The Swedish Language Council and Google have been going back and forth with each other since December 2012 over the word “ogooglebar”. The word means “ungoogleable” in Swedish, and Google had some concerns over the trademark issues surrounding the word. Google asked the Swedish Language Council to alter the definition of the word in order for it to represent Google’s trademark.
The original definition for “ungoogleable” was something that cannot be found within any search engine (not limited to Google only). Google wanted the Language Council to change definition to something similar to “something that can’t be found on Google” (which isn’t very much). The Swedish Language Council didn’t like Google’s proposal and decided to remove the word altogether just so it could avoid any further troubles.
Ann Cederberg, the Language Council’s president, stated, “We neither have the time nor the will to pursue the outdrawn process that Google is trying to start.” She continued on by saying how Google doesn’t own the language, and that its the users who are in control. She also says that it’s how the word is used that determines its definition, “not a multinational company with its means of pressure.”
This isn’t the first issue Google has had with its name being used in a generic sense. It’s very common to hear people say “Can you Google this for me?” or something in the same sense. Google sent out cease and desist letters, and pulled out various other methods to stop people from using its name to refer to searching something on the web. It stated in 2006, “You should please only use ‘Google’ when you’re actually referring to Google Inc. and our services.”
[via The Wall Street Journal]