Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on whom you ask), I’m exceedingly busy in real work at the moment, and don’t have as much time to be nerding around trademark registries looking for interesting filings. That being said, occasionally something stands out, and I go snooping.
Google Clockwork….in Tonga.
Nothing says “This is secret and we’d rather people didn’t know about it” like applying for a trademark in Tonga. This is a tactic used by very large companies to try and hide upcoming products while still protecting their trademark position. I’ve covered this previously, and it featured in an article on Business Insider that you can read here. Interesting side note, after my earlier posts I was contacted by the chief economist from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to contribute to an academic research paper on these types of trademark filings (called Submarine Filings by them). But I digress.
Back in November 2018, Google applied for the word ‘Clockwork’ as a trademark in the lovely Kingdom of Tonga:
Consider me interested Google, you scamps!
What is Google Clockwork
I didn’t know, so I asked…..Google
Somewhat ironically, it appears that Google doesn’t know about the trademarks that Google has applied for (none of those results relate to what this trademark has been filed for).
Google Clockwork Trademark Details
Here you can see what has been applied for…..well, except this particular database doesn’t include the UKIPO.
Google has also applied for “Clockwork” specifically in the UK, because, you know, Brexit. It probably wishes it hadn’t because yesterday (22 July, 2019) it was opposed.
Minus craic (that’s a technical legal term unique to the Irish legal system).
Google Clockwork Trademark – Goods and Services
Finally, and most importantly, it’s all well and good applying for trademark protection, but what has Google applied to affix this ‘Clockwork’ name to? Great question.
- Class 9 – Downloadable mobile applications for posting, distributing, and viewing employment opportunities, for posting and viewing resumes, for subscribing to job alerts via email and text, for screening job applicants by viewing and downloading resumes in a resume database, for searching for job opportunities and for applying to jobs and other job search information; computer software application used to manage labor staff, including hiring, onboarding, human resources, scheduling and labor law compliance.
- Class 35 – Providing an online searchable database featuring employment opportunities and content about employment; providing an online resume database featuring information relating to job seekers; providing online searchable database relating to job vacancies; providing an online searchable database of resumes of prospective employees; providing an interactive web site with information about job seeking; providing a website that enables users to sign up for job alerts via text and email and apply for jobs.
- Class 42 – Software as a service (SAAS) services for mobile phones, mobile computers, and mobile devices featuring software for scheduling of workers and workforce management; software as a service (SAAS) services featuring software for scheduling of workers and workforce management; computer services, namely, providing a search engine for obtaining job listings, resume postings, and other job search information via the Internet; computer services, namely, providing a website featuring temporary use of non-downloadable software for use in online personnel recruiting, posting job openings online, screening and interviewing job applicants online, and storing resumes online.
For all intents and purposes, this would appear to be a ‘jobs’ website/app. I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to be solely for internal Google Recruitment, or whether this is a play into the jobs listing market like indeed.com or Monster.com (in which case, I’d imagine each would be, well, nervous).
Of course, as always, Google may have just been on a jaunt to Tonga and applied for a trademark which it never intends to use.
Time will tell.
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