If you read the headline and thought it was just a teaser to get you to read this post, think again. SEOs really do have a new trademark issue to worry about. According to a post by Sarah Bird on SEOmoz, a man named Jason Gambert has applied for a trademark of the term, "SEO." It would be my pleasure to write this next sentence saying that Trademark Office isn't complying with Gambert's wish, but that isn't the case.
On March 25, the Trademark Office notified Gambert of the following news:
"The mark of the application identified appears to be entitled to registration. The mark will, in accordance with Section 12(a) of the Trademark Act of 1946, as amended, be published in the Official Gazette on the date indicated above for the purpose of opposition by any person who believes he will be damaged by the registration of the mark. If no opposition is filed within the time specified by Section 13(a) of the Statute or by rules 2.101 or 2.102 of the Trademark Rules, the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks may issue a certificate of registration."
And let it be a lesson to those who quit easily, Gambert has actually been rejected several times during his application process. But he has persevered, and his persistence has paid off.
If you feel you would be harmed by the issuance of a trademark for the term SEO, it might be in your best interest to contact the Trademark Office and let them know.