United States Ninth Circuit

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Elliot v. Google, Inc., 15-15809

In an action under the Lanham Act, seeking cancellation of the GOOGLE trademark on the ground that it is generic, the district court's summary judgment in favor of defendant Google is affirmed where: 1) a claim of genericness or 'genericide,' where the public appropriates a trademark and uses it as a generic name for particular types of goods or services irrespective of its source, must be made with regard to a particular type of good or service; 2) the district court thus correctly focused on internet search engines rather than the 'act' of searching the internet; and 3) the verb use of the word 'google' to mean 'search the internet,' as opposed to adjective use, did not automatically constitute generic use.

Appellate Information

  • Decided
  • Published 2017/05/16




  • United States Ninth Circuit