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StorageTek Looks to Bag Buzzword

Files for trademark on Information Lifecycle Management, but competitors cry foul

Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) has filed for trademark protection on the phrase "information lifecycle management," a move that's been roundly scoffed at by competitors who say it's already a generic industry term.

StorageTek's definition of information lifecycle management (ILM) -- which is pretty much everyone else's, too -- is that it's a process that aligns information with the appropriate point along the storage hierarchy (see ILM Remains Illusory).

Now, StorageTek wants to be the sole proprietor of ILM. However, it's too soon to see whether the trademark will be granted, says spokesman Bob Wientzen, noting that the process can take as long as two years. For now, though, the company is including the symbol every time it refers to "Information Lifecycle Management" in its marketing literature.

Other storage vendors, several of which have been using ILM in their own marketing campaigns, say StorageTek's plot to commandeer the term is ludicrous.

"Our opinion is that StorageTek trying to trademark 'information lifecycle management' is like trying to trademark an industry trend," says EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) spokeswoman Anne Pace. "It would be like Ford trying to trademark 'SUV.' " [Ed. note: Or Fox News trying to trademark "Fair & Balanced".]

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