It matters what you call things, and how you use words. Why? Because if enough people who should know better use the word “trademark” as a verb enough times, you’ll get stupid stories like this:
Although Microsoft Corp. registered the Web site for its new Windows Azure more than 14 years ago, it has not trademarked the name of its new cloud-based operating system, Windows Azure, Internet searches revealed today.
According to searches conducted by Computerworld, Microsoft has not applied for a trademark for either “Windows Azure” or “Azure Services Platform” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Microsoft used both names to describe its Software + Services technology.
Help us out here: Do LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® readers need a refresher course on what Computerworld doesn’t get about trademarks? Or should we just dare someone from that august publication to start their own little enterprise — say, a “Software + Services technology” — and name it AZURE, WINDOWS AZURE or even WINDOWS ASSURE and see if they learn how trademark rights are acquired… the fun way?
UPDATE: Is this, to some extent, what the Intent to Use trademark procedure has wrought?