Friday, October 24, 2008

Arista Networks Claims “Cloud Networking” As Its Trademark

Undeterred by Dell Inc.’s abortive attempt to register “Cloud Computing” as a trademark, start-up Arista Networks’ Web site has adorned the term “Cloud Networking” with the ™ (common-law trademark) symbol, as shown here:

An Arista Networks Names Jayshree Ullal President and CEO, Andreas Bechtolsheim Chairman and CDO press release of 10/23/2008 claims:

Cloud Networking and EOS are trademarks of Arista Networks, Inc.

It takes considerable chutzpah to claim “Cloud Anything” as a trademark after the ruckus raised when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) initially granted registration of a “Cloud Computing” trademark to Dell Inc. My Dell Attempts to Purloin “Cloud Computing” Trademark post of 8/3/2008 (updated 8/18/2008) has more background on Dell’s spurious registration attempt.

The PTO later reversed it’s examiner’s decision and revoked the registration. According to Sam Johnston’s Dell Denied: 'Cloud Computing' both desciptive and generic post of 8/15/2008:

[The PTO] argued that 'the applied-for mark merely describes a feature and characteristic of applicant’s services'. A mark is merely descriptive if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of the specified services. That is, 'cloud computing' simply describes a type of computing in the same way that 'yellow bananas' describes a (common) type of banana.

Furthermore, they have declared 'cloud computing' generic, in that it is 'incapable of functioning as a source-identifier for applicant’s services'. This makes sense given that few of us think 'Dell' when we think of 'cloud computing', even in this context.

“Cloud Networking” is equally descriptive and generic.

Hopefully, the PTO will be a bit more vigilant this time around and not grant a spurious registration of “Cloud Computing” to Arista based on first use of the term.

No one objected to Dell’s attempt to register “Cloud Computing,” so the initial registration proceeded without an apparent attempt by the examiner to determine its validity. Participants in the “Cloud” must be vigilant in deflecting any repetition of Dell’s action by Arista.