SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CBS Las Vegas) – A New York business owner is suing for the right to use the term “Google” in the URL for his professional website, claiming that the word has becoming a legally generic term.
The federal lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Arizona because of the involvement of oft-controversial Scottsdale domain registrar GoDaddy.com, asserts that a trademark on the term should no longer be in place due to its frequent use in American language.
“The term ‘GOOGLE’ is, or has become, a generic term universally used to describe the action of Internet searching with any search engine, which cannot serve as a trademark to the exclusion of others,” the filed papers read.
Plaintiff David Elliot purchased approximately 750 domain names containing the word “Google” through GoDaddy, according to KTVK.
The argument is based around the frequent use of the word Google, which has caused it to become a generic term in the same way other product names have in the past.
“Some classic examples are things like the word escalator, or zipper,” Elliot’s attorney, Richard Wirtz, told the station. “Thermos is another one, or even aspirin. Those were all trademarks at one point.”
Wirtz and fellow attorney Thomas Foster are acting on behalf of Elliot, who is looking to start what is described in the suit as “an Internet-based business that will promote commerce, community, relationships, personal health, charity and more.”
A representative from Google rebuked the claims made by Elliot and his legal representation.
“These claims are without merit, and we will defend vigorously against them,” KTVK was told via e-mail.