Google trademark questioned before Supreme Court

Print this page 22-08-2017

Ars Technica: "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."


Before the Supreme Court is a trademark lawsuit that Google already defeated in a lower court. The lawsuit claims that Google should no longer be trademarked because the word "google" is synonymous to the public with the term "search the Internet. The appeals panel said trademark loss to genericide occurs when the name has become an "exclusive descriptor" that makes it difficult for competitors to compete unless they use that name.


Why does any of this matter? The American Bar Association says a trademark "grants the right to use the registered trademark symbol: ®," allows a rights holder to sue for trademark infringement, and "acts as a bar to the registration of another confusingly similar mark."


Gillespie has now appealed his appellate court loss to the US high court. The petition for the Supreme Court to review the lower court's ruling was filed days ago. It may take months before the justices decide whether to take up the dispute."


Read the article here.