Google says no 'googling' in trademark warning

Less than a month after "google" became a verb in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary the namesake is warning companies about using the trademarked word improperly.

In covering the new verb, The Washington Post wrote: "Google, the word, now takes its place alongside the handful of proper nouns that have moved beyond a particular product to become descriptors of an entire sector--generic trademarks."

The venerated Washington Post received a letter from a Google trademark lawyer who objected to that characterization as "genericide."

According to an article in the newspaper about the letter, Google lawyers then proceeded to provide appropriate and inappropriate uses of the word:

"Appropriate: He ego-surfs on the Google search engine to see if he's listed in the results.

Inappropriate: He googles himself."

"Appropriate: I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party.

Inappropriate: I googled that hottie."

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