Can we draw any conclusions from Google’s new look?

Fri, May 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Can we draw any conclusions from Google’s new look?

    Internet giant Google spiffed up its look and redesigned the appearance of its search pages this week.  The move left me wondering what inferences, if any,  can be drawn about the Internet giant’s attitude toward intellectual property.

    Google hasn’t won a reputation for respecting things like copyright. Consider Google Books.  Nobody asked anybody for permission, Google just started scanning and digitizing books. Now, of course, in what may be called the Silicon Valley way of asking for forgiveness, Google is trying to settle the infringement suit brought by publishers and authors.

    There are some who would say that Google’s entire business model relies on piracy.  The company is wildly successful selling advertisements next to everybody else’s content but produces little of its own.

    That’s why it always stuck me as ironic that right there on the homepage Google’s logo carried a small “TM” indicating a trademark claim.  The redesign, as you can see in the photo below with the old logo on top, has dropped the gray shading in the letters and doesn’t bother with the “TM.”

    What do you think? Is Google finally acknowledging that since the company doesn’t worry much about other people’s copyrights and trademarks,  it’s hypocritical to assert a claim on its own logo? Or, maybe Google is just so big and well established that its executives just don’t care anymore?

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