Sunset of a waning winter

Dell’s CLOUD COMPUTING trademark application has gone up in a vapory mass of smoke:

Dell cannot register “cloud computing” as a trademark because the term is a generic one describing services offered by many companies, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has said in an initial ruling.

In denying Dell’s application, the USPTO included dozens of news stories and other material supporting its contention that cloud computing is a widely-used term of art for the technology industry.

Indeed, if you click through the “application” link above to the “trademark document retrieval” link at top, then to the link for the August 12th office action, you can survey that extensive literature.

Lots of people have their trademark applications denied, and indeed many of the best trademark practitioners get a lot of them bounced because they’re pushing the envelope.  So it isn’t all that fair that Dell’s fell off its cloud so loudly.

Anyone see any silver linings lying around?

By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

One thought on “Shot to Dell”
  1. Dell’s application fell loudly because someone decided to publicize it, and this application strikes me as something more than “pushing the envelope.” Whether it was a self-interested competitor or a do-gooder that originally pushed this story, the silver lining is that an examining attorney’s (bad) mistake was called to the attention of the PTO and corrected. From a public policy perspective, seems like a good outcome (and realistically, only the really egregious ones like this one, CYBERLAW, etc. will get publicized).

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