think gravy train.
"Google" is a word - the company called Google does not own the word they merely have some rights under trademark law governing how the word is used.
Sure, and those "some rights" are what the lawyers are trying to protect.
It ain't a big deal. Get over it, folks. Find a real issue to huff and puff about.