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Who stole my pi.

Man trademarks pi sign π. Hires attorney, submits takedown request letter to online DIY merchandiser Zazzle. In knee-jerk response, this past week Zazzle removed all merchandise bearing π sign. [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo on Jun 2, 2014 - 77 comments

Trademark trolling at its best

King, developers of Bejeweled clone Candy Crush Saga, have trademarked the word "candy" and are attempting to use this to take down other developers' games that have the word "candy" in their names. Also, despite their thus-far failure to trademark the word "saga", they're already trying to prevent other games from having the word "saga" in their titles.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jan 22, 2014 - 90 comments

Racism, Band Names, and Trademarks

"In fact, the implication is that if we weren’t Asian, there wouldn’t be any problems because people wouldn’t associate our name with an obscure racial slur. And while it’s true that the people in the band can be identified by a band’s name, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the members literally embody the name of the band. No one thinks ’The Rolling Stones’ are literal masses of undulating rock or that ’Led Zeppelin’ is a metallic reincarnation of the Hindenburg blimp.” [more inside]
posted by hopeless romantique on Oct 24, 2013 - 38 comments

Things... that deserve a cease and desist order

Terrible Things is a party-style board game that recently finished a successful Kickstarter campaign. Yesterday Quinn & Sherry, the publishers of Things..., sent a cease and desist order to the makers of Terrible Things demanding that the game's title be changed.

"Is your position that any board game published with "Things" in the title infringes on Quinn & Sherry's trademark?"
Their answer was a simple "Yes." [more inside]
posted by Midnight Rambler on Oct 2, 2013 - 98 comments

In the future, all Space Marines will be Games Workshop

Last December Amazon blocked sales of the Ebook Spots the Space Marine by author M.C.A. Hogarth after a notice from gaming industry powerhouse Games Workshop that they had trademarked the phrase "Space Marine" and that Hogarth, and anyone else who uses it, is infringing. GW brought this complaint based on "Class 16" of their European tradmark. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Feb 7, 2013 - 77 comments

Keep Calm, But Cease and Dissist

On the 25th March 2011, Mark Coop of 'Keep Calm and Carry On LTD' registered a trademark of the words Keep Calm and Carry On in an attempt to take control of the very British and now very famous, nostalgia invoking, wartime poster. The trademark has angered Barter Books (who discovered the poster), wartimeposters.co.uk (owners of an original poster) and Kerry Cade from Simply Printing 4U whose business was greatly affected by the trademark. Now, in true British Spirit, a group of wartime enthusiasts has come together in an attempt to overturn the trademark. [more inside]
posted by The Discredited Ape on Sep 25, 2011 - 44 comments

Theme Park Piracy

An unauthorized Angry Birds theme park has opened in China. There is also a Blizzard-themed park called Joyland.
posted by finite on Sep 16, 2011 - 40 comments

What's in a name? Would an app store by any other name smell as sweet?

Who owns the term "app store"? Apple wants to, but Amazon and Microsoft, among others, think it is generic. Will Steve Jobs's own words come to haunt him? In any case, the first casualty of the fight between giants seems to be Amahi, a small open-source media server. [more inside]
posted by kmz on Jun 22, 2011 - 98 comments

Tarnishing the world's largest and most liquid exchange.

Back on November 23rd, TPMMuckraker ran an article titled “‘Eager Beaver’ FBI Agent’s Attempt To Flip Witness Exposed Feds’ Big Insider Trading Case.” That article (about a prematurely blown, ongoing investigation of allegations of insider trading centered on Goldman Sachs) was illustrated with a photograph of the New York Stock Exchange. Yesterday, TPM Media LLC (dba TPMMuckraker) received a cease and desist letter regarding that photo. [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on May 26, 2011 - 49 comments

Will There Be Actual Seals in the Movie?

Walt Disney Co. has filed an application to trademark the name "Seal Team 6", the Navy Seal team that killed OBL in Pakistan earlier in May. [more inside]
posted by jeanmari on May 20, 2011 - 68 comments

Pushing the boundaries of logo manufacturing for lots of years.

When you receive your Logonom logo, you’re not just opening a symbol, a brand or a small representation of you, you’re also opening peace of mind. And that’s something we’ve worked hard for 113 years to pack into each and every box.
posted by Terminal Verbosity on Dec 3, 2010 - 33 comments

Rob Zombie claims to own the word "zombie."

