The Fight To Keep 'SEO' From Being Trademarked

SEOmoz, Thursday, May 29, 2008 12:45 PM
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Sarah Bird, legal counsel for the search firm SEOmoz, brings readers up to speed on the fight to keep the term "SEO" from being trademarked. About a month ago, it came to light that a Jason Gambert was trying to trademark the term, so Bird and others in the search community (including Rhea Drysdale and the team at Arteworks) filed opposition proceedings to block his application.

In response, Gambert launched a Web site defending his position, arguing that he was simply trying to "save search pros from themselves" by forcing the community to adhere to standards. Despite repeated attempts by Bird and others to send copies of their opposition documents to Gambert (which is necessary for legal proceedings to move forward), the papers kept getting returned. And Gambert also missed the deadline to file an official response to SEOmoz's opposition charges.

Since he'd missed the deadline, Bird filed for a Motion for Default Judgment (a request for an automatic win because one party fails to respond), but she was greeted by Gambert's newest defense on the same day--he had indeed filed a 41-page official response.

In his documents, Gambert requested confidentiality for the remainder of the proceedings (citing that he was concerned about harassment by angry search pros), said that he had never been contacted by the opponent parties, and even argued that he was the first to use the term "SEO" in commerce in 1997. Bird also lists a number of his other arguments, and refutes the logic behind each one.

"(W)as he seriously thinking that he could hold this entire conversation behind closed doors?" asks Bird. "Whatever happened to wanting to involve the SEO community in developing the standards that he would use to govern it?" Stay tuned, because the saga is likely to continue.

Read the whole story at SEOmoz »

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