Hey, Dell, get off of my cloud!

Rejected! Dell gets denied at the cloud-computing goal line by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. No "cloud computing" trademark for Dell. Dell trying to trademark "cloud computing" would be like Microsoft trying to trademark "desktop computing." Too many companies use the term cloud computing to describe online services for Dell or anyone else to attempt to swoop in and trademark the term right from under the market. It would create turmoil for what is already a generalized and widely used term. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, HP and others all offer what they term cloud computing or cloud services.

Why would Dell lay claim to the term cloud computing? Good question, considering it isn't viewed as a leader or emerging leader in that space -- yet. Dell is working to get traction, buying up Google Adwords for cloud computing that take browsing users to the Dell Simplify IT and Dell Cloud Computing(tm) portions of its site. Dell announced its cloud computing initiative in March of 2007, around the time when it filed for said trademark. But what Dell offers today are cloud building services, not cloud service offerings themselves. Dell wants to be the arms-dealer equivalent in the war to woo customers to hosting, infrastructure and major enterprises offering cloud services.

So, not only is the patent office correct in concluding cloud computing is "merely descriptive" and viewing Dell's cloud build services as "generic in connection with the identified services . . . and, therefore, incapable of functioning as a source-identifier for applicant's services." This is one trademark denial the patent office got right.

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