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Google: Can we please trademark the word 'Glass?'

Looking to avoid copycatting, the tech giant tries to get the word "Glass" trademarked. But the US Trademark Office isn't convinced.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Google Glass Google

Soon, Google could hold the trademark to the word "Glass."

In an attempt to curb any copycatting of its computer-enabled eyeglass, the tech giant has been working to trademark the term "Glass" when written in Google's stylized marketing logo font, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Google Glass logo Google

While the US Patent and Trademark Office allowed for the trademark of "Google Glass," it's having concerns about trademarking a generic term like "Glass," according to the Journal.

In a letter (PDF) sent to Google last September, the Trademark Office wrote that "Glass" is a descriptive generic word and therefore can't be trademarked. The office also said that the trademark request was too much like other existing or pending trademarks that use "Glass."

Google has since responded with a 1,928-page letter (roughly 1,900 pages were news articles about Google Glass) detailing the company's case for such a trademark, according to the Journal. Google said that its Glass wearable is well-enough known that it could be distinctive among the other "Glass" trademarks. Additionally, it said that "Glass" isn't actually a Glass descriptor since the device doesn't actually have any glass in it.

The word "Glass" alone does not "inform potential consumers as to the nature, function or use" of the wearable, Google said, according to the Journal.

Google isn't the first tech company that's tried to trademark a generic term associated with a name of one of its products. Facebook has tried to trademark the word "book" and already has the trademarks to "F," "Face," "FB," "Wall," and "Facepile." Instagram has tried to stop other apps from using "Insta," "Gram," and "IG." Apple has battled Amazon in court over the use of "app store;" and Zynga has sued other companies that tried using the "with friends" moniker.

When contacted by CNET, a Google spokesperson said, "Google, like many businesses, takes routine steps to protect and register its trademarks."

It's unclear if the Trademark Office will see Google's viewpoint and allow for the "Glass" trademark.