A heretofore-unknown search engine optimization (SEO) practitioner named Clinton Cimring is the latest to file an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to copyright the term "SEO."
Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land reports that "this is the second time in about two years that someone with no general stature, reputation or well-known and documented history has tried to claim a trademark on SEO. In 2008, Jason Gambert gained attention in trying to trademark the term."
The HuoMah search blog reports that a biography of Cimring on his website seems to suggest that Cimring invented the practice of search engine optimization (SEO) at the age of 12, given the dates provided. The search blog also writes that additional documents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicate that Cimring is trying to copyright the term as "strategically elevating optimization" and not search engine optimization (SEO).
Cimring also disputes Gambert’s earlier claim, saying that he – Cimring – used the term as long ago as 1996, compared to Gamber’s claim of 2007.