OpenAI GPT trademark denied

OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT and various other things derived from the term "Generative pre-trained transformer," has failed to secure a trademark registration on the term "GPT." It's already in wide use by many parties as a generic, technical term. [USPTO Case Viewer via Hacker News]

Registration is refused because the applied-for mark merely describes a feature, function, or characteristic of applicant's goods and services. … In this case, the applied-for mark is GPT, used in connection with "downloadable computer programs
and downloadable computer software for using language models [etc] " … The Internet attached evidence establishes that "GPT" is a widely used acronym which means "generative pre-trained transformers," which are neural network models that "give applications the ability to create human-like text and content (images, music, and more), and answer questions in a
conversational manner."

They did originate the term, I think, but appear to have undermined it as a brand by their own use of it as a neutral, technical descriptor in papers, press releases, marketing, the lot. The attempt to take possession of it, in the sense of filing for trademark protection, perhaps speaks to changes in how OpenAI sees itself. And perhaps to AI's fast turn from an industry-facing to a consumer-facing phenomenon.

It's like that lady who tried to trademark "Cocky."