Oh Brother

The trademark application for this logo received a preliminary rejection from the US Trademark Office on the grounds that “this representation of nudity of the female form would be considered scandalous to a substantial composite of the general public.”  Via the INTA Listserv.



100 Year Domain Name Renewals

Network Solutions is offering what is billed as 100 year domain name registrations. Via  Slashdot (don’t forget to read the comments).


The Man Who Sold The World

Shrewd of David Bowie to sell bonds in 1997 securitized by the future earnings of his copyrights.  Moody’s, the credit rating agency, (not James Moody, who composed Moody’s Mood For Love), has downgraded these “Bowie Bonds” to Baa3, one notch above junk, because the future for copyright earnings isn’t what it was..

Not quite sure what this reference to Bowie Bonds is about.

David Bowie discography here.

Mott the Hoople discography here.

WIPO links on the use of intellectual property for financing here.



A Christmas Copyright Story

Discussion of substantial-similarity analysis for two screenplays about the difficulty in buying a Christmas toy (one of which was produced as “Jingle All The Way)..

Murray Hill Publications v. Twentieth Century Fox, 01-2668/272` (6th Circuit, March 19 2004).


You're Fired? Where Are The Catchphrases of Yesteryear?

Dyn-o-mite?  You Look Fabulous?  Two Wild and Crazy Guys?  Aaaa-yyy, the Fonz?  Keep on Truckin’?  Hasta la Vista Baby?  Cowabunga?  Go Ahead, Make My Day?  Where’s the Beef?  Kiss My Grits? Isn’t that Special?

A Kinder and Gentler Nation?


Shock and Awe

Donald Trump has filed several trademark applications for variants of “You’re Fired.”  As the Smoking Gun points out, “You’re Outsourced” is still available.

Article on the Right of Publicity here.

YOUREFIRED.COM, a website for selling YOU’RE FIRED ceramics, here.

Thanks to Sports Law Blog for the tip.



STARBUCKS coffee v. STAR BOCK beer reported here.  Illustration of Starbuck from Melville here.  Thanks to a reader here.


More on Mozilla

Blog reader Anthony Tambourino writes in to point us to this Slashdot article and accompanying discussion on the open source project Mozilla and its on-going efforts to convince the world that an open-source project can still have enforceable trademarks.


Times Blinks

NY Times withdraws DMCA protest against parody correction page.  Coverage on parodist’s blog here, including link to repsonse to demand letter.


In Defense Of Hyphenated Generic Domain Names (and Generic Third Level Domains!)

Ben Edelman, (who, I am happy to say, is brought in to consult our firm’s clients on ‘computer forensic’ matters on occasion), responds to my previous item about the value of a generic domain name, specifically ailine-tickets.com:

When a domain name is a single word, or when multiple words of a domain name
are separated by hyphens, experience shows that Google treats the domain
favorably for ranking purposes.  For example, all else equal,
airline-tickets.com would rate well for a search on “airline tickets” (no
quotes).  Not so for domains that consist of multiple words without hyphens,
though — then Google seems to offer no reward (or at most a minimal reward)
for the fact that the domain exactly matches the search term.

Same for filenames and directories, except that acceptable word delimiters
in filenames and directories include underscores and perhaps other
characters too, in addition to hyphens.

Notice buy-discount-airline-tickets.com in position #8 on “airline tickets”
as well as airline-tickets.travelwand.com in #9, and
sunfinder-vacations.com/airline_tickets.htm in #10.

Interestingly, the hyphens-in-domains theory cuts against the usual
valuation of domains: Hyphens make domains more valuable for search engine
ranking purposes, but nonetheless less valuable for memorability/type-in

Dan Tobias, who is another regular reader of the Blog (that makes at least two), writes in to point out:

Of course, the search-engine advantages (if there are any) of hyphenated
domain names including generic words don’t actually require that anybody
actually register any new domains to take advantage of them; the use of
subdomains in your existing domains is just as effective (as shown in
fact by some of the examples cited in the article).  The snake-oil
merchants of the domain industry sometimes use this search engine stuff
to encourage people to purchase needless domain names for an effect they
can achieve for free with subdomains (or, in fact, subdirectories).