Why has Microsoft (finally) trademarked Clippy?

Microsoft’s Clippy, the source of many jokes and frustration is being trademarked, almost 25 years after it was released in Office 97. Why? Hopefully not the first step in a revival of the hated little paperclip?

Clippy was the overly persistent helper in Office 97 that kept popping up at the wrong times and refused to go away.

It quickly became a joke and still appears as a punchline well into the next century.

In June 2021, Microsoft applied for a Clippy image trademark.

Source: Justica

Clippy is described as “The mark consists of a drawing of a paperclip with eyeballs and eyebrows intended to look like a face.”

We’re no experts on trademark matters but surely Clippy would have been legally ‘locked up’ back in 1996, well before Office 97 was publically released? Leaving it to a few months shy of 25 years does seem strange.

All we ask is that this is just a legal nicety, not a sign that Clippy is returning in any serious way.

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