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Last week Google® unveiled its new “+1” button/service.  According to pundits, “+1+ is an effort by Google to become more active in social networking. According to to the Google +1 page:

The +1 button is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.”

Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.

“+1” sounds interesting. It might be fun and/or useful. Given Google’s reach online, it could soon be ubiquitous. But what is missing?

  • On the Google “+1” page there is not a single trademark notice or use of ‘TM’ or ‘SM’ to indicate that Google claims any trademark rights in the “+1” name or logo.

  • Google has not filed any application to register the “+1” name or logo with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Surely the “+1” brand and service could be worth a lot of money. Protecting the name and logo would cost Google a few hundred dollars in USPTO filing fees. And potentially save thousands in future disputes over unauthorized uses of the name, domain name issues and social media user name issues.
Tip: An ounce of trademark prevention could be worth a brick of gold in trademark attorney fees later. Google’s failure to file for the “+1” name and logo are inexplicable as it its failure to use any trademark notice in connection with the new brand.

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