A search by any other name (might get you sued).

Molly K writes "In response to it's inclusion in the new edition of Websters & a nod from the OED, Google has sent out legal letters to various media organizations, warning them against using its name as a verb, reports The Independent. Google is becoming concerned about trademark violation. There's also a nice discussion on trademark vs. copyright on Slashdot's thread about this topic."


Before anyone thinks harshly of Google about preventing the use of its name as a verb one must remember that United States trademark law basically dictates that the trademark holder is responsible for upholding the trademark. Either through lawsuits or legal threats, it remains firmly in the lap of the trademark holder to protect their property. The government doesn't really take a hand in that area of business law.OCLC did much the same thing a while back when they filed suit against a theme hotel using the DDCS to classify its rooms. (I think they filed suit. They may have just sent a cease and desist notice.) OCLC owns the trademark on the DDCS and they have to protect it. Because as soon as they stop protecting that trademark, anyone can start using it. Much like we play with Frisbees and use the Xerox machine... made by Konica.On the good side, I recall that they licensed the DDCS to the hotel for a donation to some kind of library foundation (not OCLC) and a credit somewhere in the hotel's brochure. Just because you have to license it doesn't always mean paying out the nose for it.I don't know how long Google can hold out though. When something enters the common lingo, it's damn near impossible to get out. I use Google as a verb and so do many other people around here. However, unlike Frisbees, when I Google something, I actually use Google. Any flying disc is a Frisbee, but, in my opinion, you can only Google using Google.

But what about the Kleenex, doesn't anyone cry for the Kleenex?

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