Take it Easy on Dell

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Dell‘s controversial attempt to claim ownership of the coinage “cloud computing” has officially been denied. The request was rejected by the US Patent and Trade Office on the basis that the term was “generic” and “therefore incapable of functioning as a source-identifier for applicant’s services.” This makes a strong case against Dell’s movement for a trademark, which initially seemed promising since Dell had secured the domain name cloudcomputing.com over a year ago. The decision was made on the reasoning that cloud computing is merely a type of computing, and therefore cannot be used as an identifier of Dell as a company.

Though competitors in the space were outraged at the attempt when news leaked earlier this month, Dell maintains that their application for trademark, dated March 23, 2007, came well before the term and technology had been widely acknowledged. This fact has partially been overlooked amidst the news on the issue. In retrospect the move seems incredibly bold, but I can’t help but feel that if this leaked in March 2007 the response would pale in comparison to what we are seeing now. So in all fairness, let’s cut Dell some slack, and just be happy we don’t have to come up with a new witty name for computing in the cloud.

  • DNS ATTACK

    “let’s cut Dell some slack” ? Wuwut?? It’s a deliberate attempt to capitalize on language _after_ its become popular. If this was planned they would have made more of an attempt early on. Even if they invented the phrase, they did a poor job protecting it, which is what copyright law looks at. They should be thankful they own the .com

  • Diego

    Are you guys, one of the Crunch sites or Arrington in any way connected or sponsored by Dell? Take it easy on Dell? What a joke.

  • http://www.matthewsmith.com Matthew Smith

    Lawyers being lawyers.

  • http://www.sciencefriction.net/blog/2008/08/19/144/ של מי השפה הזו לעזאזל?

    […] בדיוק עם הסרת השם איינשטיין מהקמפיין של פלאפון, נדחתה הבקשה של דל (Dell) להכיר בזכותה על מטהע הלשון cloud computing. […]

  • http://www.techcrunch.com Cameron Christoffers

    I am not saying that they should rightfully own the coinage at all, my point was that if this news broke when they applied for the trademark, in early 2007, they would not have received anywhere as much criticism as they have. The fact that this news broke just recently, after cloud computing has started to take off, makes the claim seems more preposterous than it really was at the time.

  • http://merged.till.klampaeckel.de/ till

    Cameron, you fail to make a point as WHY anyone should cut DELL some slack.

    The entire attempt is major weaksauce. There have been clouds when DELL registered the domain (over a year ago). It may not have been so “mainstream” though. In general all patents are weak attempts to secure what you think is your space because you ultimately fear the competition of others.

  • http://burningboats.com/today%e2%80%99s-weather-forecast-%e2%80%93-sunny-with-more-cloud-computing-ahead/ Cloud Computing - BurningBoats.com

    […] exactly breaking news, I know, but Dell to sell its factories worldwide is (more on that later).  I was rooting for Dell […]

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