Apple’s trademark law case ‘not a contest’, says US judge
When Apple filed a trademark infringement case against Google for “google search” on the basis that the word “google” was a trademark, the court’s ruling came as a shock to the company.
Apple argued that the phrase was generic and could not be differentiated from “google”.
“Google is not a competition for the trademark, because it is not competing for the use of Google’s search technology,” Judge Richard Posner wrote in his opinion for the court.
“Google’s search product is the Google search engine itself, and the Google Search product is not the trademark of Google.
Google’s Google search is a Google search product.”
In his opinion, Posner also stated that the term “Google search” was generic because it could have been taken to imply that the Google product itself was the trademark.
Google has countered by arguing that the USPTO’s ruling was “not a dispute” and the two parties should be allowed to continue their dispute.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has argued that his company is not involved in the case and it is “a product of Google”.
Apple’s case is still pending.
The case is not yet over.
Judge Posner did not rule on the question of whether Google could continue to use “google”, but it’s likely that Google’s trademark lawyers will argue that the court does not have jurisdiction.
Apple is seeking an injunction that would prevent the two companies from using the phrase “google Search” and would also prevent them from using “google.com” in its search results.