Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wherein I Violate Trademark Laws Again

Let's all sing like the birdies sing
Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! ~ Robert Hargreaves, 1932
Twitter has trademarked the common English words twitter and tweet. Both words date back to the 14th century but are now owned by a corporation.
All the windows of my heart I open to the day.  ~ John Greenleaf Whittier
Of course, Microsoft has already taken ownership of the 700 year old word Windows and any iteration of those letters.

Apple owns apple, but so do the Beatles and they fought over the word for years. Apple also claims ownership the word pad, which will make it difficult for Tampon to explain what their product is.

Richard Branson (right) owns the word virgin even though he hasn't met a virgin in decades.

And Visa has managed to get a judge to rule that even using the word visa for something completely different than a credit card infringes on their ownership of that word.

This ownership of common words has created a new industry where large companies sue small businesses because they dare use everyday words in their products or names. It's called Brand Bullying.

See also How Trademark Law Has Turned From A Consumer Protection Law, Into A Weapon To Hinder Competition.

A bird, Twittering Tweet Tweet, chased a Macintosh Apple across a writing Pad to the Window sill. It fell out of the Window and landed, splat, on the head of a Virgin.

I await your C&D letters.

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