Is the term “google” too generic and therefore unworthy of its trademark protection? That’s the question before the US Supreme Court. Words like teleprompter, thermos, hoover, aspirin, and videotape were once trademarked. They lost the status after their names became too generic and fell victim to what is known as “genericide.”
A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit that aimed to cancel Google’s trademark by arguing that “google” is now synonymous with searching the internet.The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday it was not enough to show that people use the verb “google” generically to refer to searching the web. The lawsuit had to show that people understood “google” to mean internet search engines generally, and not just Google’s search engine.