OpenAI, the artificial intelligence (AI) company behind the popular ChatGPT chatbot, is facing numerous challenges in securing a trademark for its “Generative Pre-trained Transformer” (GPT) technology. Other companies have been piggybacking off the success of ChatGPT and have been applying for similar trademarks, such as ThreatGPT, MedicalGPT, DateGPT, and DirtyGPT.
OpenAI applied for a trademark for GPT in December 2021, but its request was dismissed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week. The agency stated that OpenAI’s attorneys neglected to pay an associated fee and provide “appropriate documentary evidence supporting the justification of special action.”
Jefferson Scher, a partner in the intellectual property group of Carr & Ferrell, stated that OpenAI has a good chance of securing the trademark, despite facing several challenges. OpenAI has been using GPT for years and has released several models, including the original GPT-1 in October 2018. Furthermore, OpenAI has become well-known outside of the AI research community thanks to the release of the DALL-E 2 deep learning model that generates digital images and ChatGPT.
However, OpenAI will need to establish that “GPT” is proprietary and that the public perceives it as such, rather than as a broad term for generative AI. This may involve asking a random sampling of Americans their opinion on the matter or analyzing how “GPT” has been used in public.
If OpenAI does secure the trademark, it will receive protection, even outside of its sphere. For example, Rolex is too famous a trademark to be used on anything else. OpenAI may also benefit from the fame of the ChatGPT chatbot, which has become well-known in households outside of the AI research community.
In conclusion, OpenAI is facing challenges in securing a trademark for its GPT technology, but it has a good chance of succeeding. The company’s success with ChatGPT and DALL-E 2 may also work in its favor.