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Google this week unveiled a plan to sell and rent laptops. Sound like a great idea in my opinion as it promotes their browser/OS and promotes their vision of a cloud based world with little if anything stored on the user’s computer.

Google’s browser based operating system is called Chrome. But there is no USPTO registration for name and it does not appear that Google has ever applied to register the name!

Google’s new laptop project is called “Chromebook“, a clever name building on the “Chrome” brand.  But is Google again leaving itself exposed to trademark and domain name troubles by failing to try to register the name? There is no record of an application to register the name in the USPTO records. Ideally, a new brand name launch like “Chromebook” should be filed with the USPTO as soon as the name is finalized – well before the actual launch oft the product or service. At least Google has filed to register the Chrome logo design.

Maybe Google has not filed to register Chrome because there is a fair chance a USPTO application would be rejected — see the following registrations for CHROME for software goods or services: 2902488, 3951287, 3360331, 2459440. If so, then why did Google build a significant portion of its future – worth billions of dollars no doubt – around a brand it could not protect well?!

Google's Chrome logo

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6 Responses
  1. KLC says:

    this site suggests says Google registered the following TMs.
    http://www.google.com/permissions/guidelines.html
    Google Chrome Experiments™ website
    Google Chrome Extensions™ plug-ins
    Google Chrome Frame™ plug-in
    Google Chrome™ browser
    Does this mean they just didn’t register it in the US? Where then? Or that they didn’t register it at all but think they have? I am curious…

    • Erik Pelton says:

      KLC… the use of the “TM” means that Google claims some trademark rights in those terms. But it is not the “circle-R” which designates a registered trademark with the USPTO. It is possible that they have filed and or registered some of these names internationally, but is any market of theirs larger than the U.S.?

  2. Surely the legal dept at Google advised against the Chrome name, but sometimes a name is just too good to throw away. Anyway regarding the domain names I think they did a lousy job. Before the Chrome browser was announced they should have made a top list of obvious domains for future services. What are we going to offer over the next years ? Because that is exactly the way cybersquatters will think.

    Chrome apps, Chrome books, Chrome notebooks, Chrome video.

    Yes, all these names have been registered as .com domains, but not by Google.

  3. […] Another case study in trademark mismanagement: Google Chrome […]

  4. […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}More than 6 months ago, I wrote on this blog about Google’s failure to protect the Chrome trademark. Now, more than 3 years since the […]