Should "The Word Spy" remove Google-as-a-verb entry?

The site “The Word Spy” has an entry describing using the word “Google” as a verb:

They received a letter from the trademark counsel for Google asking them to remove the entry:
Partial quote:
“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.”

Should The Word Spy respect Google’s wishes and remove the word? Or should they keep it in the spirit of describing actual use?

I’m leaning toward the idea that actual use should be described.

Welp, Google is fer sure fighting a losing battle, just like Kleenex and Jello and aspirin.

I’m not quite sure I understand the problem here.

Whe I “google” an item, I don’t type or into my browser. I go to google. Is it actually in use by anyone as a “generic” search term?

If it is, then it’s because it’s been passed into the mainstream, and, frankly, it should stay there. But I don’t think it is yet.

I think Google is being way too anal about this. Witness the approach of Hormel Foods regarding the use of their Spam® trademark to describe unwanted email:

Spam and the Internet

I think that’s a little different though. SPAM luncheon “meat” and spam junk email are clearly very, very different things. One is (at least ostensibly) a food. The other is a form of electronic data. Therefore, there is no confusion at all which one anyone is refering to in any given situation.

Likewise with Star Wars the movies and Star Wars the defense project, as well as the others in that list.

However, Google the search engine and google the verb are obviously very closely related. In fact, they refer pretty much to the same thing, only one is more broad in scope. To google means to look something up on a search engine. To use Google is to look something up on a particular search engine.

I am not a lawyer, but I was under the impression that such extensions of the word really could weaken the trademark, just like aspirin.

FWIW, I am also in the camp of when I “google” something, I use Google, not another engine.

I also wouldn’t use google to describe using another search engine, but the Word Spy entry says they found dozens of examples that is has been used that way. Clearly, a “Kleenexing” of the name has begun, and I don’t blame Google for trying to stop it.

To me, the question is whether Word Spy should be nice and remove the entry (I don’t think there’s been a legal threat, simply a request), or continue with describing the term as it used. I’m still leaning towards keeping the description, but I see Google’s point.

Well, Google has the TM symbol - supposedly meaning “Trade Mark”, but apparently also reading as “Totally Meaningless” in legal issues (allegedly).

Personally, I’d think having such a notable service that your company name enters the English language as a verb has to be an incredible marketing tool.

To my understanding, if Google does not defend their trademark, then it is diluted and does become kleenexed or xeroxed. They are doing this out of a legal obligation.

On the other hand, verb usage of a trademark is specifically exempted, mentioned later on that listserv. It seems that Google-as-a-verb is destined to remain, but they’re trying to prevent the possible outcome of Joe Schmoe starting a search engine and calling it “Joe’s Googler”.

“Google” existed–and died–long before Al Gore invented the Internet. It’s an obsolete alternate form of the word “goggle,” and also had a verbal meaning pretty much what you would expect–and, by extension, what you do with the Google search engine.

I first discovered how cool Google™ is, way back when I was an Internet newbie, because I kept seeing people use “google” as a verb, and decided to see what it was all about. (Wonder how many other people found it that way?) Don’t recall ever hearing anyone talk about “googling” stuff on, say, Yahoo.

That’s interesting, I always thought the term originated with the search engine, as a derivation of Googol. Do you have any more information about this previous use of “Google”?

Nope. OED just basically says “Obsolete. See goggle n. and v.”

But. . . let’s not forget comic strip character Barney Google and his goo-goo-googly eyes.

Well, I don’t see a problem with Google defending its trademark, if it didn’t defend it how long before you would see a or other derivatives?

Au contraire:
Google, v

Trust the British to already have the verb in use, albeit as a term in a sport nobody really understands, even those that play it.

Oh lord, you’re the only other person I’ve seen say that. Did you watch the same special I did waaaaaay back when where they took about 10 comic strips and animated them?