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June 12, 2007

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I always have that little voice in the back of my head that says the press that Google receives by its name being used instead of "search" far outweighs the possible loss of trademark. Then again, I bet Frisbee thought the same thing.

It's a delicate balance between wanting your trademark on everyone's lips -- ie, synonymous with your class of product -- and the term becoming generic. If I remember right, a trademark must be "vigorously defended" in order to be valid, hence the lawyers and cease-and-desist orders that they send while the marketing guys rub their hands in glee ...

When Amazon rolled out its A9 search feature, they paid for product-placement verbing it. It was either the OC or Dawsons Creek - one of those product-friendly shows - and one of the characters said to "A9 it" to search for something. It sounded absolutely ridiculous as an alternative to "Google it."

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