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UPDATE: Benioff wades in to defend SF.com's social enterprise trademark

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21st Aug 2012
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Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff has attempted to crush the social enterprise trademark row by insisting the term is connected to enterprise software, only.

In an email to those that have expressed their concerns – notably businesses in the philanthropic sector – Benioff said: “I think someone must be confused. Salesforce.com has applied to register the trademark SOCIAL ENTERPRISE in connection with ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE only. It is not seeking to use the phrase SOCIAL ENTERPRISE generally. Social Enterprise is something that I came up with to describe the next generation of enterprise software---that’s all.’  

The company CEO also added that Salesforce.com actively supports those organisations that work for social change: “Our work with non-profits globally over the last decade speaks for itself.”

Benioff’s email follows a blog post from Salesforce.com chairman of EMEA, Steve Garnett, earlier this week that insisted the company only applied to register the trademark for the IT sector and is not seeking to restrict descriptive uses of the phrase ‘social enterprise’ by others

But Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), the body representing the sector and organisers of the ‘Not in our name campaign’ against Salesforce.com, said today that both responses have failed to address their concerns.

SEUK boss Peter Holbrook said: ‘Their first attempts at reassuring the movement are confused, contradictory and very unhelpful, but we will continue to push for a meaningful and sensible dialogue with Salesforce.’

Last week, MyCustomer.com asked experts to share their thoughts on the move – whilst some were unsurprised, by and large the reaction was negative.  

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