Google™ get a clue.

Notice the trademark symbol next to the word “Google” in the title (I hope it shows up on your browser)? Notice that I capitalized the word “Google” instead of the common lower case spelling usage?

Why am I doing this?

Why to avoid the big scary lawyers from Google™ who are acting like idjits about their service name.

The WordSpy website had included a definition of “google” as

Google™’'s landsharks responded in kind with

Full story here.

IANAL…but I note the following commentary…

Me thinks the landsharks doth protest a wee bit much.

DuckDuckGoose…you paying attention hun?

You think google would be happy about their name passing into everyday lexicon.

No more than the Yo-Yo or Linoleum people are. Everyone gets to use the names they came up with and they don’t get the money for it. I’m with Google on this one.

Let’s drown these lawyers in a sea of jello, or more properly Jello™.:stuck_out_tongue:

I think I’ll print this out and make xeroxes of it. :smiley:

All this is giving me a headache. Anyone have any aspirin? Maybe a spin on my rollerblades will help.

The wording of the definition is problematic.

Note the word particularly. Not exclusively. Particularly. So the wording of the definition does allow for the use of the verb “to google” to mean any old internet search.

The Google lawyers said that the word google should only be used to refer to the Google product, not to refer to any Internet search.

I don’t think they can stop a word that’s also a trademark being used as a regular word, and passing into the common lexicon. But it’s understandable that they’d want to point out that they’d prefer a verb “to google” to refer to their product exclusively.

Why google when you can cthuugle?

While it is pretty anal/probably wrong on Google’s part, I’ve never seen someone go to a different search engine after being told to “Google [blah]”. If you want to be more general, you just say “search for [blah].” And, honestly, I don’t know if I’d even call the lowercase version of google common at all, although maybe it is and I just haven’t paid attention.

Who is Cory Doctorow and what qualifications does he have for you to be citing his incorrect legal analysis?

When used as a verb (I “googled” a recipe for clam chowder, for example) …the lower case spelling is quite common.

They should just change the word on their site to googol.

FWIW, William Gibson uses ‘Google’ as a verb meaning “to search” in his new novel Pattern Recognition.

When the protagonist meets someone new, she says “Google you, I get?” (asking her new acquaintance to describe the results of a search on the acquaintance’s name).

I’ve read about 1/2 the book, and he’s already used it a couple or three times. The examples two I remember most clearly had ‘google’ as the first word in a sentence, so I can’t be sure if the first letter is capitalized in Gibson’s usage.

and it’s a rocking good book so far too

I’m pretty surprised that anyone thinks Google is wrong on this one. I heard the story about it on NPR this morning, and the spokesman from WordSpy was VERY clear that his correspondance with Google was extremely courteous and friendly. This wasn’t a case of “landsharks” threatening anyone. This is a business protecting its name from becoming synonymous with something it’s not, much like earlier battles fought (and in some cases, lost) by Kleenex, Linoleum, Xerox, etc. For more, read the column on this by the Master.

In particular, see this bit:

This issue does impact the Google brand, and they have every right to strive to protect it. Moreover, Google came to an agreement with WordSpy in which the dictionary would simply note that the word is trademarked. Why is that a big deal?

And by “Master,” above, I mean, “SDSTAFF Ian.”

“Writer’s Digest” magazine used to be full of ads from companies like Kimberly-Clarke, Xerox, and such asking writers not to use their trademarks as generic terms.

I’m with google a little bit. The definition should state “Search for information on the web using the Google™ search engine.” There should still be a definition, but it should reflect and respect the trademark.


No, they would be horrified. Ask the good folk at Zerox.

These letters are SOP. They are not threats, rather requests to the individual. Most people simply do not know about this issue.

Personally, I think they are fighting a losing battle on this one, but they have to at least try.

You sure that’s what you need? Maybe a band-aid would be better. Or a popsicle to take your mind off the pain.

Don’t forget your walkman. Keep the volume down though, because you have a headache.