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.