Humanity has been making glass for thousands of years. We’ve found glasswork dating back to the Mesopotamian era. You’d think a major corporation would be smart enough not to try and patent a concept that is part of human history, but Google isn’t just any major corporation.
This is, of course, over Google Glass, Google’s entry into all those lists of stupid fads we thought were the future a decade from now. Google copyrighted “Google Glass”, “Douchebag Marking And Isolation System”, and “Pretentious Eyewear” with no problem (we may have made two of those up), but according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s having a little trouble making “Glass” a concept that belongs exclusively to Google:
In a letter to the company last fall, a trademark examiner raised two main objections. One concern was that the trademark was too similar to other existing or pending computer software trademarks that contain the word “glass,” creating a risk of consumer confusion. The examiner also suggested that “Glass” — even with its distinctive formatting — is “merely descriptive.” That’s an issue because generic terms don’t have trademark protection under federal law.
Essentially Google’s response is that the term “Glass” is distinctive enough when talking about their largely useless product that they deserve a trademark. They even sent 1900 articles about Glass to argue this, likely ignoring the fact that there are probably 19,000 articles referring to users as Glassholes.
Google is unlikely to win this one. There are simply too many different trademarks in too many different areas for the word “Glass” by itself to be trademarked. But it’s nice to see that Google thinks it can copyright basic concepts and words. It gives us an idea of what living under Google will actually be like.