August 15, 2007

I was searching for something interesting to write about last evening, and I came across a news article (link below) discussing some of the details of Google, Inc.’s most recent SEC 10-Q filing. Google is quite clear with how it feels about its intellectual property:

“Our patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and other intellectual property rights are important assets for us.”

Google acknowledged that there are some “threats” to its intellectual property, its products, and its services, noting the following:

“[E]ffective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which our products and services are distributed or made available through the internet. Also, the efforts we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be sufficient or effective. Any significant impairment of our intellectual property rights could harm our business or our ability to compete. Also, protecting our intellectual property rights is costly and time consuming. Any increase in the unauthorized use of our intellectual property could make it more expensive to do business and harm our operating results.”

While these statements may apply to several internet-based companies, Google also acknowledged one specific threat unique to it, namely its desire to maintain trademark protection on “Google”:

“For example, there is a risk that the word “Google” could become so commonly used that it becomes synonymous with the word “search.” If this happens, we could lose protection for this trademark, which could result in other people using the word “Google” to refer to their own products, thus diminishing our brand.”

[Back in July 2006, I wrote a brief blog article (link below) entitled “Is “Google” Becoming Dilute?” noting that Merriam-Webster had then recently added the word “google” to its dictionary.]

Google’s full 10-Q is provided in the link below (via EDGAR Online through Yahoo!).

Yahoo! News Article: LINK
Google’s Recent Form 10-Q: LINK
July 2006 DDIP Article: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

Click HERE to view my full professional bio at Reichel IP LLC.


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