US Supreme Court asked to invalidate Google trademark
In a trademark dispute that started in 2012, the US Supreme Court is now asked to invalidate the Google trademark, as, according to the petition, ‘there is no single word other than google that conveys the action of searching the Internet using any search engine’. The dispute has its origin in a 2012 cybersquatting case, when David Elliot and Chris Gillespie registered over 700 domain names which included the word ‘google’, triggering a cybersquatting complaint from Google under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. After Google won the dispute, Elliot and Gillespie sued the company asking for the trademark to be invalidated. In May 2017, a Court of Appeals ruled in favour of Google, one of the reasons being that Google is more than a search engine. Now, Elliot and Gillespie have appealed the Court’s decision to the US Supreme Court, asking, among others, whether verb usage of a trademark generic usage is a matter of law, and whether verb usage of a trademark is relevant to whether that trademark has become generic.