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Google Takes On Swedish Language Watchdog

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (UPI) — Complaints from Google have led to the deletion of the word “ungoogleable” from a list of new Swedish words, the Language Council of Sweden says.

The country’s language watchdog has defined “ungoogleable” — “ogooglebar” in Swedish — as something that does not show up in results from any Internet search engine, but Google insisted the word, since it contains “Google,” should refer only to Google searches, the council reported.

The council publishes an annual list of 10 new words becoming popular in Sweden as an indication of how society and language are changing.

Council head Ann Cederberg said an email arrived from Google soon after publication of the list in December requesting a “disclaimer” while stressing that Google is a trademark.

Concerned at the prospect of a legal tussle and unwilling to change the word’s definition, the council instead removed it from its list.

“I don’t want to be influenced by a company, but this was the only way to solve the problem,” Cederberg told the BBC.

“We could not go to court. The only way was to remove the word from the list and tell the world what happened.”

Contacted for a comment, a Google representative told the BBC the company, “like many businesses, takes routine steps to protect our trademark.”

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