Monday, February 14, 2005

Doctor Batman: I just told my students about various trademarks that have been used as baby names in the US, including a bevy of Timberlands, Chanels, Camrys, and two -- count 'em, two -- ESPNs. It's nice to know Americans aren't the only ones who are this wacky, though this fellow has done it to himself rather than to a defenseless child.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Curiously High-Tech Hacks for a Classic Tin: Another fascinating trademark reuse problem. Altoids seems perfectly happy with all the aftermarket variations on its tins, enough so to plan a website of its own showing how the tins can be used. I wonder what happens to the unauthorized versions then? I also wonder what Apple thinks about calling mp3 players in Altoids tins "iTins." Of course, Apple has tolerated a lot of iPod-related things, from Playboy's iBod to It's a risk Apple ran when it picked the "i" suffix for its Internet-related product.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

United Church of Christ News Release: SpongeBob welcomed by UCC: Is Spongebob being used in commerce? What defenses, if any, would UCC have to an infringement or dilution claim? Of course, one might think Spongebob's owners would be grateful for the good press.