Man Suing Google to Undo Google Trademark

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jldevoy

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He hasn't got a hope in hell in any sensible court; a hoover is a generic term for a vacuum cleaner here...it doesnt mean hoover lost rights to their name.
 

carbonfountain

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When a trademark becomes part of the common vocabulary and is used by ordinary people to refer to a class of goods or services, then it loses its trademark status. That's nothing new. Words like "escalator" and "zipper" used to be trademarks but are now just plain words in the dictionary. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escalator#Name_development_and_original_intentions

His lawsuit isn't wholly frivolous, but chances are that a court will find that Google is not yet a generic name.
 

tomrippity02

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[citation][nom]carbonfountain[/nom]His lawsuit isn't wholly frivolous, but chances are that a court will find that Google is not yet a generic name.[/citation]

Agree'd. People don't refer to all search engines as google... if they say google, they generally mean Google.com specifically.

People may say iPod when they mean MP3 players generically, but this is not true of iPhones. In fact, if they are asking "is that an iPhone", there is evidence they recognize the difference between iPhone and all other phones, which means it isn't any where near becoming normal language to describe a product. iPhone does not mean phone and Google does not mean search engine they way ziplock means resealable plastic bag or kleenex means tissue.
 

sewalk

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[citation][nom]carbonfountain[/nom]When a trademark becomes part of the common vocabulary and is used by ordinary people to refer to a class of goods or services, then it loses its trademark status.[/citation]
Simply becoming a genericized term in common language does not render a trademark void. When trademarks become thus diluted, they are at risk but a proactive media campaign can reverse the trend and protect the trademark. The change in the jingle for Band-Aid to add the word "brand" is a prime example of such a campaign. Kleenex, Jell-O, Xerox, and dozens of other trademarks are still protected despite significant informal dilution because of active efforts by the companies holding them. Otis lost the trademark on escalator because it treated the term as generic within its own literature, including patent filings.
 

v90k

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[citation][nom]tomrippity02[/nom]In fact, if they are asking "is that an iPhone", there is evidence they recognize the difference between iPhone and all other phones...[/citation]

If this is evidence that people recognize the differences then why ask if its only one type of phone. People who know the differences would just say "What kind of phone is that" and not automatically assume that its an iphone.
 

dalauder

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So far, Rollerblade is the only one I haven't heard. That said, Xerox and others still have rights to their names. In some places, Pampers also has the same effect.
 

Shin-san

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"However, he’s obviously invested a lot of money into this venture."

Shouldn't be too much. There's plenty of registrars that offer domain registration for $10/yr or less. Yeah, it's $3000-7500/yr worth of domains, but the guy reminds me of those evil domain squatters.
 

kyuuketsuki

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While usage of the phrase "google it" should obviously be fair use (for example, Google shouldn't be able to sue somebody over a Youtube movie where they use the phrase without paying Google a fee) due to its ubiquitous usage in everyday language, that's not grounds to nullify the trademark and give this domain squatter the ability to profit off it.
 

sykozis

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[citation][nom]fatality1515[/nom]Greed in the US is disgusting..[/citation]
Greed exists everywhere, not just the US....and being from another country doesn't make the greed any less.
 

blazorthon

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[citation][nom]v90k[/nom]If this is evidence that people recognize the differences then why ask if its only one type of phone. People who know the differences would just say "What kind of phone is that" and not automatically assume that its an iphone.[/citation]

If someone is asking "it is that iPhone", then they are obviously recognizing the differences or else they would ask "what kind of iPhone is that" or something similar instead of "is that an iPhone". They probably didn't automatically assume that it is an iPhone and most likely, assumed that it isn't an iPhone if they ask "is that an iPhone".
 

vic20

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Not going to fly, but I wonder if Johnson & Johnson or Unilever are watching this closely. (Band-Aid and Q-Tip)
 
G

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Zerox, dictation, kleenex, q-tip, coke, PC, etc. Don't believe me? Just google it (with opera).
 

suitablyrandom

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[citation][nom]blazorthon[/nom]I don't know anyone whom refers to MP3 players as iPods nor people whom refer to Androids as iPods or iPhones. That's ridiculous.[/citation]
The sort of people who visits Tom's and other similar sites isn't likely to do something like that, but such people also make up a small portion of the general population. During my time working in tech support for an ISP, I saw everything from Androids being called iPhones, Cowon MP3 players being called "iPods", remote controls being called "iTouches" and most memorably, Ubuntu being called "Windows One". Not to mention Bing being called Google on more than one occasion.
That being said, I don't foresee the use of a trademarked term, improperly or otherwise, by people who don't know any better, as being grounds for the revocation of a trademark.
 

onanonanon

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[citation][nom]whysobluepandabear[/nom]I hope the court makes this guy suck a dick.[/citation]
Now that would certainly qualify as "cruel and unusual punishment". I wholeheartedly support this, good sir!
 

tomrippity02

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[citation][nom]v90k[/nom]If this is evidence that people recognize the differences then why ask if its only one type of phone. People who know the differences would just say "What kind of phone is that" and not automatically assume that its an iphone.[/citation]

If they didn't know there was a difference, why would they ask if it IS an iPhone? They would just assume it is... The reason they say, "is that an iPhone" is because of 1 of 2 reasons, either they aren't that familiar with what an iPhone looks like or the phone being used looks very similar to an iPhone from their view. Both of which are totally plausible.

The only people I have heard ask such a question is my mother, who is pretty much a decade behind on all technology.
 

zaznet

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If I hear "Google it!" I don't go to Bing or Yahoo, I go to Google.com to search. This suit could succeed if Google itself were to dilute it's own brand but being in common use doesn't achieve the same thing.
 
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