In Honor of USPTO Stupidity

Posted by $ KahnQuest 6 years, 10 months ago to Books
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Vanity Plate Tale #12: XPLTIV

Mark’s eyes constantly shifted, searching the area around the bus stop. He trembled slightly as he practiced his lines under his breath. “Sirs and Madams, pardon my most inopportune intrusion upon this auspicious meeting. I seek only the approval…”

A buzz sounded, and Mark jumped. He glanced to his right and saw a speaker next to the bench. A computerized voice spoke. “Word not allowed. First warning, Citizen Mark.”

“Pardon?”

“Word ‘pardon’ is still allowed. Word ‘the’ is now trademarked. Be advised, penalty for use of word is five hundred euro.”

Mark’s head spun as he tried to accommodate yet another word trademarked for private use by some troll. How the hell was he supposed to talk at work without the word “the?” The injustice of it all angered him, and his trembling increased. He tried valiantly to keep his mind from spinning out of control.

“Please acknowledge, Citizen Mark.” The computerized voice pushed Mark over an invisible line, and his lips moved before his mind could rein them in.

“Fuck!” he yelled, and kicked the speaker. The grate guarding it bent, but didn’t break.

“Word not allowed. Penalty for use is five hundred euro.”

© 2013 Jonathan Kahn


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  • Posted by khalling 6 years, 10 months ago
    kahn, I appreciate many of your posts. This is absurd.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 10 months ago
      Thanks kh. What the gov't can't steal, it'll destroy.
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      • Posted by khalling 6 years, 10 months ago
        kahn, I think you misunderstand. this post is absurd
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        • Posted by Lucky 6 years, 10 months ago
          Yes. Absurd but prophetic.
          Has been tried-on by the Russian mafia and by a well known US software buyer. Awaits the next profitable alliance between statists and crony capitalists.
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        • Posted by $ 6 years, 10 months ago
          How so? The content of the tale was meant to be absurd. Do you actually agree that the Redskins should be robbed of trademark protection?
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          • Posted by khalling 6 years, 10 months ago
            "Mark’s head spun as he tried to accommodate yet another word trademarked for private use by some troll. How the hell was he supposed to talk at work without the word “the?”"
            this is not how the trademark process works. This assumes no originality. Shakespeare uses the word "the" in every sonnet, play he wrote. no originality? Yes, the trademark revocation of Redskins was politically motivated and shows the crony relationship of govt and the private sector. I read your tale as an absurd take on what can be trademarked and how individuals and companies are kept from doing business and living without fear of violation. Trademarks are specific to not only their industry but sub classifications. for instance-draw an apple, eat an apple, call your daycare Apple Daycare. Do not make computers and call them Apples.
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            • Posted by $ 6 years, 10 months ago
              Okay, just making sure. I'm very much on your side when it comes to IP protection. The tales don't reflect reality.

              Cheers! :)
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              • Posted by khalling 6 years, 10 months ago
                sorry. i knee-jerked. I will go check out the other tales
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                • Posted by $ 6 years, 10 months ago
                  No worries! I appreciate being made to think.

                  I have a follow-up question. Considering the originality rule, does it mean that perhaps no major-league team should have trademark protection? It seems to me that none of the teams have original names (e.g. Cowboys, Yankees, Nets). Genuine question, since I'm no expert.
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                  • Posted by johnpe1 6 years, 10 months ago
                    I'm no trademark lawyer, but I'm certain that they
                    all can register the images associated with their
                    names -- like a business' logo (e.g. Coca-Cola).
                    the circled R, or the old reg-us-pat-off, was
                    associated with the image, which contains the
                    name. -- j

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              • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 10 months ago
                The world of lawmakers is tumbling down the road to complete irrationality. Who knows how far the insanity of political correctness will lead us in the future if present trends continue? Just in my lifetime things that I could not imagining happening due to their sheer stupidity, have happened.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 10 months ago
    Disney is very strong about anyone using the likeness, or names of their creations. Once as a parody I wrote a "what-if" piece about Disney World trying to copyright the word "World" in a humor mag.Got a call from one of their lawyers.
    I pointed out that it was satire and therefore Disney would look like a flock of donkeys if they sued. Never heard from them again.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 10 months ago
      Ah yes, Disney. The folks that profit from retelling ancient German fairy tales but are quick to sue anyone else who tries the same. Are they going to sue us for talking smack? ;)
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    • Posted by Hiraghm 6 years, 10 months ago
      Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten about Disney.

      Horrific abuse of Copyright law.
      They should not be able to keep the creations of Walt Disney's mind copyrighted in perpetuity.

      Think about D'Anconia's money speech and the bit about the worthless heir...
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  • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 10 months ago
    You realize of course that this is not how trademarks work - right?

    A trademark is a word, sound, logo, etc that has become associated with a particular source of a particular good or service. So if PARDON were trademarked, it would have to be for a particular good such as cowboy hats. The fact that PARDON was trademarked would not stop you from using the word "pardon", it would only stop you from using it with hats.
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