by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
david elliott, generic brand, larry page


Guy Files Lawsuit To Strip Google Of Its Trademarks

from the good-luck-with-that dept

We all know that "Google" has become a verb (i.e., "just Google it") but has it reached the point that it refers generically to all search? One... er... enterprising guy is trying to make the legal case that this is so. David Elliott has filed a lawsuit to have Google's trademarks in its own name declared cancelled because the term has become generic. As you may or may not know, if a trademarked term is judged "generic," then trademarks on those terms can be cancelled -- which is why many trademark holders on near-generic words often fight hard against them becoming so generic. It's why terms like Xerox, Kleenex, White-Out, Band-Aid and the like -- which defined a category and often led people to assume that all such products were called that -- are often seen as dangerous failures in trademark circles, rather than massive successes for so dominating a category.

In this case, Elliott is pissed that Google won a ruling against him after he registered over 750 domain names that used Google's marks in some manner. He's got a pretty big uphill battle here. While "google" may be a verb, it seems like it's a verb in the context of using Google's search engine, not using another alternative search engine. Elliott's claims seem to focus on the fact that google is used as a verb, rather than that it's generic. For example, he quotes CEO Larry Page telling people to "have fun and keep googling!" and then seems to think this supports is case. It does not. It's not hard to see how it actually suggests the exact opposite. You would assume that someone in Larry Page's position would say something like that because he wanted people to keep using Google's products, not because he wanted them to generically search the internet with anyone's search engine.

I'd be quite surprised if this actually got anywhere.

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  1. icon
    Lowestofthekeys (profile), 29 May 2012 @ 10:46am


    Damn, meant that as a reply.

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