Recent examples that have amused me include when Specialized Bicycle Components released a bike named after the French town of Roubaix and its famous bike race on cobbled roads... then proceeded to start threatening other businesses also named after the town.
Or the company Peloton Interactive Inc which named its indoor spinning product after the commonly used name for a group of cyclists "peloton"... and then proceeded to start threatening bloggers for using the term to describe groups of cyclists.
What's particularly funny about the peloton case is that some other outfit in California is claiming a trademark on the term "spinning" to describe people indoors using static spin bikes... and has proceeded to start threatening small gyms for using that term.
Not sure if this is known as trademark trolling or not but I'm going to quietly trademark that term and start sending out threatening letters just in case.
> Just over a year ago, Yoga International broke the news that YogaGlo had filed a patent application for their method of filming yoga classes. YI (among others) had recently received legal letters claiming that some of our early video content fell under the vague description given in the application. Though YI removed the content, we were troubled by the broader implications of the patent request, and the precedent that it set for contemporary yoga culture as a whole.
Your comment infringes on my patent regarding commenting style.
Please cease and desist.
This incoming in the cycling world, a company calling itself Carbon Inc has started 3D printing components such as bike saddles. I'm expecting them to start going after any manufacture using the word carbon on their products sometime soon... which is basically all of them. They'll make a mint.
I'm going to get in ahead of the game this time and register "3D Printing" to add to my new empire. How could I fail!
Do the courts not view this stuff with context of the specific business they are in, in addition to legacy/common uses of the word?
Using the court is an extreme level of threat against the average person. So someone who grossly misuses it should face similar penalties to someone misusing a gun; losing the right to access the weapon. Facebook being given a 20 year ban on going after anyone in court would be a good start.
When some word is trademarked, it doesn't mean nobody else is allowed to say that word. I can write all day and all night about windows, apples, and lifts without having to get lawyers in my face about it. And if the lawyers do come, they might just request that I acknowledge the trademarks that I was using in a way that could confuse consumers.
You don't need to defend everyone else's trademarks on your own. If you want to generically say to "google" as a verb for any kind of search, go right ahead. It's Google's job to defend that trademark, not yours, and I think they may well lose that fight some day.
Trademarks allow common, dictionary words. There's no requirement for a trademark to be original or creative. All it has to be is distinctive. I can call software "Windows" and I can call a music producer "Apple". Generic words are usually only disallowed as trademarks when they are used to generically describe the thing under commerce. Facebook couldn't become a bookseller with the trademark "book", for example. (Little known fact, though, "facebook" itself was a common word, referring to college-provided printed books with fellow classmates' photos on them. I assume since no one is making those anymore, or because Facebook never produced printed facebooks, they now can elude any accusations of genericism.)
The test for trademark infringement is, are you using the trademark in a way that a reasonable consumer could be confused that you're selling the same thing as what someone else has under the same trademark? I don't think anyone has been referring to all social networking sites as "books", thereby invalidating the claim that Facebook has a valid trademark on "book".
Please, try to understand trademarks. One of my pet peeves with people who lump them under "intellectual property" is that they think that trademarks are somewhat similar to copyright or patents, but these are all very different laws with different purposes, histories, and ways of being defended and infringed. It doesn't all just mean "reproduction is disallowed".
People who are familiar with how trademarks work can still be dubious of Facebook's attempt to register BOOK. Is there a context in which I would accept it as distinctive? Yes, of course: the name of a social networking service. Is Facebook applying under such narrow terms? Not as far as I can tell. And do I trust Facebook to be tasteful and show restraint in defending this trademark, if it's granted? Not in a million years.
P.S. This is almost beside the point, but remember when Monster Cable sued a bunch of small businesses—most famously a mom-and-pop mini-golf course—over trademark infringement? At the time, there was no shortage of pedants chiming in to say that Monster didn't _need_ to be such a bully, that it wasn't an issue of the trademark system per se. As if that were some consolation!
Also, I note that "facebook" itself was a term that had been used by universities for years to describe books of students' faces. As by Harvard, which Facebook was riffing on.
Maybe it's OK to allow such trademarks. But there ought to be restrictions on holders suing over currently typical usage.
> I can call a music producer "Apple"
Even if you could, it would likely be a legal pain in the ass. Apple fought over using the letter "i" as a prefix to product names.
Might as well start fighting as soon as a large company even tries to claim something with a public-domain vibe.
The linked article states that up until 2007 Apple Inc had the trademark for software and related business, and Apple Corps for Music production/physical distribution. Then in 2007 Apple Inc purchased Apple Corps trademarks for USD 500 million.
I'm reminded of Nissan vs Nissan.
that's comparing apples to oranges though, isn't it? i as a prefix for product-names seems critical, as such-labeled products were heavily and uniquely associated with apple-products, whereas a music-producer isn't intrinsically representing apples brand, just because they share the name. apple is a giant brand, but you can in fact can still buy apples without thinking about computers or steve jobs
In fact they (and Facebook, and others) are in so many businesses that any trademark they claim is going to have wide impact.
Not that big a deal, just a hilarious(ly apt?) example, considering the history.
Typically, one just registers a word trademark for a very small number of service/goods classes (e.g., here's a registered trademark for "car" which only applies to certain medical devices and services ).
A large company trying to claim "book" for pretty much the whole Nice Class 9 is not normal behavior.
In your examples (Windows, Apple) the word isn't a core part of the industry (or, wasn't when initially trademarked).
