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Dell Explains Cloud-Computing Trademark Attempt

The computer maker can appeal the Patent Office's rejection of its trademark application for the commonly used term

Dell, which recently suffered a setback in trying to get approval for "cloud computing" as a trademark, says its use of the term would be limited only to customized hardware.

Andy Rhodes, head of global marketing for Dell's datacenter solutions division, said the idea to trademark such a commonly used industry term stemmed from Dell's purchase of the domain name www.cloudcomputing.com, which takes the visitor to its datacenter solutions Web site.

"[The trademark process] was something we did when we bought cloudcomputing.com," Rhodes told reporters on Tuesday.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a preliminary rejection of Dell's request, saying the term was too generic to be acceptable as a trademark. The term cloud computing is used in the industry to describe services Internet companies provide to businesses and consumers. The services can range from online backup and office productivity applications to software-as-a-service offerings that encompass CRM and sales-force automation.

To help understand how companies use cloud computing, InformationWeek has published an independent report on the subject. Download the report here (registration required).

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