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US Patent Office rains on Dell's 'cloud computing' trademark

Claim on the term was a topical storm

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Dell's grip on a "cloud computing" trademark may not be as solid as it first seemed.

The US Patent Office has canceled its "notice of allowance" on the Round Rock computer vendor's attempt to master the popular IT buzzword. Passing the "allowance" step in the trademark process had meant that opponents could no longer object to Dell's claims. But Dell's trademark application was updated yesterday to show the case has now "returned to examination."

It would seem someone working for the USPTO was stuck by thunderbolt of rationality.

"Cloud computing" is a vogue, albeit nebulous term used to describe services ranging from web-hosted applications to networks of computers sharing resources and workloads.

Dell was admittedly an early adopter of the term, but the phrase has been beaten into generic use by a storm of subsequent product names, descriptions, and of course, countless Power Point presentations spewed from the heart of Silicon Valley. Some at El Reg even briefly resented using "cloud computing." But in the end, resistance was futile.

Dell's filing described the term as "Custom manufacture of computer hardware for use in data centers and mega-scale computing environments for others." Dell also owns the URL cloudcomputing.com.

But hey, maybe Dell could trademark "mega-scale." That sounds like a fresh one. ®

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