HuoMah Blog discovered that yet another person is trying to claim a trademark on the term SEO, search engine optimization. Clinton Cimring of a company called “Search Engine Partner” filed a trademark application with United States Patent and Trademark Office on January 5, 2009. The filing claims first use SEO as a trademark was on September 23, 1996 and first use in commerce was on September 24, 1999.
This is the second time in about two years that someone with no general stature, reputation or well-known and documented history has tried to claim a trademark on SEO. In 2008, Jason Gambert gained attention in trying to trademark the term. That resulted in plenty of criticism of his move as well as people asking, “Jason who?”
Who actually coined the term and first used it in commerce? To our knowledge, Bob Heyman has the longest-standing claim. He said he invented the term in 1995 and documented his claim in 1997. Our Who coined the term SEO? article from Heyman covers this more. Unlike the other two people, Heyman has never tried to claim a trademark against for the term.
Postscript: Links to the trademark expire after a certain period time. To find this trademark, search for the serial number 77643198 at tess2.uspto.gov.
Postscript #2: It seems like he is trying to trademark the acronym SEO for Strategically Elevating Optimization and not Search Engine Optimization.