Google's 'Glass' Trademark Hits a Snag at the Patent Office

Casual game maker King doesn't want to trademark the term 'Candy' anymore, but that isn't stopping other companies from trying to claim the rights to what most people would recognize as common terms.

Casual game maker King doesn't want to trademark the term 'Candy' anymore, but that isn't stopping other companies from trying to claim the rights to what most people would recognize as common terms.

Not content with its current trademark for 'Google Glass,' the search giant is trying to trademark the simpler and singular word, Glass. So far, however, the United States Patent and Trademark Office isn't buying Google's sales pitch.

In a letter to Google dated September 2013 and recently uncovered by The Wall Street Journal, the USPTO objected to Google's application. The USPTO argued that giving Google the trademark would cause consumer confusion and that the term 'glass' was merely descriptive.

It's easy to see how the term glass could cause confusion with other products that have the term glass in them. The bigger problem for Google, however, is the suggestion that glass is merely a descriptive term since descriptive or generic terms can't be trademarked.

Not ready to give up without a fight, Google's legal team responded to the USPTO objections with a 1,928-page letter--mostly consisting of news articles--arguing that Glass had received so much coverage that consumer confusion was unlikely, the Journal reports.

To get around the descriptive objection, the lawyers argued that Glass isn't a descriptive term since Glass's frame and display aren't even made from glass.

The USPTO hasn't decided whether or not to accept Google's argument yet, but at least one company has already objected to Google's trademark application. Border Stylo, makers of a social browser extension called Glass, issued an objection to Google's trademark last December.

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