Google Is Trying to Trademark the Word 'Glass'—and It's in Good Company
Apple has tried to trademark "startup." Facebook has tried to trademark "book."
This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google, which long ago trademarked "Google Glass," is experiencing some difficulty in the next stage of its IP journey: trademarking the word "glass" itself.
I know, I know—get out your small violin™.
But while it's tempting to, as many have, make fun of Google's attempt to trademark a word that has been with us since the 12th century ... it's also worth remembering that Google isn't alone in its attempts to make all the world a mark. On the contrary: trademarking is a time-honored, and in many ways legally responsible, tradition among the major tech companies.
Here, with that in mind, is an extremely partial list of tech trademarks both attempted and won.
- Apple has tried to trademark the word "startup."
- Apple and Amazon have faced off in court over the use of the term "app store."
- Amazon has successfully filed for trademarks for the terms "Prime," "I want one!," "of note," "look inside," and "Earth's biggest."
- Facebook has tried to trademark the word "book."
- Facebook has successfully trademarked "F," "Face," "FB," and "Wall." Oh, and also "Facepile."
- Instagram has tried to stop other apps from using "Insta," "Gram," and "IG."
- Microsoft has trademarked the word "haunt."
- Microsoft has tried to trademark the term "age of mythology" and the words "natural" and "rare."
- Samsung has filed for trademarks on the terms "dark screen" and "finger scanner."
- Skype has trademarked the word "silk."
- Twitter has trademarked the word "tweet."
- Zynga has trademarked the term "with friends"—and has sued other companies over their use of it.