[Perl] Logo and T-shirts for perl.org.il

Reuven M. Lerner reuven at lerner.co.il
Sun Nov 3 13:06:21 PST 2002


>>>>> "Gaal" == Gaal Yahas <gaal at forum2.org> writes:

    Gaal> the law is preposterous. How can anybody own an association?

So you're saying that it should be completely legal for Microsoft to
unveil a new operating system with a penguin mascot?

Or for CNN to start advertising with a peacock (symbol of NBC)?

Or for Federal Express to start using an eagle (US postal service) or
a deer (Israeli postal authority) as its symbol?

According to my understanding of American trademark law, all of these
would be seen as infringements of the trademark.  A trademark, after
all, is supposed to uniquely identify a brand in the mind of
consumers.  This means that (a) any attempt by competitors to co-opt
uses of that trademark will likely be stopped by a judge, and (b) the
trademark owner *must* stop others from infringing on the trademark,
or risk not being able to defend it next time around.

If you write a book, then you can selectively prosecute people who
infringe on your copyright, going after those with the deepest
pockets.  But I've often heard that trademark law requires holders to
go after all infringers.

Xerox corporation used to take out advertisements in Columbia
Journalism Review (www.cjr.org) that said,

    You can't Xerox a Xerox on a Xerox.  But you can make a photocopy
    on a Xerox-brand copier.

The ad was part of a PR campaign designed to stop the Xerox trademark
from falling into the public domain.  For examples of companies that
didn't do this, consider Frigidaire, Kleenex, and Hoover, trademarked
names that are used generically in many parts of the US.

Reuven



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