Burt Alper is Strategy Director of Catchword, a San Francisco naming company. I asked him what he thought of two recent naming stories, PWC Consulting’s change to MONDAY, and the British Post Office’s change from the Post Office to CONSIGNIA, and then back to the Post Office. Here is his reply:
Registering a domain name merely to sell it held to be a violation of .biz’s charter resriction that the name be used for a bona fide commercial purpose, under the Restrictions Dispute Resolution Policy. Same registrant took the .info version as well, and lost that under the UDRP in a consolidated decision.
A local realtor, er, real estate agent, brought this Trademark Trial and Appeal Board action against the National Association of Realtors to cancel its registration for REALTOR as generic. NAR prevailed but the issue in chief wasn’t tried. Plaintiff argued that REALTOR was already a generic term when she had been a member of NAR up unitl 1996, and not that it had become generic after she left NAR. Thus, under the doctrine of licensee estoppel, she was barred from challenging the rights of her licensor.
Someone who has never been a member of NAR would not have that issue to contend with.
Princess Diana did not effectively protect the exploitation of her likeness in the U.S. during her lifetime, and her successor in interest, the Princess Diana Fund, failed in the lower court level against the Franklin Mint, which had been making Diana merchandise pretty much from the day of her wedding to Charles. This Ninth Circuit decision affirms the lower court, and includes an interesting discussion of the post-mortem right of publicity in California, trademark fair use, and the awarding of attorneys fees.
My practice is doing fine but this is still depressing. Interesting discussion of the types of names people are selecting these days.
50 Chinese fans enter the World Cup stadium in Kwangju, South Korea, and security is alerted. Preparations are made to intercept them and then averted at the last second. Why? Because they were all wearing hats bearing the trademark SAMSUNG, and Samsung is not an official sponsor of the World Cup. “They’re walking billboards now” laments FIFA’s lawyer. This from page B1 of today’s Wall Street Journal.
David Schwimmer (the actor, not my five month old son), played a character named Martin in a movie. As a result, movie reviews of “Six Days, Seven Nights,” (mostly pans), dominated any Google search for “Martin Schwimmer.” Finally, as a result of this blog, I have vanquished him to the third O in the GOOOOOOOOGLE results.
Most of this Gigalaw how-to article on linking and framing isn’t objectionable, but the best practice suggestion, “Don’t Deep Link Without Permission,” seems like overkill. There is no caselaw to suggest that deep linking is per se illegal. The two cases cited involved more than linking, but presumably misappropriation of data.
Disclaimer: Not being your lawyer (as far as I know), I’m not rendering advice I intend for you to rely upon. I’m just saying some of the other advice on the Internet perhaps shouldn’t be relied upon.