Dell is attempting to trademark the term "cloud computing", according to a document on the US Patent and Trademark Office's website.

Dell describes cloud computing as "custom manufacture of computer hardware for use in data centres and mega-scale computing environments for others".

Seen to be the future with potential applications as varied as social networking, productivity and even operating systems, cloud computing is currently defined by Wikipedia as:

"It is a style of computing where IT-related capabilities are provided 'as a service', allowing users to access technology-enabled services without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them."

"It is a general concept that incorporates software as a service, Web 2.0 and other recent, well-known technology trends, where the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users."

Dell is not the only company to offer cloud computing with Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and HP all involved with their own solutions, so it will likely be objected to during the application's current "opposition period".