Rob Zombie claims to own the word "zombie." I call dibs on "elf".
posted by shetterly on Jun 18, 2009 - 115 comments

Polyvorous

Polyvore is a website that lets you mix and match online images to make fashion sets and collages. While it has received favour from Web 2.0 pundits, fashion bloggers, and major craft blogs, it has also drawn massive ire from artists that claim copyright infringement and use of personal photos. The anti-Polyvore pressure mainly comes from Etsy sellers, with some support from artists on DeviantArt, Red Buddle, and independent artists - all coming together on Flickr. We Heart It and Ffffound! are also seen as suspect. While Polyvore tries to assuage copyright fears, amidst growing pressure to shut down, many of Polyvore's current users are counter-petitioning for the site to stay.
posted by divabat on Jan 10, 2009 - 16 comments

A novel use of intellectual property law

In a new twist on trademark disputes, the federal goverment wants to confiscate the trademark of the Mongols Motorcycle Club. The Wall Street Journal (among other people)weighs in.
posted by TedW on Nov 21, 2008 - 25 comments

Scrabble vs. Scrabulous

Toymakers Hasbro and Mattel claim that the popular online game Scrabulous (available on Facebook) infringes on the trademark for the board game Scrabble. They have not yet filed suit, but have asked Facebook to desist in its alleged infringement. Scrabulous is one of the top ten plug-ins on the site, developed by brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla in Calcutta, India. "There has been speculation that the challenge to Scrabulous had been launched as Hasbro and Mattel prepare their own online version of Scrabble." Electronic Arts holds the license to the electronic rights to Scrabble. Facebook users are rallying to save the game. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Jan 17, 2008 - 94 comments

This post has been innovisioneered by trained professionals.

Worst Word Mashup Trademark Filings. From the guy who brought you the FARK NSFW shenanigans and the Dreamcast 2 foofaraw. Innovisioneering? Really?
posted by Rock Steady on Dec 11, 2007 - 15 comments

Kleenex(tm) in aisle NSFW(tm)

NSFW (tm) --Drew Curtis (Fark) attempts to trademark "Not Safe For Work"
posted by F Mackenzie on Dec 7, 2007 - 102 comments

Neil Gaiman Gets a Cease-and-Desist Letter

Neil Gaiman gets cease-and-desisted. In a rather bizarre legal turn of events, Neil Gaiman posted in his journal today that he received a cease-and-desist letter from Mark I. Reichenthal of Branfman & Associates insisting that he remove an "unauthorized" link from tomatoesareevil.com to the official movie website for "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes". (Interestingly enough, Reichenthal evidently has previously been deployed to defend the "... For Dummies" trademark.) Problem is that Neil doesn't own the site; they merely posted a photograph of him with a particularly evil-looking tomato, a tomato which Gaiman is turning into salsa in the hopes of becoming "the Paul Newman of satanic salsas." Neil's reaction: "What an astonishingly small amount of research they must do before firing off these bizarre letters."
posted by WCityMike on Mar 19, 2006 - 36 comments

Nigga Pleez!

Nigga Pleez!
posted by Mijo Bijo on Feb 23, 2006 - 34 comments

Free to stitch, free to bitch

As a followup to this post about Sew Fast, Sew Easy's cease and desist orders for using the phrase "Stitch and Bitch" et.al. to a variety of merchants, Yahoo groups, and knitting groups, it seems that a boycott movement is gaining momentum. They also have a CafePress store to support the cause. Additionally, I think SFSE may have underestimated the enormous growth in knitting blogs and how quickly they band together when given a cause.
posted by like_neon on Jan 24, 2006 - 22 comments

Sorry Pepsi, Dow got there first.

THE COLOUR PURPLE [is a] Cadbury Limited trademark...
The color Blue is a Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company
The color YELLOW™ is a trademark of Mr.LongArm, Inc.
[T]he color PINK, and other trademarks identified with a ® in these documents are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Owens-Corning Fiberglas Technology Inc.
The color canary yellow is a trademark of 3M.
The color orange is a trademark of Dandy Products, Inc.
The color green is A trademark of Sullair Corporation.
posted by grouse on Sep 21, 2005 - 43 comments

Linux is now trademarked.

