Good thing Sarah Bird was paying some attention to pending filed trademarks at the US Patent and Trademark Office and found someone named Jason Gambert trying to file a trademark for the word: SEO. The trademark is actually near it’s final stages of getting approved and Sarah blogged about it on SEOMoz.
SEO, the acronym for Search Engine Optimization is so widely used just like saying you are a consultant and you offer consulting services. You can’t just trademark “consulting” since it is not something that originally belongs to you to identify your product or service as part of it’s brand. Although SEO may not be a dictionary word, it is still an acronym that is commonly used since the late 90’s for Search Engine Optimization. It is a generic service that is almost like a verb in some ways.
Now some dude, named Jason Gambert attempts to register SEO as his trademark with his main premise as SEO is his process and it is not a service. After several declined statements from the US Patent and Trademark Office, he still shoots back and somehow convinces the trademark office to reached near the final stage. Right now it is openly published for opposition.
What will happen if Jason Gambert does get to register the word SEO as his trademark?
We can’t tell the future but what he can do is file a cease and desist order to every company that uses the word SEO and say they cannot use it because he owns the trademark. So far this battle is led by Sarah who already started the filing of opposition which cost her $300 by the way. But if ever this still does not get the attention of the approving lawyers at the Patent and Trademark office, maybe more voices may help. Besides $300 is a small price to pay by any good SEO company.
- Sarah Bird’s Story
- Status of Jason Gambert’s Trademark Registration of SEO
- Where to File for a Notice of Opposition Sorry I am no lawyer to give specific how-to steps. I suggest consult your company lawyer how to do this.
I felt compelled myself to blog about this and I believe every SEO blogger should blog about it and get more people to tell the US Patent and Trademark Office that SEO is a service, not a process by Jason Gambert. SEO is almost common language to every ad agency and web design/development company today as it is part of their services.
Jason Gambert/SEO Trademark Update – 5/27/08
Many other people joined in the battle aside from Sarah Bird. Rhea Drysdale, Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning, Arteworks, SEO.com, LLC, JE Hochman & Associates also filed opposition to the trademark of “SEO” filed by Jason Gambert.
As a summary of Sarah’s opposition update, here are a few bullet points:
- After the first opposition, Jason Gambert made his own blog and started creating his own online buzz about what everything was all about. He also tried to address his thoughts to the SEO community indicating that his efforts for mainly to set the SEO standards.
- Other people has filed their opposition as well.
- Jason Gambert was not able to file on time his official statements in defense of the opposition first filed by Sarah Bird.
- Just as Sarah was about to file to be the winner by default, since Jason was late, Jason files some story again.
- Gambert wishes this to be confidential. Hmmm filing for a trademark and make it confidential?
- Gambert mentions Wikipedia as a very reliable source of information. Still enforcing that SEO is a process not a service.
- He says SEO did not exist before Google existed and was first mentioned in some email back in 1997.
Full story of updates here.