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Google "Photovine" Trademarked – But What Is It?

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Google LogoGoogle recently filed a trademark for a new service called "Photovine," and the domain name just switched to an unnamed owner. But what, exactly, will Photovine be? Let's explore some possibilities.

Details on the Trademark and Domain

As first caught by Fusible, Google registered "Photovine" for a trademark on June 6. The trademark gave a few details:

  • It's  "non-downloadable software"; i.e., it's a cloud service of some kind.
  • It's aimed at "transmission of visual images and data by telecommunication networks, wireless communication networks, the Internet, information services networks and data networks." In other words, it seems to be an image sharing service, although other "data" may be involved.
  • It's also trademarked in the "On-line social networking services" category.

Additionally, the domain name (previously registered to a Matthew Gibson, who hasn't commented on the story) has switched owners. There's no confirmation that Google is the new owner, but that's largely because the new registrant is MarkMonitor – a company that registers on behalf of other groups, including large companies, so the domain registrant can keep their anonymity.

What Will Photovine Be?

The descriptions provided in the trademark excerpts above give a fairly clear idea of an image-centric cloud service. But since Google already has Picasa, a new service that just provides photo-sharing would be redundant.

While Photovine could be a new sub-service to Picasa that allowed for easier image sharing on social networks, smartphones, and other mediums, such an effort could easily be branded under Picasa itself. And even if the Photovine name was itself just a part of Picasa, that doesn't explain what seems to be a domain name purchase.

It's a mystery project, to be sure, but the most enticing line in the "On-line social networking services" descriptor. Photovine could be a more socially oriented Google service, and perhaps even one that's designed to run cross-platform (on phones, desktops, tablets, etc.). At the very least, it will have a social element.

But there are plenty of open options. What do you think Photovine will be? And, more importantly, what do you want it to be?

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