ACS sues Google over Scholar

Society says Google violated its trademark, but search engine calls suit 'without merit'

Doug Payne(
Dec 14, 2004

The American Chemical Society (ACS) says Google's new academic and scientific search engine—Google Scholar—is infringing on its established search product, Scifinder Scholar. The ACS has filed a statement of claim in US District Court in the District of Columbia, part of which seeks a permanent injunction against Google from using the word 'Scholar' for its beta search product.

Google launched Google Scholar on November 18. The ACS action, filed on December 9, claims the society holds a common law trademark on the word 'Scholar' because its search engine is often shortened to that one word.

"We have had a well respected search service—Scifinder Scholar—since 1998," Flint Lewis, the Secretary and General Counsel of the ACS, told The Scientist. "It services nearly a thousand university subscribers."

"Hundreds of thousands of scientists have used it to explore research topics and to locate and browse journal and patent references,...