Technology giant Salesforce will withdraw its applications to trademark ‘social enterprise’ following a campaign backed by social enterprise leaders across the globe, including Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Salesforce has been using the term ‘social enterprise’ to describe an organisation that uses social media to build brand loyalty. It had begun moves to trademark it in the UK, the US, Australia and Jamaica.
Yesterday Salesforce CEO and chairman Marc Benioff said: “It was never our intention to create confusion in the social sector which we have supported since our founding.
“As a result of the feedback we received, Salesforce has decided to withdraw its efforts to trademark the term ‘social enterprise’. In addition, Salesforce will look to remove any references to ‘social enterprise’ in its marketing materials in the future.”
Social Enterprise UK launched a battle against Salesforce’s use of ‘social enterprise’ in early August, including a Twitter hashtag #notinourname and a letter sent last week to Salesforce’s CEO which was signed by Professor Yunus, CEO of Turning Point Lord Victor Adebowale, shadow equalities minister Baroness Thornton and the Social Enterprise World Forum committee.
Social Enterprise UK CEO Peter Holbrook said: “I would like to thank Marc Benioff for his personal engagement in this issue and his concern for the welfare of the world’s growing social enterprise movement.
“Our intention now is to ensure that this respect for the name and the mission of the social enterprise movement holds beyond the Salesforce family. Other tech companies are using the term to describe non-social enterprises and they too must declare their intentions to desist.
“The social enterprise term is highly valuable and the worldwide social enterprise movement must protect it. We will continue our efforts.”