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Google's 'Glass' trademark held back by US patent office

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The United States government is taking exception to Google's attempt to trademark the word "Glass." The search giant applied for the trademark last year, but The Wall Street Journal reports the US Patent and Trademark Office objected on two grounds. Firstly, that it would cause confusion between Google's product and other software and hardware trademarks that use the word — Microsoft's SmartGlass for example — and secondly, that the word "glass" is "merely descriptive." Generic terms generally can't be trademarked under federal law.

Google — which has already successfully trademarked the term "Google Glass" — has challenged the trademark office's objections. Its lawyers sent a 1,928-page letter, packed with articles discussing its wearable device, in a bid to show that consumers would not be confused about the nature of the product. The letter also contends that the patent office's judgement of "glass" as "merely descriptive" is inaccurate: "the frame and display components of the Glass device do not consist of glass at all." The patent office has yet to reach a final decision, but it should be noted that trademark applications are frequently rejected on the first office action, before being reconsidered.