Edit: I think Google has since improved the error message and gives a message like "Ad is running, but cannot be run in all regions due to a trademark issue." Adwords used to just reject the ad with ominous text "trademark violation".
Immersion is a German word.
(as many others comes from Latin as the English word does)
(Physik) Einbetten eines Objekts in eine Flüssigkeit mit besonderen lichtbrechenden Eigenschaften (zur Untersuchung von Kristallformen und in der Mikroskopie)
(Astronomie) Eintritt eines Himmelskörpers in den Schatten eines anderen
Methode des Fremdsprachenunterrichts, bei der die Schüler von Anfang an in großem Umfang in der Fremdsprache unterrichtet werden
(EDV) Eintauchen in eine virtuelle Umgebung
My exact ad said "Try _____, a better way to _____ for Windows and Mac".
They didn't mention the Windows trademark. Pfft.
"Hello, you pointed out a real issue during your talk."
There's a pretty big discussion/shitstorm going on in the Berlin Startups Facebook group.
The trademark owners claim that they want to use the licensing fees to support non-commercial events, quotation: "I think it's worth trying. If not, there sure will be other ways to finance non-commercial projects. I any cases it's better that it's a trademark of a non-commercial project, than of some cease-and-desist law firm."
I totally disagree with that whole idea though. Makes us Germans look ridiculous :-).
with the guy in charge. (You need to join the group to see the discussion)
Trademarks are a lot like patents, the due diligence when filing is on the filer for the most part. The agency only checks against the filings. So you can get a trademark for Hackathon, but if you tried to enforce it you would lose if there are prior uses by others.
You could get a Trademark in an alternate context. Like if you decided to combine a marathon with a machete and have a run through the jungle. That could be a new use for Hackathon that would be unlikely to cause confusion in the market.
That said I'm sure they will send some C&D's and scare some people in to not using the term.
The "Hon" trademark for a Baltimore restaurant springs to mind. Where the owner tried to extract money from the city of Baltimore, but she ended up dropping the trademark after community backlash.
That's absolutely wrong in the UK and USA. In Germany their English language guidance notes say:
"The following are also excluded from registration: promotional statements, general advertising slogans and word sequences that have become customary in the current language as fixed expression."
So it's wrong there too.
>"the due diligence when filing is on the filer for the most part"
In some jurisdictions but by no means all.
I'm surprised there were no oppositions filed, guess TM registrations are off most peoples radars. Of course the TM lacks distinctiveness and so is probably going to be struck down, doesn't stop them wielding it as part of a shakedown though.
If that happened in the states I'd definitely boycott someone trying to own something that belongs to the community.
I've already contacted a few fellow organizers to find out what we can do about this.
Don't do anything. Let the company try and stop you.
But as i've mentioned in my other post, this won't happen, it seems the good guys trademarked it.
The trademark has been filed in Germany by a German events directory. Their main focus appears to be club events, not nerd events and indeed there is only one listing from mid last year for a hackathon.
Are they getting into the trademark troll business on the side?
Edit: The agency also has a word mark on "Nerd Zone", both seem to be motivated by this: http://www.nerd-zone.com/hackathon.
Here is the claimed background for this
with implying that most of the people are on board with this - most of the organizer used in that image however where only asked if they liked the idea of the techhub nothing more. The good thing about the connected world is that those kinds of statements can be easily verified.
The discussion is happening with the guy here
if you don't like to join, you can see statements of organizers also here https://www.facebook.com/nicole.simon/posts/1015164077361130...
Today, everything is a "hackathon" which is rather annoying, IMO. In the past year or so, we've seen legal hackathons , marketing hackathons  and more.
Now, more and more corporations are starting to get into the hackathon game - eg. Campbell's disaster a few months back .
With popularity comes consequence, but perhaps the "spirit" of a hackathon is what matters: getting people to GTFO of their element, come together and create something in a short period of time.
Maybe you should use Google Search result count. If a phrase doesn't appear frequently online, its ok to trademark. If there are 10 million results, it should be flagged.
For such a tool to be most useful, I'd recommend gathering data from several places (such as DuckDuckGo, Wiktionary, Wikipedia). Also, it would be better not to be tied to fixed thresholds (such as 10 million results); rather, it would likely be better to construct a feature vector and try out various machine learning approaches.
In Germany, I'm sure the Germans can come up with some long-German-word-like-'marathon-of-hacking'-that-means-the-same-thing-as-hackathon, if they haven't already.