Genardo Kanushi
Feb 19, 2024

USPTO Denies Open AI's Trademark Request for 'GPT', Leaving Term Open for Industry Use

OpenAI is denied its trademark request for 'GPT' In an interesting call, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has ruled against OpenAI for their application to make 'GPT' its own trademark.

The ruling was issued this month, meaning that competitors and others who want to enter AI can freely use 'GPT' to brand themselves. The decision to deny OpenAI's trademark application for "GPT" is a significant moment in the intellectual property landscape of AI technologies. This denial, marked as "FINAL" in all caps, underscores the challenge of trademarking terms that are deemed "merely descriptive" of the goods and services they aim to represent.

Obviously, the term GPT has become synonymous with the already famous ChatGPT by OpenAI for most of the public, but nevertheless, it is deemed too general to issue a trademark on.

GPT stands for "generative pre-trained transformer," which describes the machine learning model, and the final document issued by the PTO wrote: "Registration is refused because the applied-for mark merely describes a feature, function, or characteristic of the applicant's goods and services."

While there may be numerous other instances where GPT is used by other entities, OpenAI claims that the popularity of the term derives from them. Even though that might arguably be the case, the fame of OpenAI has paved the way for other big-name competitors to enter the field of AI with a shifted focus, like Google, Meta, or even DeepMind, while the utilization of GPT is also declared ‘free’ and it could be interesting to see how the situation evolves in all aspects.

Although this actually isn't the first time that OpenAI is denied its request for trademarking GPT, it can still appeal and dispute the ruling to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and wait for another final say on this issue.