I think Google might have lost its campaign to keep the whole world from using its trademarked name as a verb. It is not ironic but rather an unfortunate and (to non-stockholders) amusing coincidence that both information and the legal rights to use your company’s name both want to be free.
Chat about whatever, including but not limited to what Damon Lindhof has in store for us leftovers. I’m supposed to be the frontpager emeritus dammit.
In the UK, the common term for vacuum cleaner is a hoover, another trademark. Hoovering the carpet. Buying a new hoover, which could be an Electrolux or a Dyson, for instance.
Moved here 25 years ago, but still not quite used to some common Briticisms.
As you were. :D
How do I stop this stupid Symantec ccSvcHst.exe process (12.1.4013) from taking > 500 MB of RAM during a scan?
Can’t deinstall it, work VM requirement.
it happens quite regularly, actually. Jacuzzi, thermos, and escalator were all trademarked terms. So were nylon, trampoline, high octane, and even yo yo. What may save google in this instance is the fact that people tend to actually use google when they talk about googling something.
Sarah Palin TV is still a thing that is happening. Or is supposed to happen. Hard to tell with Gov. Palin, AKA Pay-per-view Palin.
Surely you mean Damon Lindelof?
And I haven’t paid any attention to him ever since it became clear that he hadn’t a clue what was going on in Lost. It was too bad I didn’t realize his name was attached to Prometheus before I saw it.
...now I try to be amused
Does Google have a corporate position on the term “Google-fu”?
It reminds me of Mattel being corporate assholes when artists treat Barbie as the cultural icon it is, a cultural icon that Mattel worked hard to create.
I’ve never understood fighting this. When Apple came out with the iPod, it rightly attached pod to everything it could. It was months before I dug enough to realize that a podcast was just an mp3 file.
Yes, theoretically, your name could get diluted, Google, but then again, for most people, it will trigger “go to Google” not “go to a search engine.” I suspect Microsoft would be thrilled if people started “Binging” for information.
Aspirin was also trademarked, though that one was actually stolen outright during WWI.
David in NY
Didn’t Xerox win this battle, for what it was worth?
And then this happened.
@David in NY: lots of companies fight to keep their trademarks. Xerox was one that won. Kleenex will also fight pretty hard to keep their’s – they send cease and desist letters to studios anytime a character says “Kleenex” and isn’t revering to a Kleenex brand tissue.
@Roger Moore: i actually kept my intellectual property case book from law school and there’s a copy of a Xerox ad that includes a bunch of terms that lost trademark protection, related to what David said, it was part of Xerox’s campaign to get people to say “photocopied” or “copied” instead of Xeroxed.
DON’T BUY A DYSON VACUUM CLEANER.
We’re about to have to buy a new vacuum cleaner, a couple of years after paying top dollar for a Dyson. It’s now broken for the second time. We give up.
Consumer Confidence in U.S. Jumps to Highest Since 2007
Talking Points Memo reporting Nate Silver’s 538 has parted ways with their climate change denier, Roger Pielke.
Maybe you guys discussed that on thread below.
@SiubhanDuinne: I thought it would be IG Farben, Bayer, and gas chambers. Yours is Funnier.
AFAIK, Wham-o has managed to keep the trademark on Frisbee from becoming a legal generic term for flying disks. Similarly, Hormel has been fighting a mighty battle to ensure that Spam refers to the meat product and spam to the email.
Completely non-coincidentally, unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007.
Illinois was the last state to enact a concealed carry license and then only because a federal judge made us do so. Based on the facts in this story the shooter in this story needs to be charged with a crime. At minimum unlawful discharge of a firearm. Possibly interfering with police investigation. If I had my way, he’d also get attempted murder. Then take away his guns, concealed carry permit and FOID.
