Salesforce Withdraws Application for “Social Enterprise” TM
Today Salesforce.com, an enterprise cloud computing company, announced that it has dropped its applications to trademark “Social Enterprise.”
Remember when Donald Trump wanted to trademark the phrase “You’re Fired” in 2004, with hopes of collecting royalties each time you or someone you know said the pithy catchphrase? It’s like that, only not as absurd or as caustic.
“It was never our intention to create confusion in the social sector which we have supported since our founding,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. ”As a result of the feedback we received, salesforce.com has decided to withdraw its efforts to trademark the term ‘social enterprise’ and plans to discontinue its use in our marketing.”
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1mtQi)
In addition to the private sector, many nonprofits, NGOs, and social enterprise organizations have utilized and relied on Salesforce.com’s SaaS model for growth and development.
If successful, Salesforce.com’s trademark would have caused many organizations to rename entirely. Social Enterprise UK, for example, launched an awareness campaign to halt the process.
Poll reveals concerns of worldwide social enterprise movement
Social Enterprise UK surveyed 625 social enterprise organisations from 34 countries across the globe. An overwhelming 94% believed that Salesforce’s attempt to trademark the term social enterprise would have had a negative effect on the social enterprise movement, and 80% believed that it would have had a detrimental effect on their own organisation.
In response to Salesforce’s actions:
- 87% felt they could have resulted in reduced funding and investment in the sector
- 94% felt they would have confused customers and reduce customer loyalty
- 88% felt they would have undone all the hard work that has gone into building the sector so far
Bowing out of the trademark process for “Social Enterprise” is not only the right decision, but it’s the right thing to do.
This morning, Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK issued an official statement.
“I would like to thank Marc Benioff for his personal engagement in this issue and his concern for the welfare of the world’s growing social enterprise movement. We are delighted that Salesforce has made this decision and it’s absolutely to their credit that they have taken it publicly, offering an unequivocal statement of their future intentions. We have been impressed by their honesty and integrity. We know that this is no small deed. Much time and effort has been put in by Salesforce and some of their customers to developing and marketing their version of ‘social enterprise’.
Salesforce.com is an industry partner; their decision extols those strong partnerships and the Social Enterprise sector is likely to show support for CEO Mark Benioff’s decision by following Holbrook’s example.
Check out Salesforce’s upcoming event in San Francisco.
I applaud Salesforce, Social Enterprise UK and other partners in the third sector for amicably resolving this issue. Moreover, I hope others in the private and political sector are taking notes.
Sophia Sinclaire is editor and publisher of PHILANTHROPE Magazine.
Salesforce.com Withdraws Applications to Trademark the Term “Social Enterprise” (via PR Newswire)
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Salesforce.com [NYSE: CRM], the enterprise cloud computing company, announced today it plans to withdraw its applications to trademark the term “social enterprise.” For nearly two years, salesforce.com has evangelized the term “social enterprise” to describe…
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