Sponsored By

Web 6.9

Toy cars are a paradigm shift

Phil Harvey

April 18, 2007

3 Min Read
Web 6.9

9:00 AM -- I was the first person on my block to ban Web 2.0, and I did so within days of my employer's parent company securing ownership of that very term's trademark.

It is this sense of incredibly bad timing that prevents me from pursuing my lifelong ambition as the world's only gambling, stand-up comic weatherman.

But is it so odd that CMP owns Web 2.0? Take a spin around the patent and trademark databases, and you'll find that the maker of Hot Wheels redefines "Paradigm Shift" and someone affiliated with ESPN once loved appointing a "Geek of the Week."

Table 1: Webby Words


Trademark or Wordmark Status



Web 2.0




Web 3.0


Move, Inc.


Internet 2.0


Braingem, LLC


Paradigm Shift




Social Networking


The Kerr Company


My Space


Hanna's Candle Company




Lawrence Muggerud




TechBuzz, Inc.


Geek of the Week


Nanci Donnellan (c/o ESPN)


Source: USPTO.gov

Now for the Web 2.0 question on everyone's mind: Will there be more versions of the Web?

I don't know. But Web 4.0 is still up for grabs as a trademark, should someone want to fire up a conference series. (Wherever he is, Jeff Pulver's ears are twitching.) Of course, trademark databases aren't the only place where folks toss around such deliciously empty descriptors:

In a June 2006 press release from IDG World Expo, Web 3.0 arrives:

Since last August, [Phil Wainewright's] also been writing a blog for ZDNet about SaaS and its convergence with SOA and Web 2.0 - a remix he has been calling Web 3.0 for short.

A Dec. 16, 2006 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette column fast forwards beyond Web 3.0:

The technology, which Mr. [Mark E.] Seremet terms "Web 4.0" because it's beyond the washed-up buzz word Web 2.0…

Why stop there? In a June 2006 column from the Guardian newspaper, the title of the article asks: "Should I trademark the term Web 3.0?" The answer:

You could try, but you're probably at the back of the queue. Have you thought of going for Web 5.0 or Web 6.0?

Had enough yet? What about self-described "agent of change" Seth Godin's Web4? Here's a snippet of his January 2007 post:

Web4 is what I'm really waiting for. And it's entirely possible that Web4 will get here before the semantic web, even though Web 3 makes it work a lot better.

Seth used to work for a living, but I think now he gets paid to talk about himself, which explains this description of his latest book:

Seth Godin doesn't claim to have all the answers. But he will teach you how to ask the right questions.

Please. Make it stop.

— Phil Harvey, Person of the Year, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like