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Google tries to trademark the word 'Glass' for headset technology

Posting in Technology
 
glass.jpg
 Google

While Google has trademarked the product name "Google Glass" without difficulty, the tech giant took one step further -- and is attempting to claim the word "glass," something U.S. trademark regulators are not keen on accepting.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received an application last year from Google asking for a trademark on the single word "Glass." However, two main objections have been raised: one that the trademark is too similar to other existing products and so consumers may become confused, and the other that "Glass" -- even considering Google's futuristic font used in marketing campaigns -- only describes the product.

In the same way you could not trademark the word "jacket" to describe a clothing product, regulators say that words which only describe an item do not have trademark protection under federal law. Since Google Glass is made of glass, it cannot be trademarked, trademark officials say.

The problem isn't one Google is taking lying down. In response to the objections, trademark attorneys for the tech giant sent back a 1,928-page letter defending the application.

While most of the letter is simply clips and media references concerning Google Glass, the attorneys also argued that the wearable technology is made from plastic and titanium, and the trademark application should be accepted as the headset is already established within the market.

No final decision has been made by the trademark office.

As noted by The Atlantic, this isn't the first time a household name has tried to trademark words commonly used in the English language. Apple has tried to trademark the phrase "startup," Facebook attempted to trademark "book," and Microsoft once attempted to claim the words "rare" and "natural."

Read on: The Wall Street Journal

— By on April 7, 2014, 2:54 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure