Google’s lawyers have once again begun firing off letters to media organizations to stop using its name as a verb. Ostensibly, it’s only doing it to protect its trademark, an issue that it has struggled with since “to google” someone or something entered the lexicon.
The execution, however, seems especially ham-handed, given the company’s aversion to doing evil. Not to mention the fact that “google” as a verb is finding its way into dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. While I can’t be sure, I’m guessing Larry and Sergei were pretty excited when they got that news.
This is the second example of intra-company communication skills lacking at big Web marketing companies. The first, and by far much worse, saw AOL’s research team looking to do something nice for academics, and ending up with a PR nightmare.
Perhaps both AOL and Google need to hold a “family meeting” to make sure everyone’s on the same page, especially when it comes to events like this where the actions of one group are so clearly at odds with those of another.
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