Dell, in a brilliant display of PR savvy, has tried to trademark “cloud computing”. Per The Standard:
After witnessing countless corporate attempts to patent common practices or trademark common terms, and seeing the resulting PR fallout, one would think that companies would just stop trying. Dell, however, seems to think that it should be able to trademark the term “cloud computing,” a phrase that entered the tech lexicon many years ago to describe software processing that takes place on a distributed network, such as the Internet.
This was first noticed by Sam Johnston on Google Groups. Sam is a member of the cloud computing group.
Here is the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) record of the application. The status at the time of this post is live.
This is a ridiculous attempt to trademark a colloquialism and obviously should be killed.
In fact, Owen Smigelski, a trademark attorney commenting on on The Standard’s article, explains the trademark’s process and likely fate:
I’m a trademark attorney, and Dell has done more than just “try” to use the trademark. The application was published for opposition, no one lodged any complaints, and now the trademark will proceed to registration (once Dell submits examples of its trademark use). The mark can later be disputed once it is registered by anyone who believes they will be harmed by the registration of the trademark by Dell. Examining Attorneys at the USPTO usually catch phrases that are generally used by the public, thus I am surprised they let this one through with approval.
Here’s a direct link to check the status of the application: http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=77139082