To google or not to google? It's a legal question

Bloggers have been making fun of the examples Google’s lawyers deem acceptable. They included: “Appropriate: I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party. Inappropriate: I googled that hottie.”



Web veterans have also been taken aback by Google’s suddenly humourless approach. The eight-year-old company has previously cultivated an image of youthful non-conformity, from the jeans and T-shirts often worn by its billionaire founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, to the scooter lanes and volleyball courts at its Palo Alto headquarters. —To google or not to google? It’s a legal question (The Independent)

The word google has recently joined words such as photoshop and xerox, as a generic term for an activity once tied to a specific product. Google’s copyright lawyers have to demonstrate that they have acted to defend the copyright, or else the word can fall so far into the common domain that the company wouldn’t be able to defend its name against competitors who try to use it. But I’m filing this as another example of why lawyers don’t live on the same planet as the rest of us.