Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Who Owns “Microlearning?” The Learners Do. Not Grovo.

Grovo, Inc. (founded 2010) has trademarked the term “Microlearning”, reported by Chief Learning OfficerCLO states this is currently on a Supplemental Status.

This is another attempt of a Goliath overshadowing the small folks made up of many Davids.

Microlearning is too fundamental both as a process and for its value. Its core principles, practices and methods have been "owned" and implemented by numerous professionals globally even in early 2000. Sadly, Grovo is claiming ownership of “water” and “air”, in this case.

In my humble opinion, Grovo is being high-handed about running its business. It appears to ignore the needs of its market and clients for open-thinking and open-sharing. It is acting so “UN-Microlearning.” By its actions, it claims their brand is the only way to do Microlearning. I predict, just like other earlier companies that have tried to trademark generic terms, Grovo may not live up to its lofty exclusivity goals especially with the learners.

It’s about the Facts

2006 - First book on Microlearning (Before Grovo was founded)

The book 3-Minute e-Learning: Rapid Learning and Applications, Amazingly Lower Cost and Faster Speed of Delivery, Ray Jimenez, PhD (2006) (ISBN ISBN 978-0-9791847-0-3) Published in

In many instances in this book, I referred to the definitions and applications of Micro-learning, Microlearning, Micro-Content, Micro-Context, Micro-Coaching and many other applications of Microlearning.

Grovo Even Cited “3-Minute eLearning” in a white paper

More on Ray Jimenez’s Works

Ray Jimenez and others have been researching, espousing and innovating systems and software with the Microlearning principles.

2007 Micro-Learning Impacts - Training Conference Study

Published in the Internet by UPFEL

2014 Microlearning Workshops Started

2017 Micro.Expert Deep Dive Learning System

Micro.Expert is a "Digital Learning Platform" following the principles of Microlearning and Expertise Development.

These following works, videos, blogs, webinars, and presentations have continued to be published since 2008

eLearning Guild

Training Magazine Workshops

eLearning Guild Devlearn


Microlearning should not be a proprietary term to be claimed by any single organization or individual. Rather, it should be a learning approach that should be easily shared by learning advocates who believe in its usefulness, employed by organizations  and utilized by learners/workers for immediate information access for efficient on-the-job results.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"


  1. Agreed, and well presented, Ray!

    This is some interesting marketing on Grovo's part, because their trademark application was originally declined on the basis that it was in common parlance. Grovo then filled a response, which was again rejected.

    They then amended their mark to go from the Principal Trademark Register to the Supplemental Trademark Register. This provides some federal protection, but without the presumption of ownership. Grovo can’t enforce exclusive use of the term.

    So, good marketing on their part, but very little teeth to affect the industry!

  2. I'm going to trademark Nanolearning!

    1. Yes, Joe. Great, do it faster before Nanolearning grelims notice. ;)

    2. Awww ... you beat me to it, Joe! I've also been thinking about "nano-scenarios," or maybeI'll call them "nan-arios" ... ;-)


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