Linux®
posted by riffola on Aug 21, 2005 - 27 comments

Peer to Patent

Peer to Patent (PtoP): A Modest Proposal This modest proposal harnesses social reputation and collaborative filtering technology to create a peer review system of scientific experts ruling on innovation. [via beSpacific]
posted by mlis on Jul 16, 2005 - 11 comments

Cease n' deBitched

Stitch n' Bitch Chicago gets a nastygram. The phrase, the original of which is unknown (to me) refers to the art of getting together with friends for some knitting and chatting. It was popularized by a couple of books and is used by knitting groups the world over. One of those groups, the Chicago SnB, had a Cafepress store selling items with the phrase "stitch 'n bitch." Then the Sew Fast/Sew Easy folks came along and told Cafepress they hold the trademark (reg. #2596818). Cafepress requested that the Chicago SnB remove the phrase from their items. Predictably, this got people all riled up and posting not-so-nice things on SFSE's "Stitch and Bitch Cafe." Those posts were promptly deleted. Now the call is out for free lawyerly help. If any of you IP types want to offer advice, you might join the Chicago SnB Yahoo group. I'm sure they'd appreciate it.
posted by schoolgirl report on May 9, 2005 - 28 comments

Trademarked Nukes

Tomahawk® Brand Cruise Missiles Because not all Block II Nuclear Variant cruise missles are alike... Look for the name you can trust!
posted by jimjam on Jan 20, 2005 - 31 comments

Marvel Battles Role Players

Marvel Comics sues NCsoft and Cryptic Studios, the makers of the online game City of Heroes for player created content they feel infringes on their copyright. If Marvel wins the case, all game developers can expect to be held responsible for the behavior of their players. This case covers similar ground to the proposed Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act, which is before a Senate Judiciary Committee. Introduced to crack down on illegal file sharing on peer-to-peer networks, the bill would hold technology companies liable for manufacturing products that encourage people to infringe copyrights. The language of the bill caused an uproar among technology and consumer advocates who claimed it would kill innovation. If successful in their lawsuit, would Marvel be able to sue the makers of pens and pencils for producing products that allow people to create pictures of copyrighted characters?
posted by Stuart_R on Nov 16, 2004 - 31 comments

Next thing you know, they'll be going after Boggle.

Adult search engine, Booble.com has received a cease and desist order from Google on the grounds of trademark infringement. Read Google's letter and Booble's response. all links are work safe.
posted by paulrockNJ on Jan 29, 2004 - 22 comments

MikeRoweSoft Settles with Microsoft

MikeRoweSoft Settles with Microsoft for an XBox
Mike Rowe had a website named after himself that was alot like the mega-corp.
MS wanted to give him $10 to change the domain, he wanted $10k. They settled on a trip to Redmond, some traffic redirection and an XBox.

Followup to this thread.
posted by fenriq on Jan 26, 2004 - 20 comments

Paul Newman is still HUD

Paul Newman is still HUD
posted by thedailygrowl on Aug 19, 2003 - 28 comments

Google calls in the 'language police'

Google calls in the 'language police': "Google is now a verb, meaning to search. It sounds like the ultimate compliment to the company, so why do its lawyers want to keep the word out of our dictionaries?"
posted by eclectica on Jun 24, 2003 - 19 comments

"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong. ... The parties are advised to chill." (PDF file)

"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong. ... The parties are advised to chill." (PDF file) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is at it again. Aqua's hit song "Barbie Girl" is judged not to be a violation of Mattel's trademark, but to be a parody protected by free speech. And all laboured judgely joshing aside, the decision offers a nice summary of trademark law. Get a plain HTML news story from CNN here. (The chorus is running through your brain now, right? And it's going to be there all day, too. *snicker*)
posted by maudlin on Jul 25, 2002 - 5 comments

Free The Mouse [Literally this time]

Free The Mouse [Literally this time]
This Story from FL says Walt Disney Co. officials have until July 30 to decide whether to challenge the Genesee District Library's mascot for an alleged similarity to Mickey Mouse. Last summer, the library submitted a trademark registry request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for "Book Mouse," a blue, large-eared rodent wearing red-rimmed glasses and a backpack. Book Mouse appears on bumper stickers and in coloring books, and even marches in local parades. Library attorney Patric Parker said "I don't think we cut into their movie profits this last year."
posted by Blake on Jun 22, 2002 - 10 comments

The War over Red Star Records...

The War over Red Star Records... Around since 1977, Red Star Records has released albums by Suicide and the Real Kids along with Richard Hell and the New York Dolls. Now, Heineken has formed its own Red Star Records and is trying to trademark the name, which, if successful would give the beer company more legal right to the name than the original label. Who's going to win this trademark battle? [link via rockbites]
posted by drezdn on Apr 25, 2002 - 8 comments

From the little guy continues to get the shaft department: The United Parcel Service last month filed a trademark registration on "Big Brown." The ink on the app is barely dry, and already they are throwing out cease and desist letters. Victim number one: the guy who registered bigbrown.com back in 1997. (via fark)
posted by chipr on Apr 19, 2002 - 21 comments

The phrase "Let's Roll" has now been trademarked by quite a few companies.

