Friday, December 09, 2022

Johns Hopkins says the dumbest thing about trademark I've seen in a while

 "Every use of the JHU Name and Marks conveys an association with JHU and potentially affects the institution’s reputation," says the university's policy linked to in this report on JHU's request for a disclaimer on Real Housewives of Potomac, which apparently features a JHU professor as one of the cast members. Of course, the university itself recognizes that's patently stupid by requesting a disclaimer from the show (which by its own dumb logic would "convey an association" too). (FWIW, Harvard's policy, while no slouch at all, stays mostly in is lane and recognizes the obvious fact that many uses don't require permission, which is good news for the T stop etc.)

So, Johns Hopkins, did my use of your name convey an association with JHU?

This reminds me of the ASU v. Doe case in which ASU advanced a theory of liability that would make students and prospective students infringers if they used #ASU to describe themselves or their destination online.

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