Of course I’m sure the ammosexuals and NRA will applaud this guy but there are no fact presented that justify the use of deadly force. I’ve brainstormed what could justify shooting this guy the back and even if he had a kidnapped baby in the sack he was carrying it doesn’t justify it. No one outside of a movie is that good a shot to know s/he isn’t going to his the sack.
Now I know why someone was calling John Dickerson an idiot.
Idea men. Ha!
Someplace in a box or closet, have a pre-Frisbee Frisbee, from when they were called Pluto Platters.
Pre-dating Google, of course, were both Barney Google of the comic strip (and popular song) and (kind’a, sort’a) the mathematical googolplex.
Q-tips versus ‘cotton swabs’ Companies spend huge amounts to protect their trademarks.
@catclub: To compare him to a love-sick school-girl would be — you know the rest.
@NotMax: When they named Google, they were mis-spelling “googol.”
@Belafon: I’m going to be a hipster and start saying “lemme ask Jeeves that” Just to stick it the Google man
Homonym confusion can also kill a product deader than the proverbial nit.
Although it never became a generic term, some here may be too young to remember when Ayds diet chews were driven off the market after the acronym AIDS was coined.
Too late! I did. :D Some years ago. One of the smaller models. A yellow one. Still runs, but it’s as heavy as hell and a pain in the arse to store in this small apartment. About as sucky as my Italian fridge.
Every household appliance I replace in the future is going to be German-made. Bosch, Miele etc. I have a nice solid American-made Hunter desk fan from Memphis, TN, though, which will probably outlast me.
Having one’s brand so identified with a product/function that it becomes the generic name for the thing seems like a corporate person’s first-world problem.
Funny thing about Xerox, though: I’ve never actually seen a Xerox photocopier; in Asia, they’re all branded as Fuji Xerox. And in Malaysia, the common verb/adjective is “photostat” — as in photostat machine, photostat copy, to photostat.
That would have been after WWII. This was after WWI, when it was part of general reparations as part of the Treaty of Versailles. FWIW, heroin lost its trademark status as well.
Gin & Tonic
@Roger Moore: It makes for a lot of awkwardness in discussing the competitive sport played with plastic flying disks, which began life as “Ultimate Frisbee”, but with which Wham-O declined to participate. Now that there are two semi-professional leagues, they are the American Ultimate Disc League and Major League Ultimate. The word “Frisbee” is carefully not used, although every player will, speaking casually, refer to it as such. Odd in a way, since the Wham-O brand disk/disc is never used at any competitive level, and is derided as a toy by all serious competitive players.
@Amir Khalid: “Photostat” was also a trademark, originally.
And Fuji-Xerox is a joint venture.
@Roger Moore: Yet some people here think Democrats talking about how lousy the economy is would be a winner.
Reagan’s people sold 7.4% unemployment in ’84 as Morning in America, but Democrats want to poormouth the current situation, because it’s not as good as it ought to be. Which is true, but not exactly smart as a selling point.
If Warren Buffett invested in a chain of legal marijuana shops, would he be a joint venture capitalist?
I once thought that having one’s brand name become the generic term for a consumer item was the best compliment the company producing the consumer item could get.
Then I became an intellectual property paralegal and learned that failure to aggressively protect a trademark means losing the right to keep it registered as a trademark. Imagine trying to renew the “Google” mark registration, only to be told “Google” is now a generic term and therefore can’t be registered. Oops.
It’s more than an academic issue: if Google’s mark can no longer be used only by Google, then anyone could slap that mark on their product. People would think they’re getting something made by Google, when they would not.
@NotMax: And if those shops served exotic liquors as well, would his managers be sloe gin joint venture capitalist lackeys?
Frigidaire ! Which I think “fridge” is short for. I mean, I don’t see a linguistic reason “fridge” couldn’t be short for “refrigerator”, but that it was short for “frigidaire” is what I heard. Speaking of, is it me or did that word de-genericize itself ? I never hear it now (if you’re using the long word everyone says “refrigerator”), but I’m pretty sure it used to be used generically. There’s a Shel Silverstein poem involving it if nothing else.
couldn’t get into the leftovers. watched first three episodes, and nothing happened. if i want to watch a show about nothing, i’ll watch reruns of seinfeld.
