The long-running saga over an attempt to trademark the term search engine optimisation has come to an end after the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) formally blocked it.

Jason Gambert of Scottsdale, Arizona had filed his application for the term in June 2008, claiming it had first been used in relation to internet marketing services in 1997.

A number of challenges were launched but all fell by the wayside or were dismissed until industry insider Rhea Drysdale took the fight on.

According to Search Engine Land, she spent over $17,000 (£11,300) of her own money in contesting the case for two years before the USPTO finally dismissed Mr Gambert’s application on March 11th.

In its decision, the office said that its "patience with [the] applicant has worn thin" after he missed a deadline for providing the opposing attorneys with supplemental responses to discovery requests.

The USPTO added that after reviewing these responses in conjunction with the opposition’s reply brief, the applicant’s responses "remain, on the whole, deficient".

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