Google wants the word “Glass.” The company is trying to trademark the word written in the simple style it uses for its marketing of the innovative device. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sees things a little differently, reports the Wall Street Journal. The corporation isn’t satisfied with trademarking “Google Glass,” which it successfully did. It wants less. It wants “Glass.”
The examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office think there are possibilities that Google’s desired trademark could be confused with previous trademarks like TELEGLASS, GLASS3D, Glass, Write On Glass, glassbox, and iGlasses. The refusal letter said, “The applicant’s mark is similar to the registrants’ marks. The marks all share the common feature GLASS and create the same overall commercial impression.” It noted some similarities between Google’s device and the already registered products which share the word.
In an unintentional display of snark, the trademark office examiner even defined the word “glass” for Google in the refusal letter. The letter quoted Collins English Dictionary‘s definition… Perhaps they included the definition because if you google the word “glass,” you will find Google Glass. The office explained that because the trademark that the company wanted was describing a feature of the device (that part of it will be made of glass), by its very definition, it is merely a descriptive word and not eligible for a trademark.
The letter did explain that the company could respond to the trademark refusal and provide a counter-argument.
So, Google responded. Actually, it responded with a whopping 1,928-page argument for the trademark office to examine. Certainly, they didn’t expect Google’s lawyers to just accept the refusal.
Anne Peck and Katie Krajeck, from Cooley LLP, are two of Google’s trademark attorneys. According to the Wall Street Journal, “About 1,900 pages of the letter are just clips of articles about Google Glass.” The attorneys said that there was no way that consumers would be confused by Google’s trademark given how much media attention Google Glass has gotten lately. Furthermore, they scoffed at the idea that the word “Glass” was merely descriptive of the product stating that neither the frame nor the display components of the devices consist of glass at all. Google is not nearly that archaic. Their devices’ components are made of titanium and plastic.
One of the biggest problems facing Google’s trademarking of Glass is that last December, Border Stylo, LLC filed a notice of opposition against Google. Border Stylo is the developer of “Write on Glass,” a browser extension. Border Stylo thought the proposed trademark was too similar to theirs. In a bold counter-move, Google filed a petition to cancel Border Stylo’s already existing trademark!
Do you think Google will get their trademark for Glass?
[Photo by lawrencegs]