Copycat GPTs Go Crazy, OpenAI Issues "Warning": Don't Use GPT as the Name

Technology Author: Yunfeng Zhang Apr 26, 2023 10:35 PM (GMT+8)

In the past six months, with the launch of ChatGPT and GPT-4 by OpenAI, AI technology has really entered the lives of ordinary people, and the GPT series of products have emerged, such as AutoGPT, MiniGPT-4, Cerebras-GPT and so on.


However, OpenAI is very dissatisfied with many competing products' adoption of "Product+GPT" names. On April 24, OpenAI released a new branding policy ( based on GPT applications, requiring developers and creators using its ChatGPT, GPT-4, DALL-E, and developers, creators and companies using the company's brand names to follow the official usage and naming guidelines.

In addition, OpenAI is accelerating the process of filing a trademark application for "GPT" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If successful, many of the open-source GPT family of products and related libraries will no longer be able to use the technical name GPT, and GPT may become exclusive to OpenAI. Although this move may prevent many risky and high-risk programs from being installed on users' computers under the GPT name, the trademarking of this common GPT technology has also sparked a huge controversy among netizens.

OpenAI urgently wants to protect the GPT name, mainly because technologies such as ChatGPT and GPT-4 are too hot, and also try to reduce the subsequent disputes. In this period, according to the list of trademark applications in the USPTO, there are few companies that added GPT to apply for trademarks, such as ThreatGPT, MedicalGPT, DateGPT and DirtyGPT.

There is also a lot of disagreement in the industry about whether GPT is exclusive to OpenAI. Some argue that GPT, which is a converter-based generative pre-trained model in Chinese, and Generative pre-trained transformer in English, where the T refers to the transformer, is the name of a neural network architecture first published by Google researchers in 2017, and the technology is now widely used. So it seems a bit of a stretch to say that GPT, which is now a common technology, can be owned by OpenAI.

There has been a lot of discussion about this. Some say it's a bit like MacOS trying to trademark the OS and Nvidia trying to trademark "GPU". The use of common words as trademarks is obviously inappropriate.

However, some users have gone further to explain the benefits of trademarking GPT, saying that a company doesn't have to "invent" what it is named after. Apple didn't invent Apple, and Amazon didn't invent Amazon. It's certainly not a good idea to try to trademark a name that was previously used for something else. Still, if the company can show that consumers now associate the name with the company's products, the company may be protected.

Either way, it's bound to be a long process, and the end result may not go OpenAI's way.