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SEO being trademarked, AGAIN!?!

Written by David Harry   
Thursday, 21 January 2010 14:56

Circle the wagons? Or 'Who gives a shit?'

SEO trademark guy part duex

One of my SEO Dojo peeps came to me this morning asking if I knew about the guy that was trying to Trademark the term; SEO. I said, “Sure, that Jason Gambert Guy right?” – Oh no… apparently he has some competition. One Clinton Cimring… huh, news to me…

Apparently he;

…was one of the first published search engine optimizers (SEOs) and search engine optimization consultants[1] and currently holds the only trademark on the term, S.E.O.

They go on to say;

…he has had a trademark pending on the term since 1996 and it seems to be between he and a Jason Gambert.

Aparently he is "well known in the search engine optimization[5] arena for introducing new techniques or approaches to search engine optimization such as SEO 2.0 and coining the terms, SEO 2.0, reverse seo, and buzz keywords" - Someon might want to tell Tad about that...

Sheesh …. Here we go again. For those of you that missed it last time, just do some Googlin’ for ‘Jason Gambert, SEO trademark’ and there was plenty of commentary last time out.

Almost the laughable part of this is that many of my cohorts have recently been somewhat embarrassed to be called an SEO because of all the crap hat and bad publicity it gets…. So hey, by the time either of these folks gets the tradement (highly unlikely) it won’t be worth shit… right? I jest…

Read more of the claims here (please nofollow any links to this guy m’kay peeps?)

Do the Math

My buddy Steve mused this from the page;

  • claims he joined the marines after 9/11 at 17
  • so - 2001 - 5 = 1996
  • 17- 5 = 12
  • so he was 12 years old when he invented SEO

Not the trademark you are looking for


Barry (over on Search Engine Land) found the Trademark filing which leads to the actual Docs from the filing. One of them, titled; Response to Office Action,(top one) has this... (damned funny IMO);

"We are attaching evidence of the distinctiveness of our mark. The company we acquired, The International Cimring Group, Inc., which shares the same board of directors as this company invested a considerable amount of money in branding the mark, S.E.O., and associating the mark with the company. It is reasonable to trace the first use and widespread acceptance of the acronym in question directly to the company vise-a-vie the attached sample proposal. (Our acronym stands for Strategically Elevating Optimization and not Search Engine Optimization. In 1997 the service known as search engine optimization  was called web site optimization among several other terms because the process of optimizing websites "offsite" did not yet exist because search engines like Google that look for ranking factors outside of the websites themselves did not exist. It is common knowledge that the first use of the term search engine optimization dates back to 1997 and all of the experts admit to not knowing how it came about but do admit that the acronym S.E.O. came about before the term search engine optimization. We can obtain affidavits from several experts if need be.)

The attachment is a sample proposal and invoice sent to a client. The scanned images are scanned from the original documents dating back to 1996-1997. We have retained originals as proof. The proposal shows considerable effort in drafting the terms by the company and attorneys. At the time the acronym in question was unheard of. Only after a year of the company sending out thousands of these proposals did the acronym gain nominal use by competitors. The company can further obtain affidavits from former employees as to the number of proposals that were sent out and the sales efforts expended in this effort."

Emphasis = mine

Whaaaat? As one friend said, "Is that even proper engish?". So it's 'Strategically Elevating Optimization' that they're after? So an SEO company wants to trademark SEO, but not that SEO... another one. Bwaaha ha ha ha ha... this just gets better all the time...First, they say it isn't actually 'search engine optimization' then go on to explain what the term (dating back to 1997) is somehow also NOT that... So did we screw up? Am I actually doing 'search elevation optimization' and didn't know it? Man, I am confused...time to call me shrink and make an appointment.

It is interesting that all of the attached docs as evidence (invoices, contracts) all say 'search engine optimization'... but he says that's not what SEO (his version) is.... sheesh... this is just loopy

In the second 'Reply to office Action" they state;

"Again, there are other synonymous terms like search engine placement, search engine marketing, internet marketing, internet optimization, internet placement, search engine results optimization, etc...

Until the term does become standardized, if it ever will, I have the right to trademark the term as our tagline Strategically Elevating Optimization, especially considering we have used it since before search engine optimization became a term. The only other person to register the term was Jason Gambert who we objected to as his first use dates back to 20070214, while our first use dates back to 1996 with my father's company, The International Cimring Group, Inc. a Florida profit corporation."

At least they aknowledge ol Jason and his kick at the can with this... Maybe the two of them can get oiled up and we can throw them into the ring together. Anyways, sound off in the comment peeps… is this just another false alarm? Or something we should be concerned with and fighting?


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