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Krissi Danielson

Reactions to Dell's Plans to Own 'Cloud Computing'

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Apparently, commentators around the Web are not amused by Dell's intentions to trademark the term 'cloud computing.'

Fredric Paul at bMighty.com believes the play shows both chutzpah and hubris. He asserts that having one company own the term won't do the technology any favors, but he predicts that the term will either continue to be used by the media with Dell merely preventing other companies from using the term in product names, or people will pick another term to represent the idea of cloud computing. He does point out that bMighty's parent company owns a trademark on Web 2.0, a term that is still widely used.

A report in InternetNews points out that Dell is insisting it only wants the trademark as it pertains to Dell's Cloud Computing Solution and that it is not trying to prevent others from using the term.

But then, a report in OStatic points out that the patent says that Dell wants the trademark to include "design and development of networks for use in data centers and mega-scale computing environments for others, which covers most of the current uses of the phrase.

The Industry Standard has a good overall analysis of the situation, pointing out that the first trademark application actually dated back to 1998 by a company called NetCentric Corporation, and that the phrase "cloud computing" was used as early as 2001 by articles in the New York Times.

One wonders about the fact that no one objected to this application during the open period. You have to think that all the companies out there who have been talking up their cloud computing offerings would have a thing or two to say about this. I'm no expert on the trademarking process, but it seems like maybe enterprises should pay more attention to stuff like trademark applications. It is surprising that no one noticed this until now.

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The problem is that no one was aware of it during the open period. It was spotted during a search by one of the members of the Cloud Computing Group over at Google Groups. Let's face it, the USPTO is a morass of clueless reviewers and application trolls. It's nearly impossible to keep an eye on applications like this unless you are obsessed with it.

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