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Google to be Sued Over Name?

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the ludicrous-lawsuits-for-everyone dept.

Google 800

WK writes "Now that Google's IPO is running, the company is on the verge of being sued by the family of Professor Edward Kasner who invented the word 'Googol' to describe a very big number. The great-niece of Kasner who was 4 years old at the time her uncle died says that although Google has brought attention to the name, it has not brought attention to Kasner's work. Google was not using the concepts, but just capitalizing on the name."

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Baaahhh.... (5, Insightful)

microbob (29155) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182208)

Give me a frigging break! Had "google.com" sucked rocks you wouldn't be saying a word.

Now that google.com is just about to IPO you come crawling out of the wood work.

Go back home...

-mb

Re:Baaahhh.... (5, Insightful)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182244)

I agree completely. If google.com was a fly-by-night dot com, we would not even have known of this family's existence.

they want to become IPO insiders to put his soul to rest.

This statement is so repulsive that it would leave a bad taste for the rest of the day.

Re:Baaahhh.... (-1, Flamebait)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182345)

Googol [m-w.com]

I believe that she may have a case. Not to say that you are wrong but this is the "American Way", these days. I'd probably do the same and I'm sure that many here would.

The fact of the matter is that public companies are evil(tm) and deserve every bit of this. Is the company running out of money? Why do they need to go public?

Greed is the only reason that they are going public. Nothing more. They deserve every bit of what they get.

Ha ha ha ha (-1, Redundant)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182210)

Ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha Ha ha Stupid compression filter :) What a dumbarse...

Are you serious? (4, Insightful)

Kulaid982 (704089) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182211)


"googol" and "google.com" aren't even spelled the same! Gimme a break.

Re:Are you serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182256)

Microsoft & MikeRoweSoft aren't spelled the same either. The angle of this alleged lawsuit - profited from the name but have done nothing to promote the name - may help them some. If I were in this situation I'd google it. Or is that googol?

Re:Are you serious? (4, Informative)

eelke_klein (676038) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182273)

Read: Google history [google.com]

The first alinea goes...

Google is a play on the word googol, which was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, and was popularized in the book, "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Kasner and James Newman. It refers to the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. Google's use of the term reflects the company's mission to organize the immense, seemingly infinite amount of information available on the web.

Re:Are you serious? (4, Insightful)

Casualposter (572489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182375)

I suppose that Groklaw is going down for using "grok," a term coined by R A Heinlein?

This is so stupid.

Re:Are you serious? (5, Insightful)

Anti Frozt (655515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182278)

Neither are Windows and Lindows. Look what happened there.

Re:Are you serious? (4, Insightful)

MoronGames (632186) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182313)

Yes, but Windows and Lindows are both operating systems. Google is a search engine, googol is a number.

Re:Are you serious? (5, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182362)

Windows is a trademarked name for a limited and specific set of commercial software, developed through the work of thousands of engineers/programmers, at a costs way into the millions of dollars.

Googol is a word that some kid made up to describe a big number that existed a priori. Even if you could sell a googol of something(that'd be a whole hell of a lot), you can't sell a googol itself.

Re:Are you serious? (0, Redundant)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182328)

Score 3, Insightful for pointing out that "googol" and "google" aren't spelled the same?

Bravo :)

I am not serious (1)

talaphid (702911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182360)

Maybe I should legally change my name to Mike Rowe, and buy a domain conveying that I make software.

Re:Are you serious? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182382)

"googol" and "google.com" aren't even spelled the same! Gimme a break.

Damned right!

Especially since "google" was a word that described an extreme of looking, long before "googol" was coined.

FIRST NAKED HERMIONE POST! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182212)

go Harry! w00t!

Wake up! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182214)

Is everyone asleep - this lady is just greedy!

Yet another frivolous lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182216)

Move on, nothing to see here

Re:Yet another frivolous lawsuit (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182357)

Do you have a trademark, copyright or contract of any kind? No? STFU, get out of my court, NEXT!

Welll... (0, Redundant)

OrthodonticJake (624565) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182219)

...since it's not spelled the same, I guess I don't really see his case.

Re:Welll... (1)

fred_sanford (678924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182389)

Lindows != Windows

How much money do they want? (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182220)

Answer : write down a figure, then add a lot of zeros. *rimshot*

Thank you. I'll be here all week; don't forget to tip your server. Why not try the tuna?

4 years old? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182221)

never too young for a first post!

