Google TM Trial Begins Today

Here's MediaPost's curtain raiser. For some reason I thought this would settle, but there you have it. For those (three) of you who share my fascination with trademark issues… Also, Gary has the court docket here……

Here’s MediaPost’s curtain raiser. For some reason I thought this would settle, but there you have it. For those (three) of you who share my fascination with trademark issues…

Also, Gary has the court docket here

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TiVo It

I am the proud owner of two Tivos. But this news has me upset: the NYT notes that Tivo is sending bigfoot letters to media organizations telling them how to use the trademarked term "Tivo" in a sentence. In particular, they don't like folks using "Tivo" as a verb….

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I am the proud owner of two Tivos. But this news has me upset: the NYT notes that Tivo is sending bigfoot letters to media organizations telling them how to use the trademarked term “Tivo” in a sentence. In particular, they don’t like folks using “Tivo” as a verb. (I wonder who Google would start with if they made up their mind to do the same? I know their trademark lawyers don’t like the dilution of the trademarked term, but it’s a lost cause!)

This smacks of desperation. Clearly their biggest issue is the use of “Tivo-like” which must just kill them – if I were running the company, that’s the one that would stick in my craw. But policing society’s use of Tivo as a verb? Crazy.

Attempts to muzzle society’s use of your trademark in what essentially is idiomatic conversation is doomed to failure. You can’t do it. And the process of trying will only make for bad will. I say, celebrate the fact that you’re a verb – it’s an honor! If you can’t, you’re in for a long cold winter. I, for one, would love to be bigfooted for saying I Tivo’d something last night. In fact, I *did* Tivo something last night. Yup, I Tivo’d a few things, in fact, including Desperate Housewives. But my attempt at Tivoing doesn’t always work – I missed the last few episodes due to a bad connection to my cable box. Which makes me sad. I think I need a kleenex.

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IBM Searching for Profit

I don't cover enterprise search much, in the book I have a place where I basically say: sorry, I have to punt, but this stuff is important – in particular to the future. It's not a solved problem right now (less so even than web search, it seems) but…

Ibm LogoI don’t cover enterprise search much, in the book I have a place where I basically say: sorry, I have to punt, but this stuff is important – in particular to the future. It’s not a solved problem right now (less so even than web search, it seems) but IBM is working on it, according to this Cnet story. Some mention of Web Fountain here, my spin on that here.

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Google Sued Over Scholar

The American Chemical Society yesterday filed a complaint against Google, claiming the new Google Scholar infringes on its own product, called SciFinder Scholar. You kind of have to love a place that has a "molecule of the week" on its website (that's Nafion on the left, in case you're…

Chemical

The American Chemical Society yesterday filed a complaint against Google, claiming the new Google Scholar infringes on its own product, called SciFinder Scholar.

You kind of have to love a place that has a “molecule of the week” on its website (that’s Nafion on the left, in case you’re wondering…), and SciFinder is certainly in the same business, to a point…but is “Scholar” protected? Maybe. But I sense something else is going on. Reading the story, the “aha” was not hard to find:



ACS’s Chemical Abstracts Service estimates that about 1,000 colleges and universities have bought the service, which provides access to all of CAS’s databases, including information on journal and patent references, substance information, regulated chemicals, chemical reactions, and chemical supplier information.

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More On Google, Yahoo, Media, Technology

My post below has garnered some very thoughtful responses, some of which took the route of email or phone calls. It's clear that I need to clarify and revise my ramblings on this subject, and I'm grateful that my thinking-out-loud is worthy of such consideration. Maybe by the time…

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My post below has garnered some very thoughtful responses, some of which took the route of email or phone calls. It’s clear that I need to clarify and revise my ramblings on this subject, and I’m grateful that my thinking-out-loud is worthy of such consideration. Maybe by the time the book is finished, I will have gotten this right, but in the spirit of iteration, here’s another hack at it…and this still feels not quite right, like I need a good joints after midnight talk with a few more folks before the dead obvious stuff hits me between the eyes…

