OK, OK, I’ll take the bullet for the Google lawyers. They aren’t evil.
Oh, T, They just live in an alternate universe to the one most of us humans live in.
See, in a courtroom things happen differently than they would on a street corner. On a street corner if someone tried to steal my name I’d just hit them over the head with my Bogen monopod (trust me, that’d hurt).
But in a courtroom a judge will ask “did you defend your trademark?”
If you didn’t defend your trademark it could legally be used. To a judge “defend” means “did you send threatening letters out to anyone who used your trademark improperly and can you prove that they were sent?”
Imagine a world where Bill Gates would be allowed to call his search engine “Microsoft Google.” Now you can start to understand why lawyers for brands like Google, Xerox, or Kleenex have to defend their trademarks.
Every journalism school student, though, learns that the lawyers are generally just going to email badass sounding letters out, but aren’t willing to make the PR mess of taking you to court (not to mention that it’s expensive and most of the time they just need the copies of the letters to convince the judge they are defending, not a full-blown trial). I got a bunch of those cease-and-desist letters for using things like the word “Kleenex” in my stories in without capitalizing it or putting the usual “TM” after the word (we never did that, mostly cause we were too lazy to look up the symbol inside QuarkXPress).
Translation: cut the lawyers some slack. If they weren’t sending out stupid letters like this they’d be doing something far more evil with their time.