Google wants to trademark the word “glass.” Mashable reports that the US Patent Office has a couple of problems with that.
The tech giant wants the trademark, of course, for its Google Glass eyewear. It already has the trademark for “Google Glass,” but is seeking an additional trademark for the word “Glass” by itself, styled in the futuristic font Google uses in its packaging and marketing. The first issue is that the Glass trademark might be too similar to other glass trademarks or pending trademarks since, as it turns out, Google’s not the first company to apply for a glass trademark. It’s not even the first computer software/hardware related glass trademark application on file. The letter from the USPTO includes various approved or pending applications for design marks such as “glass,” “looking glass,” “iGlass,” “smartglass” and “teleglass.” The second issue is that even if Google got a trademark on Glass — distinctive font and all — the USPTO doesn’t think glass is a term that can be trademarked under federal law, which says that you can’t trademark words that describe a product. It also sees “glass” as “merely descriptive.”
Google contends nobody will confuse their product with others because everybody knows about Google Glass. They also claim that the US Patent Office is wrong to categorize the word “glass” as descriptive because Google Glass units contain no actual glass.