Google's attempt to register 'glass' rejected by US trademark office

By Staff Writer 04/05/2014 10:14:00

Google's attempt to register 'glass' rejected by US trademark office

  • Claims the word glass is too generic to trademark
  • Firm wanted to trademark word and its futuristic font
  • Google has already registered the term 'Google Glass' as a trademark

By Mark Prigg

Published: 13:30 EST, 4 April 2014 | Updated: 08:14 EST, 5 April 2014

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Google's attempt to register the word 'Glass' as s a trademark for its electronic glasses has been stalled by the United States' Trademark Office.

The firm is involved in a long-running row over the word, with experts claiming it is too generic to be patented and the USTO rejecting Google's application.

Google, on the other hand, claims the word applies to its entire glass product, which includes frames, and not just the glass component.

A trademark examiner raised two objections, one of which was that the trademark was too similar to other trademarks containing the word 'glass', which could lead to confusion for consumers.

A trademark examiner raised two objections, one of which was that the trademark was too similar to other trademarks containing the word 'glass', which could lead to confusion for consumers.

While Google has already registered the term 'Google Glass' as a trademark, a report in the Wall Street Journal this week revealed that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has objected to the 'Glass' trademark application, submitted last year.

According to the report, a trademark examiner raised two objections, one of which was that the trademark was too similar to other trademarks containing the word 'glass', which could lead to confusion for consumers.

The other objection was that the word 'glass' was merely descriptive, ans that such generic terms cannot be trademarked under US federal law.

Google's trademark attorneys wrote a 1,928-page letter to the government in response to the Trademark Office's decision to stall the trademark application.

However, the letter from Google's lawyers contained around 1,900 articles about Google Glass, with the remainder of the letter disputing the trademark examiner’s objection that using the word 'glass' as a trademark would confuse consumers and the assertion that it was merely a descriptive word.

It also singled out other firms that have the word glass in their logo.

The Trademark Office has yet to make a final ruling on the application.

The Trademark Office has yet to make a final ruling on the application.

The USTO document concluded that 'Glass' would be 'be understood as describing a feature of some the goods, namely, that some of the goods will incorporate display screens and/or lenses that are or will be made of, inter alia, glass.'

Although Google is not required to trademark the word in order to use it for its glasses device, if the company is not to able to register ‘Glass’ as a trademark, it will make it much harder to counter trademark infringements.

Similarities between Google Glass and other existing trademarks, including Write on Glass, Glass3D and Teleglass, are also likely to confuse consumers, it is believed.

The Trademark Office has yet to make a final ruling on the application.

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