The phrase "Let's Roll" has now been trademarked by quite a few companies. We touched on this once before in the State of the Union thread, but the current list of trademark's goes far beyond what was previously discused. You can now get all manner of brickabrack emblazoned with a "Let's Roll" logo. Is it patriotism, or profiterring?
posted by emptyage on Apr 10, 2002 - 18 comments

Bootleg Toys: The Undiscovered Playthings

Bootleg Toys: The Undiscovered Playthings documents the sale of misfit toys in Southern California. For boys, there's Robert Cop 3, the Mighty Morphin-esque Powerful Supper Raiders, and Space Wars: Episode I action figures. For girls, Sale Moon, Hallo Betty and the Spicy Girls. But the most controversial toy isn't a trademark violation: the Laden vs USA handheld video game.
posted by waxpancake on Jan 14, 2002 - 11 comments

Judge tells Mickey D's to McForget about it.

Judge tells Mickey D's to McForget about it. Chinese guy in England has audacity to name his restaurant McChina's Wok Out. Mickey D's says we own the rights to everything that begins with a Mc. Don't you just love a story where McDonalds is told to go Mcfuck themselves?
posted by MAYORBOB on Nov 27, 2001 - 22 comments

Apparently wildcard DNS is a trademark violation now.

Apparently wildcard DNS is a trademark violation now. Yahoo is suing the owner of the sex.com domain, because the latter uses wildcard DNS. This means that if you type "yahoo.sex.com" (or "anything.sex.com", for that matter) in your browser, you get taken to sex.com's main site. Yahoo is suing because that it could cause the public to mistakenly believe that the sex site "is connected with, sponsored by, or approved in some way by Yahoo," and therefore constitutes trademark infringement.
posted by RylandDotNet on Aug 24, 2001 - 19 comments

Domain name game to get hot this summer...

Domain name game to get hot this summer... Kent Jordan, who represented .info registry Afilias, said the process has been challenged by people who believe that trademark holders should not have first crack at domain names containing their names. "We reject that," he told the audience. Interesting...
posted by canoeguide on May 8, 2001 - 5 comments

This link is copyright, Eric Costello...

This link is copyright, Eric Costello... aka Glish. No, really, he's serious. Is this really necessary? Comments?
posted by silusGROK on Apr 11, 2001 - 40 comments

There is no more heartfelt memorial

There is no more heartfelt memorial than a big car decal with conspicuous ® and © symbols on it.
posted by tregoweth on Feb 25, 2001 - 8 comments

Etoy vs. Etoys: Round Two. One last nail in the coffin of the dying dot-com?
posted by jia on Jan 26, 2001 - 4 comments

:-(

:-( Despair, INC. Secures official trademark registration for ":-(", announces plans to sue millions for trademark infringement.
posted by Hackworth on Jan 26, 2001 - 13 comments

BT sues Prodigy over hyperlink patent

BT sues Prodigy over hyperlink patent another glorious example of "we have nothing better to offer than a really big lawsuit"
posted by bliss322 on Dec 16, 2000 - 5 comments

Just what the church needs...

Just what the church needs... More excellent publicity. Two churches using the quarters that Catholic schoolchildren put in the collection plate to have a legal pissing contest over who has the right to use the name of a woman who spent her entire life trying to feed poor people one cup of rice at a time. I wonder how much rice each of those quarters would buy?
posted by Skylark on Aug 19, 2000 - 4 comments

Patently Absurd.

Patently Absurd. James Gleick, chaos researcher and all-around smart guy, has written a very nice piece for the New York Times Magazine about the current spate of stupidity at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Most important, in my view, is that unlike the John Perry Barlow piece we discussed earlier, the Gleick piece got national press... which is far more important than we geeks think...
posted by baylink on Jun 5, 2000 - 5 comments

Consumer Whore sued by Starbuck's.

Consumer Whore sued by Starbuck's. Another David vs. Goliath lawsuit over trademark infringment.
posted by Mick on Jun 1, 2000 - 2 comments

The good guys can win,

The good guys can win, but it's not cheap. If Clue.com can beat Hasbro, surely Mattl has a case against Mattel. As if we didn't already know that.
posted by luke on May 11, 2000 - 0 comments

This

This is for real eh?
posted by neo452 on May 10, 2000 - 8 comments

Jackbooted Trademark Enforcement for Dummies.

Jackbooted Trademark Enforcement for Dummies. Slashdot is carrying pointers to several incidences of overzealous lawyering by IDG books; there was also a pointer to a reply letter that, basically, tells IDG to go stick it, and why they have no choice.
posted by baylink on May 7, 2000 - 3 comments

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