Silly (4, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182222)

I'm sorry but this is fucking retarded. Why would anyone think it would be okay to sue a company named Google for using a possible variant of the un-trademarked word Googol to describe a business that creates a data searching system? If there is a connection, why doesn't dictionary.com show one in the google definition [reference.com] ? I could see perhaps a case if Google was called Googol, but this appears to be nothing more than a cash grab by a family of broke twits. Besides, the guy didn't invent the word! His 9 year old nephew did [www.fpx.de] ! From that link: The american mathematician Edward Kasner once asked his nine-year-old nephew to invent a name for a very large number, ten to the power of one hundred; and the boy called it a googol.

Re:Silly (4, Informative)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182285)

There is a connection, and Google admit it on their own site [google.com] .

From that page:

What's a Google?

"Googol" is the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. The term was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, and was popularized in the book, "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Kasner and James Newman. Google's play on the term reflects the company's mission to organize the immense amount of information available on the web.

Re:Silly (2, Interesting)

Mr_Perl (142164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182356)

Certainly seems to be calling attention to his work, doesn't it?

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182332)

Nobody's suing.

And he waited so looong.... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182223)

He waited so looong to cash in cheaply into Google's prosperity. I, for one would declare him an "enemy combatant".

Re:And he waited so looong.... (1)

yummy1991 (546737) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182392)

I second that.

He didn't. (2, Interesting)

ArbiterOne (715233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182227)

As the story goes, he was trying to come up with a good name for 10^100. He asked a little kid (some say his nephew) for a name, and the kid responded, "Call it a googol."
This is ridiculous, by the way. It's like the guy who came up with the word "milennium" suing LucasFilm because of Star Wars.

hmmm i wonder (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182229)

do you suppose she used google to find local legal advice?

In other news, (1)

Max_Abernethy (750192) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182231)

The descendents of the inventors of arabic numerals are sueing all American businesses that used their IP without purchasing a license.

What's more important? The name, or money? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182236)

I think the niece has clearly indicated that money is more important than her uncle's name and reputation...

In other news (5, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182240)

Some dead Greek guy's relative sues MPAA over use of the word 'Pi' as a movie title.
Roman mathematician's descendents sue Dr. Evil over the use of the word "Million"
Parker Brothers sued over the name 'Mr. Green' in the popular "Clue" game by the guy who invented that word.

This post brought to you by the number 3(TM), the letter P(TM) and the color yellow(TM).

Perhaps Microsoft should sue Parker Bros (1, Funny)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182300)

over the frivolous use of the name Monopoly :-D

Re:Perhaps Microsoft should sue Parker Bros (1, Funny)

Anti Frozt (655515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182365)

You have it backwards. Parker Bros. should sue Microsoft for defimation of character as MS is clearly giving a bad name to the word Monopoly.

Stupid (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182241)

Oh please... give me a break! This is too much; As I type this I see the Google Banner at the top of the page. any moron who sues Google will have it in for himself because of the pissed off mobs...

Is googol trademarked? (4, Insightful)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182242)

No?

Ok, nothing to see here, move along.

How the fuck do you invent a word.

Re:Is googol trademarked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182279)

Uh...you invent a word by starting to use it. Look at where the word "quiz" comes from. Look at the hundreds of words invented by Shakespeare. In fact, every single word must have been invented at some point.

Re:Is googol trademarked? (3, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182291)

How the fuck do you invent a word.

Easy: Femplesnip. It means to invent new words as you go along. So I just femplesnipped femplesnip and my descendants will cite this post as prior art.

Re:Is googol trademarked? (1)

mikestro (60854) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182298)

I dunno, but somehow Microsoft did it with "Windows".

Re:Is googol trademarked? (1)

AnonymousKev (754127) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182391)

How the [explitive deleted] do you invent a word?

I realize this is a rhetorical question (and my answer is Off-Topic), but my son just finished reading a book on how to invent a word. Check out Frindle by Andrew Clements.

Reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182246)

When we were little kids, we used to use the word "googol" that we'd heard from an older guy. We thought is way cooler than infinity...google/googol just sounds a hell of a lot cooler don't you think?

As for resolution of this problem, um damn, i think it'd be big of Google (company) to ackknowledge the man, but c'mon, suing over that? Get lost.

