“Genericide” assault to nullify the Google trademark fails

From Ars Technica

David Kravets/Arstechnica

What do a teleprompter, thermos, hoover, aspirin, and videotape have in common? They were once trademarked but lost their legally protected status because their names became too generic.

Google won’t be joining that list any time soon. Google defeated a “genericide” lawsuit Tuesday that claimed Google should no longer be trademarked because the word “google” is synonymous to the public with the term “search the Internet.”

A US federal appeals court sided with Google in a case brought by a man who bought 763 domains with the term “google” in them. The court ruled that Google still retains its trademark even if the term “google” has become known for searching the Internet. One reason is because Google is a search engine and a whole lot more.

“Even if we assume that the public uses the verb ‘google’ in a generic and indiscriminate sense, this tells us nothing about how the public primarily understands the word itself, irrespective of its…

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