If there’s one trademark that’s become a household word in the past few months, it’s ZOOM. Surely Zoom Video Communications, Inc. is 100% sure it has the right to use ZOOM and it secured that right by registering it with the U.S. Trademark Office.
You know where this is going, right?
Zoom filed its first trademark application with the U.S. Trademark Office in August 2017, claiming it started using ZOOM as a mark for video conferencing services in May 2012.
As of this writing (May 2020), that application is still being held up because of two applications that were filed in September 2012 and November 2013, after Zoom’s first use but before Zoom filed its application.
If Zoom had filed its application when it started using the ZOOM mark, it would have been ahead of those two applications in priority. Instead the 2017 application is still up in the air as are:
- Zoom’s application filed in May 2018;
- Zoom’s application filed in July 2018;
- Zoom’s application filed in May 2020; and
- Zoom’s other application filed in May 2020.
Is Zoom going to have to rebrand? Probably not. The brand is too valuable now to walk away from it so Zoom will continue fighting with the Trademark Office and might end up paying some other companies for their rights.
There are lots of risks when starting a business. Some, like this one, are easily avoided.
Shout out to Alyssa for bringing this topic to my attention.