First, some of you challenge my distinction of Yahoo as more media-driven and mercantile, and Google as more “pure” and technology driven. And many point out that in the end, even making a distinction between “media businesses” and “technology businesses” is a distinction without a difference – both are in the business of creating value for customers. Such a distinction is vulnerable to a charge of easy thinking, and I agree. Let me clarify. In the end, I believe both companies are in the same business, and if I were forced to name that business in one word, I’d argue that business is media. Yes, Google started its life as an algorithm in a PhD program, and Yahoo started as an edited guide to the web, but they are clearly converging into the same business: they mediate information and services for consumers, and derive value from those services using the traditional revenue streams of the media business: advertising and subscriptions (if you don’t think Google is in the subs business, think again).

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Pell On Google Suggest: Po = Poetry?

Dave Pell checks out Google Suggest and does the one letter test, and the results are fun. He wonders, however: I find it hard to believe that more people who type in the letters P-O are ultimately looking for poetry than porn. That's safesearch for ya!…

Dave Pell checks out Google Suggest and does the one letter test, and the results are fun. He wonders, however:

I find it hard to believe that more people who type in the letters P-O are ultimately looking for poetry than porn.

That’s safesearch for ya!

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And Then Google Announces “Google Suggest….”

Just as I riff on "Also Try" as a key differentiator for Yahoo, Google announces that they are testing a search suggestion tool. It's not incorporated into the main index, yet, but here are details from a note I got from PR: "In our ongoing effort to create innovative…

Just as I riff on “Also Try” as a key differentiator for Yahoo, Google announces that they are testing a search suggestion tool. It’s not incorporated into the main index, yet, but here are details from a note I got from PR:

“In our ongoing effort to create innovative technologies that enable users to

search more of the world’s information, Google today released an

experimental search service on Google Labs called Google Suggest. This new

web search service suggests queries as a user types what he or she is

looking for into the search box. By offering more refined searches up front,

Google Suggest can make searching more convenient and efficient, because it

eliminates the need to type the entire text of a query. In addition, the

service can connect users with new query suggestions that are useful,

intriguing, and fun.

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Friday Sketching: Tangential Ramblings on the Roles of Google and Yahoo in Search, Media and Beyond

For some time I've been trying to articulate, in a succinct fashion, what separates Yahoo and Google in terms of their approach to search, media, and ultimately culture. It came up today as I was writing, and damned if I got stuck. So in the spirit of other Friday…

For some time I’ve been trying to articulate, in a succinct fashion, what separates Yahoo and Google in terms of their approach to search, media, and ultimately culture. It came up today as I was writing, and damned if I got stuck. So in the spirit of other Friday sketches, I’m going to write out loud here on Searchblog, and depend on your forbearance and insights to get through the draught.

So let’s consider a search for the one-word term “usher,” and further, let’s presume the person typing that search in really does want to know about the (currently) popular singer Usher.

Googleusher-1

Now on Google, usher brings you a pretty predictable set of results. Because Usher, the singer, is quite popular at the moment and therefore much in the news, Google incorporates some of its Google News results into its SERPs, you can see from the link or picture that there are two in this particular example. On the right are tons of AdWords related to Usher – clearly there are plenty of vendors who stand to make a buck or two off the man, and they’ve found Google a good way to monetize the term. The majority of the page, however, is given over to listing the top ten Google results for “usher.”

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Update to Yahoo Desktop Search…

Writing this AM, but full coverage at InsideGoogle, Paid Content, Charlene Li, SEW. Also, a birdie tells me that AOL is going with Copernic for their desktop search, Andy Beal has perhaps been talking to the same feathered friend….

Writing this AM, but full coverage at InsideGoogle, Paid Content, Charlene Li, SEW.

Also, a birdie tells me that AOL is going with Copernic for their desktop search, Andy Beal has perhaps been talking to the same feathered friend.

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