The interesting point is not whether bob's bookstore to exist and advertise or that you can continue to blog about books. Nobody believed either of those things were in danger.
Everyone here at least likely knows that trademarks are bounded by categories except theirs is so voluminous were I to paste it here it would take up an entire page. The best I can figure it basically means anything at all to do with any sort of computer.
I for one don't think there is any reason to believe they ought to own the word book in conjunction with any hardware or software. There are in fact I'm sure plenty of people already "infringing" who would like to continue doing business without scum bags demanding protection money.
This is just another example of the fact that Zuckerberg doesn't even know what the "right thing" looks like.
And many early webpages had guestBOOK's where people could leave comments.
> Software in the nature of a mobile application
> Messaging software
> Communication software and communication computer hardware for providing access to the Internet
and the mighty fine, generic,
> application software
Now this may or may not be FUD: don't go holding your breath until they would come with a lawsuit against anything that matches book.
Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity;
apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images;
magnetic data carriers, recording discs;
automatic vending machines and mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus;
cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment and computers;
This Class includes, in particular:
– apparatus and instruments for scientific research in laboratories;
– apparatus and instruments for controlling ships, such as apparatus and instruments, for measuring and for transmitting orders;
– the following electrical apparatus and instruments:
(a) certain electrothermic tools and apparatus, such as electric soldering irons, electric flat irons which, if they were not electric, would belong to Class 8;
(b) apparatus and devices which, if not electrical, would be listed in various classes, i.e., electrically heated clothing, cigar-lighters for automobiles;
– punched card office machines;
– amusement apparatus adapted for use with television receivers only;
– all computer programs and software regardless of recording media or means of dissemination, that is, software recorded on magnetic media or downloaded from a remote computer network.
This Class does not include, in particular:
– the following electrical apparatus and instruments:
(a) electromechanical apparatus for the kitchen (grinders and mixers for foodstuffs, fruit presses, electrical coffee mills, etc.), and certain other apparatus and instruments driven by an electrical motor, all coming under Class 7;
(b) electric razors and clippers (hand instruments) (Cl. 8);
(c) electric toothbrushes and combs (Cl. 21);
(d) electrical apparatus for space heating or for the heating of liquids, for cooking, ventilating, etc. (Cl. 11);
– clocks and watches and other chronometric instruments (Cl. 14);
– control clocks (Cl. 14).
“liber” is a masculine noun of the 2nd declension and thus has no grammatically sensible connection to “libra” which is a feminine noun of the 1st declension.
This means that EUIPO decided this application meets the minimum requirements and has actually assigned an examiner to this instead of refusing the application as it is IMHO too generic.
They were called codices (plural of codex) back then, though.
I hope EU uses this application for a few laffs, then denies it.
What's next? Will they tried to register FRIEND and LIKE as wordmarks? How about "FAKE NEWS"?
The point of a trademark is to be distinctive. Unlike copyright, there's no requirement for a trademark to be creative or original. I don't care to find the details of what Facebook is trying to trademark, but it may well be the case that "book" is a valid trademark.
book2: language learning platform
Galaxy Book2: Samsung Product
book.com: Barnes & Nobles URL
duelingbook.com: Yu-Gi-Oh! Simulator
books24.in: Online Billing
book24.ru: Web book store
bookweb: American bestseller association
I understand the idea of trademarks and would not call it a bad one - it makes sense that companies want to protect their name from direct copycats in the same sector. It is fair that some companies protect deviations from their actual name, too (Twitter, tweets. Microsoft Windows 10, Win10). But nobody calls "Facebook" "book" and it's not like they have a palette of products with the word in it, like iPhone/iPad/iOS or something. If somebody can explain how they're possibly acting in good faith here please elaborate, but I hope they get shut down, especially since it is well established that megacorps can just keep bullying regarding trademarks and the like, even if they are clearly wrong .
Trademark has a purpose.
Or maybe you think sole people doesn't build cars/planes and don't use them in public ?
Anyone can read about anything anywhere and yeah older people also talk about products they use and how good they are. They actually talk about it more than younger people.
I recommend you a great book by Cory Doctorow "Information doesn't want to be free" you can buy or download it.
I wonder if such a site would be considered a violation of this trademark, were it to be granted.
You may run into trouble because of the handling/distribution of personal information though (GDPR compliance and such).
Disclaimer: Not a lawyer
i™ claim victory.
They also had an internet provider called Het Net (The Net)
I'm not that familiar with trademarks and such.
* Downloadable e-commerce computer software to allow users to perform electronic business transactions via a global computer and communication networks
* Magnetically encoded gift cards;
* Software for accessing and viewing text, images and electronic data relating to conferences in the field of software development;
* Software for making reservations and bookings;
* Software for ordering and/or purchasing goods and services
* Software to enable accessing, displaying, editing, linking, sharing and otherwise providing electronic media and information via the internet and communications networks
The word BOOKing should be a giant flag that they're trying to trademark the generic name there. Reservation book, order book, etc all come from physical books. It would be a giant stretch to try to trademark book for software covering those things.
That'll be interesting in the UK and Ireland, at least, given the existence of National Book Tokens (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Book_Tokens, https://www.nationalbooktokens.com), which I believe are magstripe-based these days.
Facebook is trying to register "book" for class 9 (Computer and Software Products and Electrical and Scientific Products).
The bookstore would most likely be in class 16 (Paper and Printed Material Products) and therefore won't be affected.
Capitalism doesn't work as a moral compass.