Give me a break (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182247)

this is insane. why not just go after the makers of GOGGLES while you're at it too?

pfft (2, Insightful)

NickeB (763713) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182249)

Google is searching through a very big number of webpages! Don't you all see? :)

What is the claim? (1)

mocm (141920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182251)

Copyright, for a single word that is even spelled differently and a mathematical definition?
Trademark?
Certainly not a patent.

How is this any different... (5, Insightful)

Anti Frozt (655515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182253)

than if I named my company "One Hundred Billion?" (raises pinky finger to corner of mouth)

Can you get a copyright/trademark on a number?

Re:How is this any different... (1)

radja (58949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182299)

in the US, you can even patent a number...

You can't trademark a number (5, Interesting)

doodlelogic (773522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182381)

Intel found this out to their cost when clone 486 chips came out. On attempting to sue Cyrix et al, they were unable to prevent them from using the number names. Hence the move to the (trademarked) brand name "Pentium".

Dictionarying "Google": (5, Informative)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182258)

Dictionarying [dictionary.com] "Google [reference.com] ":

The World-Wide Web search engine that indexes the greatest number of web pages - over two billion by December 2001 and provides a free service that searches this index in less than a second.


The site's name is apparently derived from "googol", but note the difference in spelling.

The "Google" spelling is also used in "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, in which one of Deep Thought's designers asks, "And are you not," said Fook, leaning anxiously foward, "a greater analyst than the Googleplex Star Thinker in the Seventh Galaxy of Light and Ingenuity which can calculate the trajectory of every single dust particle throughout a five-week Dangrabad Beta sand blizzard?"

Re:Dictionarying "Google": (2, Interesting)

Claws Of Doom (721684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182359)

I'm not sure how things work across the pond (in the USA), but in little old Wales, don't people have to:

a) register a trademark/claim copyright;
and
b) actively protect their claimed Intellectual Property

in order to maintain their rights?

Rather reminds me of a case involving Private Eye [private-eye.co.uk] (a paper publication akin to "The Onion") and Portakabin a while back...

This just might be.... (2, Insightful)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182259)

the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.

People are idiots (1)

toolshed7 (756496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182260)

You know this shit is just getting out of hand. So, what now? These people just want money...plain and simple. Just freakin greed...next person that has my exact name I am suing. My folks invented it...it is mine. Freakin idiots.

Rediculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182261)

Her father invented a word for a number. There is no copyright. There is no trademark. We must now promote the work of the person who created the number? Why did he even bother? Google can just change to 10^100.

Jesus must be spinning in his grave....

How to bring shame to a family name, step 1. (5, Insightful)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182263)

So instead of having her father's name attached to a hugely successful web search engine she'd rather have it attached to some lawsuit that is going to make her family look like a bunch of assholes once the media gets wind of it.

Good one!

If they only had a web page (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182386)

There's a

<a href="">litigious bastards</a>

Googlebomb that would be particularly amusing.

Ofcourse! (3, Insightful)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182266)

In 1955 he died and much later a search engine called Google was born. His relatives claim that Kasner must be spinning in his grave. They believe Google has gained financially at their expense and they want to become IPO insiders to put his soul to rest.

As wel all know, potentially large sums of money can put a deceased loved one to rest. Why doesn't Google solve it creatively? Add a small line of text with a link that states what a googol is, with a tribute to Kasner, his work and his other achievements? The man and his work have been recognized, the family doesn't get a cent and everyone, except those greedy bastards, is happy.

Re:Ofcourse! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182301)

http://www.google.com/corporate/

See the bottom paragraph :)

Re:Ofcourse! (4, Informative)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182311)

Google have already done this [slashdot.org] - that link has been there for ages.

Re:Ofcourse! (3, Funny)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182321)

If the guy keeps spinning, maybe he can be used as a source of unlimited, cheap electricity.

Re:Ofcourse! (1)

stph (541287) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182337)

...everyone, except those greedy bastards, is happy

Well that's just unamerican or something, isn't it.

Re:Ofcourse! (2, Informative)

hattig (47930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182339)

Considering they have not one, but three whole sentences relating to Googol in their corporate history page (someone posted it above), they have already done it.

Sorry, but Google isn't benefitting from anything illegal or immoral here. It is only a made up word. It isn't trademarked, copyright is dubious considering it is merely a single word, and the definition must be public domain if it is a standard term for 10^100.

Re:Ofcourse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182342)

They already do: http://www.google.com/corporate/index.html

"What's a Google?

