updated 06:38 am EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
US Patent and Trademark Office objects to single word 'Glass' trademark from Google
Google has hit a minor stumbling block in releasing its Glass smart headwear, thanks to the US Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO is resisting an application to trademark the single term "Glass," with a letter to the company unearthed by the Wall Street Journal revealing a pair of objections by one examiner, though this is unlikely to have stalled the device's eventual release.
A letter received by Google last fall notes the attempted trademark was similar to existing or pending trademarks in the computing field that used the word "Glass," with the apparent potential to cause confusion. It is also suggested that the term on its own is "merely descriptive," regardless of formatting by the company.
Google has since responded, with trademark attorneys sending a 1,928-page letter to the trademark examiner, disputing the potential confusion of customers. The letter reportedly contains 1,900 pages consisting of article clippings about the device. The "descriptive" point is also argued, claiming "the frame and display components of the Glass device do not consist of glass at all," and that the word on its own does not "inform potential consumers as to the nature, function, or use" of the device itself.
Attempting to register "Glass" on its own could open up Google to potential trademark lawsuits, in a similar vein to King and its attempts to trademark "Candy" and "Saga." While registering "Glass" would make marketing the device slightly easier for Google, failing to secure the term will not hamper its efforts that much, as it already owns the trademark on "Google Glass."