In a sensible ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Dell has been denied the trademark of “cloud computing,” based on the grounds that it is a general use term. The ruling is “not final” and Dell has six months to appeal before the application expires.
“Cloud computing” refers to any service delivered over the web from remote servers. Examples include Google Docs, Amazon’s S3, and Apple’s own MobileMe.
Why Dell wasted time on this one, I’m not sure. Pretty much every company involved with cloud computing has been using the term since… ever. I’m sure this was an ill-thought-out way for Dell to raise its value by forcing every company to pay royalties or find a new catchphrase for cloud computing. In reality, all this is going to do is hurt its brand perception.