As part of a release announcing the recruitment of 17 content editors across its network of local news and information site, HelloMetro.com has also declared that it has trademarked Hyperlocal™.
“With this new distinction, the company continues its quest to provide the most up-to-date local and Hyperlocal™ information for its users,” the release states.
In the UK a trademarked should not, according to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), are not registrable if they:
- describe your goods or services or any characteristics of them, for example, marks which show the quality, quantity, purpose, value or geographical origin of your goods or services;
- have become customary in your line of trade;
- are not distinctive
Things may be different in the US (am still looking for a definitive, easy-to-read guide of TMs), but surely the UK criteria of not being ‘customary in your line of trade’ should come in here? Hyperlocal has passed into common media parlance – see this morning’s news of the New York Times’ local project.
Plus – is the phrase already trademarked in the US? and what’s the point?