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Dell's Bid To Trademark "Cloud Computing" Fails

     
4:10 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Dell's Bid To Trademark "Cloud Computing" Fails [pcworld.com]
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.

If Dell were allowed to trademark the term it could send dozens of other vendors scrambling to find an alternative buzzword to describe their services and avoid messy lawsuits. IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Yahoo and Google all have employed the term cloud computing to promote their services.

4:37 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I agree with the decision, however it does worry me that the USPTO didn't blink when making public domain copies of all those web pages. A simple table of references would suffice.
4:45 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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But the model also means subscribers can be left stranded when a service has problems.

Which brings to mind an alternative definition of cloud: Something that darkens or fills with gloom.

It seems to me that Dell missed the boat on this one, and it could seem that someone wanted to capitalize (with lots of $'s) on the inconvenience that a patent would incur.

This is just an initial ruling, and Dell has 6 months to file a response. I've got to believe they will appeal, and that the commercial ads have already been storyboarded.

Meanwhile, I'm off to patent the phrase "Computing in a cloud".

4:49 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Don't you just love corporate arrogance? I can remember when Holland America Line was slapping a TM or (R) symbol on the term "ocean liner." That didn't stick, either.
5:31 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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not sure "cloud computing" will use for at Dell. Dell is more like a typical hardware company not so much into software.

I guess they heard the term from probably Amazon or Google and decided to make a quick buck.

6:10 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This sounds like attempt to trademark "Web 2.0" by O'Reilly with the only difference is that O'Reilly gave far more effort into making that term happen than Dell.
6:14 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I am surprised. There must still be real people working in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I thought they had replaced them with machines that automatically approve every trademark and patent application.
11:28 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i guess it was worth a try...