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Google's Attempts at Trademarking 'Glass' Are Failing

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on April 07, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Google Glass has been making headlines lately for where it is getting banned, and the company might soon be able to add another place -- the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). OK, a "ban" is too strong a word, but all of Google's efforts thus far to trademark the word "Glass" have fallen short.

Google Glass Trademark

Google has already successfully registered the term "Google Glass," but it is now trying to register the term "Glass" in that slick typeface you may have seen online. But so far, the USPTO has not registered the trademark. Instead, it sent Google a letter citing several issues with the trademark application.

The USPTO's Letter

The USPTO sent Google a letter dated September 18, 2013, citing five issues with Google's application to register "Glass":

  1. Potential citation of prior-filed applications;
  2. Likelihood of confusion;
  3. The mark is merely descriptive;
  4. Identification requires clarification; and
  5. Requirement for information.

Represented by Cooley LLP, Google's attorneys responded within the six-month window with a 1,928 page letter defending the "Glass" application -- though The Wall Street Journal points out that 1,900 of those pages are merely news articles about Google Glass.

In its letter, Google argued that there would not be any customer confusion because of the extensive media coverage Google Glass has received. Furthermore, the company disagreed with the USPTO's characterization of "Glass" as descriptive, according to the Journal.

Google Is Not Alone

Google is not the only tech company trying to trademarks simple terms. The developers of Candy Crush Saga got tentative approval in January to register the word "Candy" in the United States (though it withdrew that application in February, VentureBeat reports), and Facebook holds the trademarks for "F," "Face," "FB," "Wall," and "Facepile," though it hasn't yet been able to register "Book," according to CNET.

We're not sure if see the issue from Google's point of view, but Christina Warren of Mashable cleverly points out, "No word on whether Google will apply for a trademark of the word 'Glasshole' next."

Do you think the USPTO should approve Google's application to trademark "Glass"? Let us know @FindLawLP on Twitter.

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