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Cloud Computing and trademarks
July 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm #75293
IMO kinda scary but …
NewsFlash: Trend Micro trademarks the Intercloud™
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of TrendMicro’s InterCloud Security Service product when it was announced as a beta back on 25 September 2006 (for general availability in 2007):
* PR: Trend Micro Takes Unprecedented Approach to Eliminating Botnet Threats with the Unveiling of InterCloud Security Service
* InfoWorld: Trend Micro launches anti-botnet service
* NetworkWorld: InterCloud Security Service aims to stop botnet and zombie attacks
I hadn’t either until I researched my recent Intercloud post and wrote the Intercloud Wikipedia article (having created the cloud computing Wikipedia article around this time last year). The Intercloud, in case you were wondering, is a global “cloud of clouds” built on top of the Internet, a global “network of networks” – even if nothing else it’s a useful term for those of us working on cloud computing interoperability (see: An open letter to the community regarding “Open Cloud”).
Being the cynical type I thought it prudent to check the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) databases and surprise, surprise, Trend Micro have pending trademark application #77018125 on the term “INTERCLOUD” in international classes 9 (hardware), 42 (software) and 45 (services). If your company, like mine, is a provider of cloud computing products and services then now’s the time to sit up and pay attention as this word will almost certainly become part of your every day vocabulary before too long (as is already the case for companies like Cisco)… much to the chagrin of those who consider it, along with cloud computing in general, just another buzzword rather than the life changing paradigm shift it is.
Just like Dell’s misguided attempt to secure a monopoly over the term “cloud computing” which I uncovered last year (see also: InformationWeek: Dell Seeks, May Receive ‘Cloud Computing’ Trademark), this application has proceeded to the Notice of Allowance phase which essentially means that it is theirs for the taking… all they need to do now is file a Statement of Use within the coming month (or ask for another 6 month extension like the one they were granted in January of this year… strange for a product that appears all but abandoned ala the infamous Psion Netbook – see: The Register: Blogger fights Psion’s claim to ‘netbook’ name).
Unless we manage to make enough noise to convince the USPTO to have a change in heart (as was the case following the uproar over Dell’s attempt on “cloud computing” – see: Dell Denied: ‘Cloud Computing’ both desciptive and generic), or convince TrendMicro do the RightThing™ and put it out of its misery (which seems unlikely as Trend Micro, like most vendors, are getting into cloud cloud computing in a big way – see: Trend Micro Bets Company Future on Cloud Computing Offering), they will likely succeed in removing this word from the public lexicon for their own exclusive use.
If, like me, you don’t like that idea either then speak up now or forever hold your peace as unlike patents, trademarks don’t expire so long as they’re in continuous use.
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