US Patent Office Rejects Google's 'Glass' Trademark Request

Image: US Patent Office Rejects Google's 'Glass' Trademark Request

Friday, 04 Apr 2014 09:57 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied Google's request to trademark to term "Glass" in reference to its wearable personal computer device.

The search giant already owns the trademark for the full name of its product, Google Glass, but also tried to trademark the word "Glass," according to the Wall Street Journal.

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"They just want to call it 'Glass.' They don’t want to have to call it 'Google Glass,'" Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney in Washington, D.C., told the Journal.

Google reportedly first attempted to trademark the word "Glass," styled in a futuristic font, last year but was denied for two reasons. The U.S. Patent Office felt that the term could cause "consumer confusion" because it's too similar to other products on the market, like Microsoft's SmartGlass.

The patent office also objected because the word "Glass" is "merely descriptive," and generic terms cannot be trademarked under federal law.

Google hit back and sent the U.S. Patent Office a 1,928-page letter two weeks ago, though the Journal noted that most of the letter was news article clippings to provide evidence that the product is well known and that calling it "Glass" wouldn't confuse consumers.

The company's trademark attorneys also argued that "Glass" is not merely descriptive because "the frame and display components of the Glass device do not consist of glass at all." The wearable computer is made of titanium and plastic.

Experts say that Google is not required to hold a trademark to call its product "Glass" or market it as such, but doing so would make it a lot easier if, in the future, the company receives an infringement claim.

No word yet on the Patent Office's response to Google's letter.

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