On Thursday, December 8, 2011, Google Inc. launched a new service called SchemerTM, which has slowly been building up some speed in the blogosphere; however, there are some interesting things to be noted about this new service from a trademark perspective. Schemer itself appears to be a sort of Foursquare® meets your typical Sunday paper article titled “Top 10 Best Things to Do in [insert geographic location here]”. It utilizes the pervasiveness of social networking within society to create “schemes” which are essentially fun things for people to do within the vicinity of whichever location you choose with the main difference being that it is you, and other people, who create these schemes, as opposed to a journalist.
Of course, as most businesses do, Google® has set out to trademark this name federally with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, submitting their name trademark, along with a stylized logo trademark, application for Schemer on the same day that the service was launched. What is very interesting from a trademark point of view though, is that prior to Google’s trademark application being filed, there was another trademark application filed with the USPTO for the exact same name by Meevine Inc, an Android OS application developer. The strangest thing of all though, is that even though the classifications chosen for these two trademarks are different, the Meevine SchemerTM trademark application description of goods and services is listed as, “Downloadable computer application software for mobile phones, namely, software to facilitate group decision making, event planning, and social networking.”
Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but this “downloadable computer application software” seems remarkably similar to the exact same kind of service that Google Schemer is all about, and in fact, Google has already released an Android app for their service titled, you guessed it, Schemer. Currently, the Meevine trademark is Published for Opposition, but to date no opposition has been filed; meaning Meevine could obtain a registered trademark for Schemer before Google’s trademark has even been reviewed by an examining attorney. Only time will tell what will arise from this situation, but it could be that Google’s Schemer will be DOA due to the possibility of trademark infringement!