OK Glass: Show me directions to the US Trademark Office

Google’s new wearable computer, known as Glass, looks pretty distinctive.  But is the name “Glass” distinctive enough to be a registered trademark?

Google thinks so, according to a filing unearthed by the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, which reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is balking at the tech giant’s application.

To be specific, it appears Google wanted to trademark the word Glass as displayed with the distinctive, futuristic type font that Google uses for the device. Google has already trademarked “Google Glass,” but it apparently wants to protect the use of the single word.

But an examiner at the USPTO raised several objections in a letter posted online by the Journal. For one thing, the examiner cited a number of other trademarks or pending applications for products or software that use the word Glass – and not just the single word “Glass” but also “Write On Glass,” “SMARTGLASS,” “Looking Glass,” “iGlass” etc.

In addition, the examiner wrote that the word “Glass” seems to be “merely descriptive” in referring to an element of the device, rather than a distinctive term in its own right.

Google isn’t taking the rejection lying down. Its attorneys have filed a 1,928-page rebuttal, according to the Journal, which said about 1,900 of those pages are news articles about Google Glass.

We can hear the distinctive command now: “OK Glass, show me some recent articles about yourself.”

(Photo of Glass logo and an early adopter by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (328 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.