"Googol" is the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. The term was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, and was popularized in the book, "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Kasner and James Newman. Google's play on the term reflects the company's mission to organize the immense amount of information available on the web. "

Re:Ofcourse! (1)

MagicBox (576175) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182393)

....a search in Google for the word Googol turned up quite a few links, many belonging to COMPANIES directly capitalizing on the Googol name. Googol [google.com] How come they are not being sued? It's unbelievable what corrupted souls will do for money. To me the word Google != Googol, period.

A bit greedy are we? (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182272)

Bah! It appears to be just another relative trying to cash in on someone else's work, like the decendants of the guy who copyrighted the "happy birthday" song awhile back.

Besides, no one has seen fit to defend the implied trademark (though registered? I'm thinking "not), so I doubt that the lawsuit gets anywhere... I suspect a couple of relatives saw Google's IPO numbers and decided to try at cashing in.

/P

Lets be american (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182277)

IANAL, but wouldn't she have to show proof that the name googol had been copy written? and even it had been, how long until the copyright expires?

this is even worse than the coffee lady that sued mcdonalds. why is it that money seems to bring out the worst in people?

Existence-Uniqueness Theorem for Google (2, Funny)

davidstrauss (544062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182281)

I keep searching for "Professor Edward Kasner" on Google but nothing comes up. I guess he must not exist.

This, of course, raises deep philosophical questions about existence. Do things not listed on Google exist? Did anything exist before Google? Does Slashdot exist on a higher plane of being than I do because it yields more results?

Terrible (2, Insightful)

icypyr0 (636724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182282)

Its really terrible what some people will do for money.. they have curiously abstained from even raising the issue until now, after the IPO, when they will get the most press and probably win the largest sum (if they win at all).

One thing in common. (1)

alexatrit (689331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182284)

The only thing here is that both are used to represent/qualify large amounts of information. That's it. Regardless of whether or not she has a case, it feels like quite a reach.

I think the case is... (2, Interesting)

radoni (267396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182288)

..though IANAL...

the use of G and an 'o' for each page of search results ending with the 'gle'

this may be a legitimate claim, but it is made completely weak by the circumstances (google's IPO namely) and to my knowledge the term "googol" is in most unabridged dictionaries defining a number of value one with one hundred zeros.

after 12 or 13 sides, regular polygons are named by their prefix and the 'gon' suffix. my favorite one? googolgon. transform!

Other way around (1)

Diabolical (2110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182290)

Me thinks it's the other way around.. She is trying to get attention at the expense of Google..

No matter if her family has any trademarks/rights/whatever on the word Googol.

If she would win we could see a whole new kind of lawsuits instead of those frivolous suits about by people suing macdonalds because their food makes you fat etc...

In other news... (1, Funny)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182293)

"Now that Google's IPO is running, the company is on the verge of being sued by the family of Professor Edward Kasner who invented the word 'Googol' to describe a very big number.

In other news, the family of Professor Edward Kassner is being sued by the family of the great Russian playwright Nikolai Gogol [theatredatabase.com] .

In Soviet Russia... Google Gogols you!

Under what laws? (1)

3Suns (250606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182294)

What intellectual property law is Google violating? Surely the term "googol" wasn't trademarked, because trademarks (I believe) must refer to a company name or salable product. Copyright applies to the original published work, but not to a single word, and "google" isn't a verbatim copying of even that word. Patents and trade secrets obviously don't apply...

So where's the beef?

A Legal Defense.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182297)

I always thought that Google was a contraction of "Go ogle"

Could be wrong, but it if was, it would be a good defense.

"Kasner's work" my ass (2, Insightful)

arvindn (542080) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182302)

Does anyone think its the slightest bit innovative to give a name to a very big number? I think this is just a publicity scam capitalizing on the coming IPO. Google's lawyers should have to trouble with this one.

Gringo (4, Funny)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182304)

Maybe google should change its name to gringo? You could go to www.heygringo.com to ask a question.

I am a gringo! [funwavs.com]

Barney? (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182307)

If anyone had prior art on this, it is the guys who created Barney Google [toonopedia.com] in 1919.

1st law of People (1)

secondsun (195377) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182310)

This family follows the first law of people/human nature. The furthest people see is the first dollar sign.

