Comcast Shoots for 'DVR2Go' Trademark
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is aiming to make the term "DVR2Go" a registered trademark, a move that could offer a peek into the direction of the MSO's TV Everywhere strategy.
Comcast doesn't own the trademark yet, but it's closing in on it. According to the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Comcast filed for the trademark on March 29, 2010.
Trademarkia, a government record search engine, notes that the status changed to "approved for publication" on June 28. That designation puts the world on notice that the trademark is going to be registered, and gives others an initial 30-day window to challenge it (a three-to-six month period in which someone can still request cancellation of a trademark follows, but such cases are rare).
Interestingly, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has used the term "DVR2GO" in some of its past public literature, but no product with that name has appeared. Given that Comcast is one of Moto's largest customers, it seems unlikely the vendor would oppose the MSO's trademark attempt. Motorola declined to comment.
Kathleen Cooney-Porter, a partner at Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt LLP, a firm that specializes in intellectual property law, notes that Comcast filed for the trademark under section "1B," indicating that the MSO intends to use the mark in commerce.
She estimates that, barring any opposition, Comcast should be able to obtain a "notice of allowance" within one to two months, and then start using it.
How Comcast might use the DVR2Go mark remains the big question. Comcast has already shown interest in developing a "portable" DVR in tandem with Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC), but that tru2way-based device, announced at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show, has not been seen from since, and it's questionable if that product, as originally shown, will ever see the light of day. (See Comcast, Panasonic Unveil Portable DVR , Comcast, Panny Polishing Portable DVR , and CableLabs Clears Panasonic Tru2way Box.)
However, Comcast's filing for the trademark at the USPTO indicates that the MSO has some grander plans that track with its broader TV Everywhere strategy. The filing refers to the "Broadcasting, streaming and transferring of audio, video, and data to portable electronic devices; mobile media services in the nature of electronic transmission of entertainment media content."
In addition, DVR2Go is an obvious brand extension for High-Speed2go, Comcast's 4G/3G mobile broadband service. But the new mark suggests a complementary mobile video product is also part of Comcast's plans. (See Comcast Launches Chicago High-Speed 2go and Comcast Boots Up 3G-Only Option .)
Comcast isn't saying much about its plans for the DVR2Go name. It says it applies for lots of trademarks, some of which get used for specific products, while others don't.
For what it's worth, Comcast filed for the "Tunerfish" trademark on April 27, and went on to debut the service, which meshes TV watching habits with social networking, on June 10.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable