Skip to comments.Google wants people to stop googling
Posted on 08/16/2006 3:11:01 PM PDT by holymoly
Google has said it intends to crack down on the use of its name as a generic verb, in phrases such as "to google someone."
The Internet search giant said such phrases were potentially damaging to its brand.
"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 generally describe searching the Internet. It has some serious trademark issues," a representative for the search company said.
Julie Coleman, an authority on linguistics from the University of Leicester, said she could understand Google's concerns.
"The prestige associated with a trademark is lost if people use it generically, so I do see Google's point. They also do lots more than just search, so maybe they're reluctant for their brand name to be restricted in this way," Coleman said.
But Coleman added that once new words enter into common usage, it is impossible to stop their use.
"Google can't possibly stop the spread of the verb," Coleman said. "Normal people are using it in normal conversation and in writing, and they aren't likely to face legal proceedings."
What Google could do, said Coleman, is "force dictionaries to mention its origin in a trademarked brand name, which is what the Oxford English Dictionary already does."
Even if Google's attempts to stop this misuse of its trademark turn out to be in vain, many argue it shouldn't even be trying.
Members of the blogging community have suggested it is a sign that Google is losing its once-cool facade and that the search giant is taking itself too seriously.
One blogger also suggested Google has missed the obvious compliment in all this, which is that the use is evidence the company now owns the search industry.
"This should be the ultimate compliment, and I cannot believe Google sees it differently," blogger and computing graduate Frank Gruber wrote.
Steve Rubel, another blogger, branded it "one of the worst PR moves in history".
Morgan McLintic, a PR executive based in the heart of Silicon Valley, said Google should certainly learn when to love its addition to the English language.
"'Googling' is already common parlance for searching on the Internet," McLintic wrote. "And there is only one place you go to 'google,' so this is a good thing for Google with a capital 'G'. The media's use of the verb is simply a reflection of everyday use."
Google's move reflects the concerns of other businesses, such as Xerox, which has complained that its brand has become a generic term for photocopying respectively. Apple Computer is also taking action to defend "iPod."
AOL is another technology company that has fought the tendency of brands to become generic. It has contacting media outlets in the past over the use of "instant messenger" to describe any IM application, claiming that to be its brand.
Bwahahahaha. (I needed a good laugh today.)
It has some serious trademark issues
Uh huh. You bet.
I suppose it's like people using the word "Kleenex" in reference to any brand of tissue. We all know how devastating that's been to Kimberly-Clark, don't we?
Oh stop crying. Here's a Kleenex.
Close the barn door alert!
No kidding! What is their problem? I often use the term "google it." Are they going to come after me?
It's great advertising for them so I don't understand this complaint at all. It's stupid.
Hey, "Scotch" tape, make a "Xerox". They've got a better chance of seeing God!
With comments like this Google could come to mean something else real quick. Better be careful what you wish for Google.
I think Barney should sue them.
I try not to Google.
AlGore has lots of stock in Google.
Same with Dumpsters
Great googling on finding this article.
What a mickey mouse thing to do.
And put it in the Thermos.
So their brand has become a household word and they are complaining?
You googled that, didn't you?
Now where do I send the 2 cents for using the Trademark name?
This is bunk.
Nearly any other company would pay dearly to get this kind of free advertising/recognition/word-of-mouth.
My advice to people who avoid Google for reasons such as this is:
Use Google (and their bandwidth), but never, ever click on one of their ads.
Or, better yet, use the MVPS HOSTS file, and you'll never even see a Google ad.
What is next someone trademarking the number one?
Oh boo hoo. They should be flattered.
Better grab the Kodak and preserve this moment.
While I wouldn't expect most in the blogging community to know or care, the totally uncool and grownup thing Google has done is to have a serious talk with a trademark lawyer. If you want to keep your trademark, you have to protect it. Google has a lot of bucks riding on its trademark, and it has no choice but to take it seriously. Coca Cola zealously guards its "Coke" trademark. That's one of the reasons a flight attendant asks you whether Pepsi would be OK when they don't have Coke. Xerox faced similar issues after it came to dominate the photocopier industry. Defending your trademark is a sign of maturity and common sense. Investors like to see that in the companies in which they own stock, no matter how unhip the blogger community thinks it might be.
The folks at Google need to stick their head in the Frigidaire and cool off.
I propose this definition - Getting Googled - when someone uses sly insidious techniques to foist a left wing agenda on you.
Looks like they need to go to the store and pick up some Cokes.
BTW, I think I'll trademark that phrase...
Did I use Google when I clicked on the thread?
Actually, back around 1970, Xerox Corp. was on a serious crusade about using its name generically. A lot more people say "copy" or "photocopy" today than did then. Of course, carbon paper was still in common use -- lots cheaper than xeroxing, so "copy" was ambiguous. IIRC, Xerox suggested "xerographic copy," which doesn't seem to have caught on.
The folks at Google need to stick their head in the Frigidaire and cool off.
They have wanted to change their name to "Super Search Engine Inc" for years now but just can't seem to get away from the old "Google".
LOL, I hope so in this case, :-)
Quit whining and see what xeroxing did for Xerox.
...and a Styrofoam cooler to put them in, one with Velcro tabs to keep the lid from blowing off.
Why doesn't Google just zip it up. Or take two asprin.
Aspirin was/is a brand name in Canada. Kerosene was a brand name at one time the the U.S.
If Google were smart, it would start a campaign along the lines of, "When you 'google' something, be sure you really Google (tm) it. Accept no substitutes!" ... that sort of thing. Such would underscore their point (that not EVery internet search is truly a Google search) without making them seem petty.
The number I suspect you're thinking of that sounds like "google" is actually spelled "googol" = (IIRC)
the digit "1" followed by 100 zeroes.
Some folks really don't know when
they've got it good. Amazing.
Sorry, it's way too late for this. I even read this phrase in a book the other day. And it wasn't a brand new book either, had to be a year or two old, since it was "now in paperback". According to the cover it had been a NY Times #1 best seller(fiction). They should be proud of inventing a new word and let it go at that.
Think I'll go google google!
(No, seriously. I want to know)
"Want a coke?"
(That's Texas talk.)
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