The nation's gone crazy. (5, Insightful)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182317)

At what point are people -- rational people-- going to get together and form a coalition to bring about a bloodless coup, lift the Democrats and Republicans from office, wipe clean the slate of stupid laws and ridiculous political/legal traditions, form a new American government starting from the foundation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and finally make it so that bullshit like this is the exception rather than the norm? Good God, the nation's gone absolutely ape-shit. When's the revolution, and how can it be brought about without further bloodshed? Ridiculous lawsuits like this are just a symptom of how detached from reality the US has gotten.

I'm good and sick of this "lawyerocracy" we have here. I'd love to see a "geekocracy".

oh you just wait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182318)

Wait until the Gore family decide to sue the entire internet for never acknowledging it's creator.

Peanuts (1)

reedk (43097) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182323)

The first time I heard the term googol was in a Peanuts cartoon when I was about 8 yrs old (which is a lot longer ago than it used to be...). I think it was Linus that was talking about it.

Re:Peanuts (2, Informative)

reedk (43097) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182374)

Ha, even found a quote from the strip: Lucy: Schroeder, What do you think the odds are that you and I will get married someday? Schroeder: Oh, I'd say about "Googol" to one. Lucy: How much is a "Googol"? Schroeder: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0 00,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Where's parker Brothers in all this? (5, Interesting)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182327)

You don't see Parket Brothers suing Microsoft of the word "Monopoly".

But seriously, our society is WAY WAY WAY too litigious and opportunistic for anyone's good. On what grounds based in reality does the family of the man who invented the word "Googol" have to the Internet search engine company?

Google even has it's own dictionary entry - two actually, V and N

Interesting (1)

Scotto_est_Blotto (780787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182329)

Its interesting to me, how when a company more fully enters the American corporate arena, silly stuff like this starts to surface. Google increases in popularity and notoriety, and all of a sudden we have weiners like this suing them for their name, when the term "Googol" isnt even trademarked, nor is it the same as "Google". Google increases in popularity and notoriety, and we have Microsoft entering the fray to try and beat them out of the market, by manipulating their OS monopoly. Its interesting how Western civilization has evolved into the "sue everyone and reap the benefits" mindset. A thousand years ago, cavemen would have ran away from a falling boulder; today, the same person would run into it headfirst screaming "CHA-CHING!!". Little stories like these, are an interesting insight into how corporate America works. Keep an eye on Googles continuing ascent in the business world, and see how many more of these ridiculous lawsuits crop up.

Kasner rolling in his grave? Unlikely (2, Interesting)

daniel_mcl (77919) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182330)

I'm currently studying to become a mathematician; one of the reasons is that the mathematical community has avoided the intellectual-property nonsense that other fields have embraced. Mathematical research is published in public journals and the only sort of "royalty" is attribution; concepts in mathematical papers are not patented and nobody is ever charged for using them. This was probably the deciding factor in my choice between mathematics and computer science -- the sort of behavior that Microsoft and other large companies display is immature, inethical, and all in all inexcusable.

If I recall correctly, I've read an article elsewhere which insinuated that Mr. Kasner's niece is a professional intellectual property litigator of the shadiest manner -- the sort that tries to slip through patents with established prior art and then sue the original inventors. I could be wrong, of course; I've been reading a lot of stuff about the horrendously broken United States IP system and I may be confused.

Re:Kasner rolling in his grave? Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182394)

Microsoft is the easy to mention.

Apple and patent-fest 2004 should also float to the top. And yet... doesn't.

tsk tsk

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182338)

A secretive individual wearing a large black butterfly was seen entering and leaving the Kasner residence. Microsoft has denied any involvement in the case.

Meanwhile, the Kasner family suddenly gained $50 million, from a "family friend."

Original article has more information... (4, Informative)

macshune (628296) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182340)

According to the original article in the Baltimore Sun [baltimoresun.com] , the family hasn't decided to sue yet. They probably know that they don't really have a case. 'sides, all they want is to be insiders for the IPO, atm, not get zillions in punitive damages or trademark-violation damages. Of course, this could all change if they don't get the chance to be insiders for the IPO.

So no, this doesn't really seem like a case of folks suing google 'cause they are violating the common-law trademark rights of the 4-year old who came up with "googol"...yet.

Here come the lawyers again (1)

shoaler (653342) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182346)

This is nothing but predatory practice on the part of some lawyers who discovered (belatedly) that Google has the money and maybe they can take some of it. Trademarks are almost always product-specific. So you can have a newspaper named "Onion" and a nightclub named "The Onion" and no infringement exists. How can anyone expect to retain all rights to the word "googol" (or anything that sounds like "googol")? There are too damn many lawyers in the world.

