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

Reuven M. Lerner reuven at lerner.co.il
Sun Nov 3 13:55:24 PST 2002

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

    >> A trademark, after all, is supposed to uniquely identify a
    >> brand in the mind of consumers.

    Gaal> And how is that good for the consumer?

The whole idea of a trademark is that it serves as a sort of quality
assurance.  If Subaru could put a BMW logo on their car, for example,
then customers would be confused.  Consequently, BMW is given sole
authority over the BMW logo when it comes to cars.

Similarly, O'Reilly wants to make sure that no one else puts animals
on their book covers, to ensure that there isn't any confusion in the
marketplace between O'Reilly books and Joe Schmoe brand books.

    >> I've often heard that trademark law requires holders to go
    >> after all infringers.

    Gaal> Legally requires?

More or less.  If you fail to defend a trademark, then you may well
lose the ability to defend it in the future.

    Gaal> Camels, however, have been free to roam the deserts, and we
    Gaal> have been free to associate them with anything we felt
    Gaal> like. I realize there may be a law that allows someone to
    Gaal> legally limit that, but I contend it's a *silly* law.

If and when you start a computer company, I suggest that you not call
it "Apple Computers," or even "Apple Software."  Apple Computer
Inc. has owned the trademark on the term "apple" in relation to
computers for about 25 years now.  And apples predate the computer by
at least a few thousand years.

Moreover, Apple Computer made sure to get explicit trademark
permission from Apple Records.  Apple Records indicated that they have
no objection to the founding of Apple Computer, because the computer
company wasn't going to have anything to do with music production.
(No one predicted iTunes 30 years ago.)

    Gaal> Remember Microsoft Bookshelf<tm>?  Well, it's not <tm> now,
    Gaal> because you can't appropriate words in the language, and
    Gaal> it'd be dire if you could.

You can't trademark nouns.  You can, however, trademark adjectives
used in certain contexts.  So "bookshelf" cannot be trademarked, but
"bookshelf brand software" can be.

I have a feeling that this has strayed pretty far away from the topic
of Perl.  Unless Gabor gives the green light, this will be my last
public posting on this topic.


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