Monday, August 16, 2004

Google's Gmail(not-quite-TM) in Trademark Trouble

Articles, articles everywhere and too many to read! Not really but that's what floated through my mind a few seconds ago.

Apparently Google made a BIG mistake. Although Google released news about its upcoming Gmail service on March 31, 2004 (link), Google didn't actually file a U.S. Trademark application for the term until April 7, 2004. This put Google as the fourth entity in line filing for that term. In a system that's first-come first-serve, this could pose a substantial problem for the burgeoning e-mail enterprise.

( article here and Phosita article here.)

Honestly, I wonder how this could possibly have happened. Fer cryin out loud, Google must have a bevy of beautific bodacious blood-thirsty bonsai-growing beauticians lawyers [minus one point for excessive alliteration] at their beck and call! How could those lawyers not have thought to trademark the term "Gmail" before announcing it. Good lord! This just reeks of either poor corporate management (or communication) or complete ineptitude. Maybe Google will be looking for some fresh blood, errr.. I mean maybe they'll have some positions opening soon. Hmmm... time to work on the 'ole resume!

Don't forget, Google has run afoul of legitimate preexisting uses before with Google & Froogle. Ugh-oogle! [Minus one point for a genuinely horrible pun.]

Addendum: A clarification as the March 31st date is slightly inaccurate. News was leaked on the 31st while the Official Google Press Release was issued on April 1. (Odd choice of dates, there.)