Friday

MEMO TO: ZOOM INC. ( AND YOUR LAWYERS) DON'T BLAME MOTOROLA , IT MUST BE THE FAULT OF THE USPTO!

From a trademark observers outpost- this doesn't fall into the category of " what in the world were they thinking" But it's close.

It has been widely reported that Zoom Inc., an online money transfer company, using the term XOOM to identify its services, filed a lawsuit against Motorola on the day that Motorola introduced a tablet computer under the name XOOM.

The complaint that Zoom's lawyers filed has a tone of indignation. It accuses Motorola of wilfully and deliberately adopting the term XOOM to trade on Xoom Inc.'s reputation. The complaint notes that Motorola brazenly filed its own application to federally register the term XOOM even though Xoom Inc. already had secured a federal trademark registration for the identical term.

I guess if one's motive is to disrupt the introduction of the XOOM computer there is some logic to this strategy. But its not a compelling trademark story.

Yes indeed, Motorola filed to register the term XOOM long after Xoom Inc. secured its own federal trademark registration.

But guess what? The USPTO examining attorney DID NOT EVEN MENTION that registration when she reviewed Motorola's trademark application. She cited an existing registration for the term ZOOM against Motorola. But Motorola answered the examining attorney's concerns and the USPTO approved Motorola's application. In other words the federal trademark office compared XOOM to XOOM and said "no problem".

Could Xoom Inc. still have a claim against Motorola? Well sure. But to claim that Motorola has brazenly ignored their rights when all Motorola did was to successfully play the trademark registration game is a real stretch. Reminds me of a scene from a Jim Carry movie.

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