Googling the Google Brand Search Engine
Google's approach to preventing genericism is to demand that its name not be verbized in the media. Fair enough, but to ensure that their demands are (a) widely spread and (b) not seen as too evil, Google included these illustrations of appropriate and inappropriate uses in their letters:
Appropriate: He ego-surfs on the Google search engine to see if he's listed in the results.
Inappropriate: He googles himself.
Appropriate: I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party.
Inappropriate: I googled that hottie.
That's right, Google used the word "hottie" in an official legal warning letter.However, like I said above, the Google strategy does not seem to deal with the fact that if the OED had not accepted Google's use as a verb, it might not be as widely used. We can quibble over whether the word is regular usage before or after the OED condones its use, but once it does, it's official. And don't forget that a court will look at the dictionary for an ordinary meaning - though I wonder if the OED counts, it being a foreign source of law afterall. Suing the OED would be decidly evil, but if there are no qualms about suing a web site like Word Spy, then I can't wait for someone to sue the OED (or Webster) for inducing others to genericize a trademark.