Google: The word ‘glass’ belongs to us. Just Google it.

April 4, 2014

In recent months, Google has been trying to trademark the word "glass" to refer to its signature smart glasses. The application is broader in scope than for its existing "Google Glass" trademark, however, which might be one reason why the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office isn't buying it. You can't trademark a generic term.

So Google has responded in characteristic search engine mode, with a 1,928-page letter designed to prove how highly ranked its device has become in the public eye, according to the Wall Street Journal. Around 99 percent of those pages consist of news stories about — you guessed it — Google Glass.

A trademark examiner told Google last year that Americans might mistake Google's use of "Glass" with other products that happen to contain the word. Google's lawyers disagreed, according to the Journal:

Trademark attorneys for Google, Anne Peck and Katie Krajeck from Cooley LLP, wrote back to the trademark office examiner two weeks ago with a 1,928-page letter in defense of the application. (About 1,900 pages of the letter are just clips of articles about Google Glass.)

The attorneys disputed that Google’s proposed trademark would confuse consumers, especially given how much media and policy attention the Glass device has received in the last couple of years.

It's common in trademark filings for companies to attach lots of outside evidence to bolster their claims. And it's not yet clear whether this letter has improved Google's chances. (Google didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.) But here's what's really great about this story: Google googled Google Glass and Google-bombed "glass." For the trademark office, at least.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecom, broadband and digital politics. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.
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