Too...many... (2, Insightful)

Geek_3.3 (768699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182351)

...stupid... frivilous... lawsuits... urge to kill... RISING...

"In 1955 he died and much later a search engine called Google was born. His relatives claim that Kasner must be spinning in his grave. They believe Google has gained financially at their expense and they want to become IPO insiders to put his soul to rest."

YOU GOTTA BE FRIGGIN' KIDDING ME!! They 'want to become IPO insiders to put his soul to rest???' That has to be the LAMEST reason for a lawsuit in the history of lawsuits! (right next to copyright infringement of a certain OS kernel w/o actually SAYING what it is or spilling hot coffee on one's self and successfully sueing BECAUSE of it...)

I need a drink...

A two word reply.... (1, Funny)

fallen1 (230220) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182355)

for a 10^100 money-grubbing bitch:

FUCK YOU.

This shuold be Google's answer for this suit as well as the judge's who might see the case. I personally would feel a great swell of pride if they would publish it on their front page ;-)

"invented the word..."? (2, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182358)

How can you invent a word?

Oh, yeah (1)

michaelwb (612222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182367)

Yeah, sure this makes sense...

I'm always confusing the search engine, with the mathematical concept.

How about King Features Syndicate suing Google instead. At least their character is spelled the same (Barney Google), had been around since 1919 and appeared on USPS stamps starting in 1995, in time for those evil Google search engine folks to cash in on Barney's famous name!

Barney Google [kingfeatures.com] - page down a bit.

The name is based on a term from cricket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182370)

I thought Google was based on a cricketing term.

See: http://www.cricketnext.com/coaching/coachbowling/g oogly.htm [cricketnext.com]

Kleenex is the answer... (5, Informative)

Jonny Royale (62364) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182373)

First question: Is the word Googol trademarked?

Second:
Years ago, Coca-Cola lost the second half of its name to the public domain, when a judge ruled that "Cola" had become a generic term for referring to soft drinks. Similarly, "Aspirin" started as a brand name and wound up as the generic name for the drug. This is why the makers of "Kleenex" brand facial tissues bother with the "brand facial tissues" part, because there MUST be a viable generic term for a defendable brand name to exist.

-Motley fool web site

There's several rulings about names that ARE trademarked "falling" into public domain, and it's basically, you're a victim of your own success. Since the word Googol was used as a mathematical term, and has no doubt been used in numerous papers, discussions, etc., I have little belief that this suit would succeed, since the term has definitely been in the public domain for a long time.

That being said, it would be nice if the Google folks maybe put up some of that IPO money to help kids learn math, or something....

God to sue Kasners.... (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182376)

Google's ... being sued by the family of Professor Edward Kasner

In a related story, God is suing the Kasner family claiming he originally came up with the concept of them....

Problems with this world (1)

thirdofnine (702646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182380)

This is really getting way out of hand now, opps better sue me, I think someone else already posted that. ;-) Really, the Americanism of the world, and it litigous nature is really starting to piss the common person off. There needs to be some serious tightening up of the laws on sueing in all countries to stop this and other frivoulus law suits from continuing to bear their ugly heads. Third of Nine

Dear God, this takes the friggin' CAKE, people. (1)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182385)

You have... got... to... be... kidding.

Not only are the names not spelled the same, they aren't even friggin' pronounced the same way!

What's next, is the estate of John Wheeler going to sue MAPS over the term "black hole"?

Hey, maybe Stephen Hawking should sue babyuniverse.com for using his expression.

And whoever coined the expression "quantum leap" sure has something to sue over. That's been used everywhere from car commercials to science fiction TV shows.

You know who would love this? John Stossel at ABC. I bet he'd do a "Gimme a Break" segment on it.

Waste of the legal system's time (1)

Isaac-Lew (623) | more than 10 years ago | (#9182388)

It's not spelled the same, Google is not even considered a mathematical term, & googol is not even a registered trademark (look up googol on the Patent & Trademark Office website search [uspto.gov] , & compare with the results for google [uspto.gov] ). I'm hypothesizing that the Google founders spelled it differently just in case something like this happened.

(Note: the links above may or may not work, here is the TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) page where you can enter the search terms):
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=j 6biv.1.1 [uspto.gov]

Somone's going to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9182390)

Only in America. And I mean this quite literally.

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