03 August 2008

Dell Trademarks "Cloud Computing"?

If this is true, it's outrageous:

Dell has applied for a trademark on the term cloud computing. The opposition period has already passed and notice of allowance has been issued. That means that it is very likely that the application will soon receive final approval.

As the posting from Language Log rightly comments:

In other words, this is a pure example of theft from the public domain. Speakers of English have a term, "cloud computing", which the US government is on the verge of privatizing and assigning exclusively to Dell. Other companies providing similar services will not be able to describe what they are doing as "cloud computing" anymore than Nike will be able to describe its shoes as Reeboks.

Shame on you, Michael Dell. Unless the company agrees to make this term generally available, I think it's time we considered a boycott in protest.

Update: Scotched, apparently.

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