Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!


Google tries to trademark the word 'Glass'

The U.S Patent and Trademark Office allowed for the trademark of ‘Google Glass,’ but it is having concerns about trademarking a generic term like ‘Glass’

Google already has the trademark for "Google Glass," but is seeking an additional trademark for the word "Glass" by itself, in the futuristic font Google uses in its marketing campaign.  According to reports, however, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is putting a kink in the company's plans. 

The Wall Street Journal published a letter from the USPTO to Google that outlines some of the problems the office has with the request. First, there is an issue that the Glass trademark might be too similar to other glass trademarks since Google's not the first company to apply for a glass trademark.  Secondly, even if Google got a trademark on Glass — distinctive font and all — the USPTO doesn't think glass is a term that can be trademarked under federal law, which says that you can't trademark words that describe a product.

Google disagrees. The company allegedly filed a response to the USPTO arguing that a Google trademark of Glass would not be confusing because of how much publicity surrounds the product. Additionally, Google takes issue with the idea that Glass is descriptive because Google Glass itself doesn't contain any physical glass.

“Google, like many businesses, takes routine steps to protect and register its trademarks,” a Google spokesman told The Wall Street Journal in a statement.

Google’s trademark attorneys Anne Peck and Katie Krajeck wrote back to the trademark office examiner two weeks ago with a letter in defense of the application. They disputed that Google’s proposed trademark would confuse consumers, especially given how much media and policy attention the Glass device has received.

According to Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney, Google doesn’t necessarily need a federal registration to call its product “Glass” or enforce a trademark on the word. But if Google’s trademark effort falls short it could make it harder for the company to protect the trademark or sue for infringement.


For more on technology law news, check out these articles:

Apple/Samsung feud delves into the origins of touchscreen patents

How lawyers and law firms operate in a Big Data world

Microsoft lauded for privacy, security in the cloud

‘Heartbleed’ bug poses major data security risk for all Internet users

Contributing Author

author image

Amanda Ciccatelli

Amanda G. Ciccatelli is a Freelance Journalist for InsideCounsel, where she covers intellectual property, legal technology, patent litigation, cybersecurity, innovation, and more. She earned a B.A....

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.