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
Term Trademark or Wordmark Status Company/Entity Date
Web 2.0 Granted CMP Media LLC 27-Jun-06
Web 3.0 Applied Move, Inc. 5-Feb-07
Internet 2.0 Abandoned Braingem, LLC 14-Feb-03
Paradigm Shift Granted MATTEL, Inc. 15-Aug-06
Social Networking Applied The Kerr Company 16-May-06
My Space Granted Hanna's Candle Company 29-Jun-04
Mashup Applied Lawrence Muggerud 4-Nov-03
TechBuzz Applied TechBuzz, Inc. 9-Apr-07
Geek of the Week Cancelled Nanci Donnellan (c/o ESPN) 20-Jul-02
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

sfwriter 12/5/2012 | 3:10:13 PM
re: Web 6.9 Why did CMP trademark Web 2.0? I would have thought that Tim O'Reilly -- the person who actually coined the phrase -- would have done that long ago. I've spent a fair amount of time covering Web 2.0 and never once have I associated the term with CMP.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:10:10 PM
re: Web 6.9 Me neither. Interesting that CMP managed to move fast enough to do this, though. (Full disclosure: We're owned by CMP, and they paid my salary for seven years before buying LR.)

This is the part where I'm not supposed to mention the Burn Rate book.
sfwriter 12/5/2012 | 3:10:09 PM
re: Web 6.9 I should probably also disclose that CMP also paid my salary during the summer of 1998.

It just seems like a petty move when Tim Berners-Lee himself decided not license the World Wide Web, instead giving it freely for others to develop. Maybe CMP can trademark Open Source next.
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:10:07 PM
re: Web 6.9 I think CMP co-owns the service mark referring to conferences, but it was the only name listed on the USPTO paperwork.

CMP also bought Medialive, the conference organizer that originated the Web 2.0 series. At least, that's what the lawyers say.

sfwriter 12/5/2012 | 3:10:05 PM
re: Web 6.9 Thanks for the clarification, Phil. That makes a bit more sense.
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