The Channel logo

News

By | Kelly Fiveash 4th August 2008 08:59

Dell files patent office application for 'cloud computing'

Hey! You! Get off of my trademark...

Dell is attempting to trademark the tech industry’s favourite buzzword – “cloud computing”.

The Round Rock, Texas firm is trying to gain control of the ubiquitous term according to a document filed on the US Patent and Trademark Office’s website.

Dell’s application has already reached the so-called “notice of allowance” stage, whereby a company is granted “written notification from the USPTO that a specific mark has survived the opposition period... and has consequently been allowed for registration”.

In other words, Dell has very quietly pushed its trademarking application past the phase where opponents of its move can have any say in the process.

But that doesn’t mean Dell now owns the term "cloud computing", which, according to a quick search on Google News has been used nearly 3,500 times in the past week alone. The USPTO notes: “Receiving a notice of allowance is another step on the way to registration.”

"Cloud computing" is basically a catch-all term used widely among CEOs - from Ballmer to Jobs and everyone inbetween - who are increasingly preoccupied with pushing their products and services online; or, as they prefer it, up into the cloud. So if Dell successfully snatches the trademark, its usage could be somewhat curtailed.

In the USPTO filing Dell gives its definition of the term as: “Custom manufacture of computer hardware for use in data centers and mega-scale computing environments for others.” But it doesn’t provide a date when the computer vendor first used the phrase. That’s presumably something that could have some sway over whether the patent office grants Dell the trademark.

El Reg first referenced the term on 28 March 2007, in an article on - you guessed it - Dell.

Dell could not be immediately reached for comment. ®

comment icon Read 19 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Chris Mellor

Drives nails forged with Red Hat iron into VCE's coffin
Sleep Cycle iOS app screenshot

Trevor Pott

Forget big-spending globo biz: it's about the consumer... and he's desperate for a nap
Steve Bennet, ex-Symantec CEO

Chris Mellor

Enormo security firm needs to get serious about acquisitions

Features

Windows 8.1 Update  Storeapps Taskbar
Chinese Buffet self-service
Chopping down the phone tree to scrump low-hanging fruit
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.
Big Blue's big $5bn bet adjusted, modified, reduced, back for more
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Redmond needs to discover the mathematics of trust