September 05, 2012

Update: Retreats on Trademarking ‘Social Enterprise’

The software giant has announced that it plans to withdraw its applications to trademark the term “social enterprise.”

The company, which had sought the trademark in Great Britain, Jamaica, the United States, and the European Union, has been using the term in its advertising for the last two years to describe how businesses use social media to connect with customers. In its announcement, pointed to the outcry from nonprofits and socially minded businesses as the primary reason for its reversal.

"It was never our intention to create confusion in the social sector which we have supported since our founding," Marc Benioff, chief executive of, said in a written statement. "As a result of the feedback we received, has decided to withdraw its efforts to trademark the term 'social enterprise' and plans to discontinue its use in our marketing."