Posted by: Marty Fahncke | January 29, 2007

Who owns the term “Webinar”?

A connection of mine on LinkedIn posted this question to me, based on my experience in the Webinar and Teleseminar industries running Conference Call University: 

<<<Begin snip>>>

Last August, it seems that filed a trademark on the word “webinar” claiming first use in commerce June 6, 2000. Now I know for a fact that the word was used in commerce before that, because my employer at the time was using it, and we borrowed the term from WebEx. I did some searching on Google (webinar + 1999) and easily found dozens more examples prior to June 1, 2000. I hate to see generic words hijacked like this (familiar with Entrepreneur Media?). What can be done about this? Any ideas?  <<<End snip>>> 

I don’t have the legal background to answer this, but was hoping someone out there could help.  I also checked the word “tele-seminar” and found out someone registered it back in 1993.   

In addition to the question posted by my friend, I was wondering what this means to all of us in those channels using these terms in our marketing or even in our business names? 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. 

Please email to marty at


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