A9.com Finds Promotion in 'The O.C.'

UPDATED Now that Google has become a common verb in the English lexicon, Amazon's A9.com apparently wants its place in pop-culture as well.

On this week's episode of Fox's wildly popular "The O.C.," which has become a primetime showcase for up-and-coming bands and current trends, A9 makes its debut among teens with three words: "I A9.com'd him." (View the clip on Google Video)

Amazon says it did not pay for the television placement, and was pleasantly surprised by the exposure.

"This placement was not paid for by A9.com or Amazon.com. We didn't even know it was going to air," A9.com CEO Udi Manber told BetaNews. "We do think it's great to see this happening though, because it shows people like the experience A9.com offers and that they are telling their friends and family about it."

Amazon has been struggling to push its fledgling A9.com brand, which ranks 30th among search engines.

A9 recently unveiled an addition to its Yellow Pages service that enables users to view a picture of the business they are querying, along with a "block view" that displays adjacent storefronts.

Google, meanwhile, has been outwardly dismayed at the use of its trademark in everyday vocabulary, but it's hard to argue any negative impact to the company; Google is by far the dominant search engine, commanding 60 percent of the market.

Nonetheless, Google must protect its trademark like Xerox and Kleenex do on a daily basis, or risk losing rights to the name. Microsoft faced a similar problem with challenges against the company owning the word "Windows."

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