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Salesforce social enterprise trademark withdrawn

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On Tuesday, Salesforce.com announced it’s decision to withdraw applications to trademark the term “social enterprise” in the United States, Europe, Australia and Jamaica. This follows objections from social organisations (of which there are now many) who felt the term was understood to describe any business with a social purpose, along with some of the world’s largest businesses.

The original application was filed earlier this year and was rejected in March by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on the grounds that the term social enterprise “describes a feature or purpose of the applicant’s goods and/or services.” Salesforce.com appealed that ruling but have now dropped the appeal as they no longer plan to use the term. Salesforce are said to be removing any references to the term “social enterprise” in its marketing materials.

For almost two years, Salesforce.com have been using the term “social enterprise” in order to describe the way social and mobile cloud computing technologies allow businesses to communicate with their employees, customers and partners in ways not previously considered.

Marc BenioffSalesforce.com founder Marc Benioff said on Tuesday that the company never intended “to create confusion in the social sector which we have supported since our founding”.