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Microsoft tries to trademark 'Mod' in the US

50 shades of Metro No-tro

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Microsoft is attempting to trademark the phrase “Microsoft Mod” in a move being interpreted as step towards renaming the Windows 8/8.1 interface.

The software giant in December lodged a wordmark filing with the US Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) to claim “Microsoft Mod” and “Microsoft Office Mod.” The filings were uncovered by NeoWin and you can view the filings here and here.

As ever on such filings, details on potential use are non-existent, but some believe “Mod” could become the new "Metro" – the name for the Windows 8/8.1 interface that had to be dropped shortly before Windows 8 launched in October 2012.

No reason was ever officially given for the dropping of Metro, but it is believed Microsoft had been unable to resolve a dispute over the name with one of its European partners.

Since then, Microsoft types have employed a variety of names to describe the interface, including "Metro-style", while some continue to use Metro.

Slapping a TM on it is obviously important to Microsoft, which owns trademarks on the names Windows. Office, Xbox and Dynamics, for example.

Certainly, a new name would be appropriate given the Gemini wave of touch-enabled versions of Office expected this year and the filing of “Microsoft Office Mod".

That said, there’s no guarantee Mod will come to anything. The company has filed for plenty of wordmarks and service marks in the past that have come to nothing.

Examples include “Be what’s next”, lodged in November 2010 but abandoned in February last year. ®

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