When Will Google(tm) Become Generic?

By Naseem Javed Founder, ABC Namebank International | January 27, 2012

Today, there are hundreds of once highly protected famous name brands, which were backed by multi-million dollar promotional budgets, now commonly used in daily lingo as generic names, as it was their huge popularity that made them lose their trademark protection. So why is the use of famous trademarked names as 'verbs' in our daily language feared by the attorneys representing that mark? Now this calls for a closer look.

For example, when you open your fridge, have an aspirin, use a kleenex and watch the kids in spandex jumping the trampoline then go out rollerblading later you sit xeroxing then fedexing and have a granola or may be googling on the net. All these highlighted names are generic, and their respective owners try very hard to keep them unique by means of graphic logos for better identification.

Currently, the term, "to google", is in Oxford English Dictionary with a lower case"g". This is indicative that the word 'to google' has entered the English language as a word, and therefore, making it very difficult for the originators, GoogleTM, to keep it exclusive for themselves. Today, anyone can manufacture a fridge, trampoline or a rollerblade, so does this mean that there will be googling devices and googling softwares, or google kits produced by others?

Now the giant of the search engine universe, GoogleTM flares up and warns media to back off from using its most powerful moniker, GoogleTM as a "verb". This now calls for an even closer look.

First of all, it is all about our cultural transition surrounded by today's Novo-Psycho-Cyber-Dependency-Behavior...i.e an uncontrollable and unstoppable compulsion disorder to become fully symbiotronically attached oneself to various access devices with the body, and to search the net for hidden secrets and hidden bargains in the farthest and darkest corners of the world. This cultural revolution and this cyber-dependency-behavior both embrace the centrality of 'googlization' as its main force. The popularity of GoogleTM is awesome, and soon, historians will refer to our current times as a Search-Craze-Era. Well done, GoogleTM...viva le search.

Like Netsurfing or E-Mail and many thousands of other brand names that became common generic terms, Google is now swimming in the same soup, and if you google today or talk about googling, watch out as you are seriously upsetting this monster search engine. To many, this may sound like free advertising, though in reality, this is a corporate nightmare - a code-red alert strikes the boardroom. Legal SWAT teams swing into action to protect their successful global brand, and an aggressive policing of corporate name usage kicks in. Who knows, with so much technology available, imagine, if you typed in an email: "honey, I just got tired of googling..." Bang.. a stern message will pop up on your screen lecturing you on generic name rules 101, or even better, your system will simply crash and only re-open after you fax a signed and dually notarized apology.

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