On January 14, 2013, Google Inc. filed a trademark application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office covering the term “Loon”. As part of their trademark filing, Google stated that they intend to provide “telecommunication services” under this name.

Although it is not clear what types of “telecommunication services” Google is referring to in their ‘Loon’ application, such services can take a wide range of forms, including digital messaging services, telephone and VOIP services, and services for the electronic transmission of data.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of their trademark application is that they assert a “claim of priority” based on their prior-filed trademark application for ‘Loon’ in the island-nation of Tonga (population 103,036), filed on July 18, 2012. This strategy allows Google to obtain an effective U.S. filing date of July 18, 2012 (as opposed to their actual U.S. filing date of January 14, 2013).

It should be noted that Google’s new trademark application is currently pending review by the Trademark Office, and has not yet been approved. The entire trademark registration process, from initial filing to final registration, usually takes about 13-18 months to complete.

Google Loon Trademark

Note: This graphic is a partial representation of Google’s full trademark filing for “Loon”.

Of course, just because a trademark application is filed with the Trademark Office does not necessarily mean that anything will ever actually come of it. For example, the application may be denied by the Trademark Office due to a potential conflict with someone else’s trademark.

Additionally, even if their trademark application is approved by the Trademark Office, Google has a history of abandoning many trademark applications after approval, including ones for the names “POOL PARTY”, “PHOTOVINE”, and “GOOGLE BOOST”.