Adobe wants people to know that “PhotoShop” is not a verb. but nobody cares.
i guess you could say “that picture was GIMPed!” but that would probably lead to scolding.
@gogol’s wife: Riccar
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
It’s going to be fun when state leges start instituting mandatory gun ownership like they’ve been pushing all over at this point. And it’s a sad state when that’s more realistic than any sort of gun regulation. I mean, for fucks sake, the gun gag laws in Florida got upheld because, apparently to the judges, gun ownership is something requiring minority civil rights protection.
So…yeah, expect more dipshits like that being around, and more dipshits like that being brushed off with ‘boys will be boys’ dismissiveness.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
Mimeograph. Can anyone else smell the purple ink just looking at the word? I was just a kiddo, of course.
In Sweden all cream cheese is “Philadelphia”.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
love that smell.
Ditto! (also a company name)
@cleek: True, but in that case the company name had been an English word for centuries.
I wonder if the stadium staff who did this are planning to copyright it. A picture of the mind-boggling result.
In Russia too.
@Caravelle: I don’t remember “Frigidaire” being generic anywhere or anywhen that I ever lived, but my wife and I were visiting the chocolate museum in Brussels many years ago, enjoying a presentation about making molded chocolates, and were amused when the gentleman doing the spiel for us got to the part about how to get the chocolates out of the molds and said in English (which was only one of at least four or five languages we heard him speak that day) that the mold went into “the Frigidaire,” so clearly it was a generic term in his version of English that he was confident we would understand.
Yes, I remember Frigidaire being a generic term. I also remember “icebox” (not a trademark, but old).
These efforts to keep trademarks from becoming generic terms, as necessary as they might be to the trademark holder’s legal right to the name, face a big problem: no one is the boss of common language. Xerox and Adobe can complain all they like; but in the end, who will stop you and me from saying/writing “to xerox” and “to photoshop” if that’s what we feel like doing? Who could?
my grandparents called all of their couches “Davenports”: another trademarked product name.
indeed. i suppose they have to do what they can, for legal reasons. but i bet they’re smiling on the inside – it is, after all, free advertising.
Until your comment just now, I was under the impression that Davenports were a style of couch rather than a brand.
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O’DONNELL 07/28/14
Mayor O’Neal goes to Washington
GOP Mayor Adam O’Neal of Belhaven, NC, arrives in Washington, D.C. to highlight the closure of his town’s local hospital and why Medicaid expansion saves lives.
2016 hopeful’s ethics controversy
Ari Melber talks with New York Times reporter Nick Confessore about NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) alleged interference in an anti-corruption commission.
@kc: Yes. Times 10 to the 100th power.
Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name)
@rikyrah: On what planet is Andrew Cuomo a 2016 hopeful?
@Amir Khalid: Davenport was a Massachusetts company that made furniture; and then grew to design and create interiors. Their work can be found in museums, in the White House, and in private homes.
In case no one has mentioned it — Xerox.
Maybe they won in court, but not with people. I don’t know how many times I hear people say Xeroxed and not photocopy.
Lazy Boy (sic), Putt-Putt
Lego really wants you not to call them “Legos”, so as to ward off the genericization monster. They’re “Lego(TM) Brand Building Bricks” or something of that variety.
They’ve also tried hard to sue their competitors (Mega Bloks, Tente, etc.) out of the market in various countries by claiming that their brick design is a trademark (it was once patented, but the patents all expired long, long ago). Usually they are not successful.
For one thing, Lego’s real innovation was the tubes or pins on the bottoms of the bricks that help them hold together more tightly. Before that addition, the bricks were a shameless imitation of an earlier, British toy called Kiddicraft bricks, which looked almost identical.