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Man sues to make 'Google' ordinary word

An Arizona man says that "Google" now simply means "search on the Internet," so he sues to have Google's trademarks canceled. Oh, and he does own Googlegaycruises.com and Googledonaldtrump.com.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Have you ever asked someone to Bing something?

When Microsoft launched the word, it was surely in the hope that it would catch on. Alas, we either Google something or we do nothing.

Now, an Arizonan called David Elliott wishes the courts would bow to him and to the inevitable. For he is suing to have all of Google's trademarks set asunder. "Google," he says, just means "search on the Web."

You can see his point. But then you might ask yourself why David Elliott, of all human beings, has taken up this cause.

Well, as Paid Content explains, he happens to own a number of Web sites of which Google isn't fond.

Indeed, Google so dislikes them -- yes, all 750 of them -- that it took him to court and won the rights to them all. Why might Google object to Elliott's Web sites? Why, they're called things that Googlegaycruises.com and Googledonaldtrump.com.

You might wonder what Elliott's real business might be. The legal complaint explains that he's looking to take advantage of ICANN's release of "affinity- and location-based domain names." He wishes to use these domain names to promote "commerce, community, relationships, personal health, charity, and more."

Some might say he's not made a good start with the "relationships" part, as he's got himself sued and had to return the favor.

The complaint declares that he has developed a detailed business plan for developing these 750 domain names which all seem to start with the name -- um, the word -- "Google."

Elliott's lawyer. Richard M. Wirtz, clearly enjoyed himself in filing this action (embedded below). He leans heavily on the American Dialect Society declaring that "Google" was the word of the decade, a word that means "search the Internet." The complaint also says Google is aware that its trademark could be lost, as happened with "zipper," "thermos" and "yo-yo."

There is also the allegation that there are many domain names that begin with "Google," names that the company has taken no action against.

This case just does have the potential to provide for a little entertainment. If Elliott's lawyer somehow manages to charm his way into a Grishamesque victory, this might make for an excellent David Fincher movie.

Google Trademark Complaint