Google: Don't "google"
When a company's product name is used as a verb -- think "Xerox" or "Tivo" -- it's the ultimate compliment, proof of wide acceptance and big time popularity. But, in a move that would make the Academie Francaise smile, the non-conformists at Google are fighting the misappropriation of their name.

According to Stephen Foley of The Independent, Google lawyers have "fired off a series of legal letters to media organisations, warning them against using its name as a verb." Google's concern appears to be trademark violation. Said a company spokesman to Foley: "We think it's important to make the distinction between using the word Google to describe using Google to search the Internet, and using the word Google to describe searching the Internet."

Safe to say the blogosphere doesn't feel the distinction is so important. Raving Lunacy promptly awarded Google its "Internet Idiot of the Week" award, and Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion says "this has to go down as one of the worst PR moves in history."

Others, however, are more forgiving. "You peeps got to relax," Steve Bryant at eWeek tells bloggers. It's not that Google is really concerned about trademark violation, but rather it needs to set a legal precedent in the case of future, more serious, litigation: "By sending the letters," writes Bryant, "they can subsequently say 'see your honor, we've heretofore taken all necessary steps to protect the brand.'"

Want to read more on the story? Whatever you do, don't google it on Yahoo.
Posted by Oliver Ryan 9:52 AM 1 Comments comment | Add a Comment

What Google is really concerned with is "genericide". It may be a compliment, but many companies have lost valuable trademark protection because too many people used their mark as a verb.
Posted By Todd, New York, NY : 5:27 PM  

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.