SuperCALifragilisticexpialidocious: An Update on One Technology-Assisted Review Protocol’s Terminology

Editor’s Note: With recent eDiscovery provider announcements that highlight the use of the terms “Continuous Active Learning” and “CAL”, provided below is a quick review and current update on Recommind’s (Recommind, Inc.) opposition to the trademark/service mark application by Maura Grossman and Gordan V. Cormack for the terms CONTINUOUS ACTIVE LEARNING and CAL.

Background Extract from ACEDS (October 4, 2016)

Recommind finds itself on the other end of an IP battle.

After abandoning its claim of trademark over “predictive coding” in 2011, Recommind is now challenging the trademark of “continuous active learning” and its acronym,  “CAL”.

Maura Grossman and Gordon Cormack trademarked the terms “Continuous Active Learning” and CAL in 2015, claiming those terms’ first commercial use on April 11, 2013 and January 15, 2014.

In an ACEDS interview earlier in the year, Grossman asserted that “The primary purpose of our patents is defensive; that is, if we don’t patent our work, someone else will, and that could inhibit us from being able to use it. Similarly, if we don’t protect the marks “Continuous Active Learning” and “CAL” from being diluted or misused, they may go the same route as technology-assisted review and TAR.”

Citing Grossman and Cormack, the CAL method was deemed by the Honorable Judge Andrew Peck in Rio Tinto v. Vale to be less reliant on seed set transparency, one of the stumbling blocks attorneys have raised in the adoption of TAR.

Recommind is no stranger to the US Patent and Trademark Office.  In 2011, USPTO signaled that the “predictive coding” mark was “too broad” and Recommind instead chose to focus on their patent for technology assisted review.  Recommind contends in its current challenge that the trademark claims for CAL and continuous active learning should not be granted because they are generic or because they are so highly descriptive that they are incapable of acquiring distinctiveness as trademarks.


Trademark/Service Mark Application (May 19, 2015)

86634255 Update



Notice of Opposition (July 21, 2016)




Latest Proceeding Update (December 22, 2017)

86634255 (1)


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