Google recently applied for a trademark on "Photovine" on June 7 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. And as of June 14, it appears Google owns photovine.com. The company appears to have taken ownership of the domain name from Matthew Gibson, who had previously owned the name since January 2010 according to WHOIS records, report Fusible.
The trademark gave a few details:
- It's "non-downloadable software"; i.e., it's a cloud service of some kind.
- It's aimed at "transmission of visual images and data by telecommunication networks, wireless communication networks, the Internet, information services networks and data networks." In other words, it seems to be an image sharing service, although other "data" may be involved.
- It's also trademarked in the "On-line social networking services" category.
So what exactly is Photovine?
The descriptions provided in the trademark excerpts give a idea of an image-centric cloud service. But in 2004, Google acquired Picasa, a photo software and sharing service.
While Photovine could be a new sub-service to Picasa that allowed for easier image sharing on social networks, smartphones, and other mediums, such an effort could easily be branded under Picasa itself. And even if the Photovine name was itself just a part of Picasa, that doesn't explain what seems to be a domain name purchase.
But the most enticing line in the "On-line social networking services" descriptor. Photovine could be a more socially oriented Google service, and perhaps even one that's designed to run cross-platform (on phones, desktops, tablets, etc.). At the very least, it will have a social element.
Martin Bryant, at The Next Web, writes: "Google has long been rumoured to be working on new social services, with names like "Google Me" and "Circles" having floated around over the past year. Could Photovine be part of such efforts?".
Here's a look at the trademark filing:
Word Mark PHOTOVINE
Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer software
IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Communication services, namely, transmission of visual images and data by telecommunications networks, wireless communication networks, the Internet, information services networks and data networks
IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Non-downloadable computer software
IC 045. US 100 101. G & S: On-line social networking services
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 85340503
Filing Date June 7, 2011
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Owner (APPLICANT) Google Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View CALIFORNIA 94043
Attorney of Record Andrew Abrams
Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE