James Bond's Gun Gets A Trademark... Based On An Online Survey

from the can-we-also-vote-against-it? dept

Apparently the maker of the gun preferred by (yes, fictional) James Bond has been able to get a trademark on the design, as "James Bond's weapon of choice." The USPTO initially rejected the trademark request, leading the company, Walther, who makes the PPK handgun, to do an online survey that suggested 54% of gun owners recognized the gun, with some of them mentioning James Bond in explaining how they recognized it. Apparently this online survey was enough to convince the USPTO that it had made a mistake. Who knew that the USPTO could so easily be influenced by online surveys? Can we have 4chan or Reddit folks stuff the ballot on future online surveys that might influence USPTO rulings?


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Oh boy...

    "Can we have 4chan or Reddit folks stuff the ballot on future online surveys that might influence USPTO rulings?"

    That's got classic comedy written all over it. I'd love to see what 4chan came up with in their responses....

     

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      scarr (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:03am

      Re: Oh boy...

      Pedobear will become an officially licensed product. Any unauthorized usage will result in your website being hacked and pr0n emailed to everyone you ever knew.

       

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        Sarah Black (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:44am

        Re: Re: Oh boy...

        lolcats will become an officially licensed product. **Any unauthorized usage will result in your website being hacked and lolcats emailed to everyone you ever knew.**

        oh wait... this already happend, amirite?

         

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    Jason, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    yeah, but...

    it is the only trademark to come across your desk in, like forever, that actually seems to pass the consumer confusion criterion.

    I mean, imagine some poor schlep who buys another gun peddled with that slogan only to find out later he'd been double-oh-duped.

    Is it meaningful or even worthwhile? Meh, but it does actually serve the correct purpose.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:59am

    Aw geez

    No love? We don't even get an "as a bunch of you sent in..."?

    Ah well, I'm off to trademark Pedobear...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Patents are like anything else. If you stretch them to cover a larger area, they become thinner. Continued granting of any and all patents will stretch the definition of "patent" so thinly that it has less and less meaning until eventually it breaks and patents become completely meaningless.
    Currently, we have reached the point where a 54% result from an arbitrary online survey can define whether or not something can be patented. How it can fall further, I don't know, but something tells me the USPTO will find a way...

     

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    Pete Austin, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:22am

    Quick, run a Techdirt Survey about the USPTO

    If the result is as expected, perhaps they will feel obliged to destroy themselves in an amusing way.

     

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    R. Miles (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Another answer.

    "Who knew that the USPTO could so easily be influenced by online surveys?"
    It is a private organization now, Mike. Wave cash, get trademark. It's not hard to figure out.

    Oh, and what the hell's up with that idiot bar now showing up on the bottom of the page? Can we disable this without having to click the thing every single time?

    Dang, I hate these. I'd like to meet the idiot to start this fad and beat the crap out of them.

    Isn't the toolbar below each article enough? Guess not.

     

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    shifty_eyes, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    summary error

    The handgun is a PPK, the company that makes it is Walther.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_ppk

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    i would probably only recognize the silenced ppk as the bond weapon of choice, and thats only because of N64 Goldeneye.

     

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      Call me Al, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:45am

      Re:

      Actually iamtheky I think I am right in saying that in Goldeneye the gun was referred to as PP7 because Walther wouldn't allow them to use PPK.

       

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      Jason, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:21pm

      Re:

      I'm sorry, but I can't resist this one. They actually call their gun a PP? I mean who does that, really?

      "James Bond prefers our PP* with his double oh's."

      *PP is a registered trademark of our PP, so don't even mess with our...oh nevermind.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:31am

        Re: Re:

        They actually call their gun a PP
        Less funny in German of course.... "Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell" Which suprised me - a "K" on German weapons I thought was usually "Kurtz" or "short" for shortened models.

        But yes a rather unfortunate translation - you'd think they'd let S&W re-brand it too if they're letting them sell it under license.... Unless they really do market it as "James Bond's Gun" in the US. If so, I'm not sure if that says more about the US or Walther's perception of it...

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:35am

    Let me say only one thing...

    Marblecake also the game.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Never hear of PPK hangun. I know that Smith and Wesson imports the Walther PPK. Great gun, carry one with me quite a bit as a backup.

     

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    Jeff, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    A more notable owner was Adolf Hitler.

    Use that in your ad campaign.

    Walther PPK, when you just have to shoot yourself in the head to avoid capture by the Russians.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 10:33am

    Gotta wonder.....

    ... just what demographic Walther are going for with their marketing if people that say "I want to buy the gun that James Bond has" are actually part of their strategy.
    Me I'm holding out for the new "Judge Dredd" gun.... :-)

     

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      weneedhelp (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 10:44am

      Re: Gotta wonder.....

      Oh great, a gun for dumb asses:

      and as most of the work is done by the computing sight, the user doesn't need to be an expert marksman to score hits at these long ranges.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:19pm

        Re: Re: Gotta wonder.....

        Oh great, a gun for dumb asses:

        The "Judge Dredd" thing? No, a gun for soldiers surely?
        and as most of the work is done by the computing sight, the user doesn't need to be an expert marksman to score hits at these long ranges.
        Yes. A tool designed for the battlefield to kill the enemy in the most efficient way possible, not to win a skill competition. I'm sure there are people that would dissagree with me but I think that it's something a civilian should never own.
        I'm a tech geek so appreciate the technology involved, but the "I want Judge Dredd's gun" was sarcasm coming after the James Bond thing. Really, of course, I want a light sabre....... :-)

         

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    Emilio, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    Of course, Bond preferred a Beretta, but it was M who forced him into using the Walther (watch Dr. No and see...)

     

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      Thanatossassin (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      Ahh, very true! But his Beretta did jam on him according to that conversation, so does he change his opinion about the Beretta afterwards?

       

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    Thanatossassin (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    PPK Handgun Co??

    I'm confused, is the company PPK Handgun a separate entity from Carl Walther?

    Also, Smith & Wesson is supposedly the only source anyone can acquire new PPKs, so wouldn't they be the ones more concerned with James Bond's Choice Weapon?

    Plus, James Bond's weapon of choice is arguable because in recent films & non-fleming novels, he uses a P99.

    Ughh.....

     

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      shifty_eyes, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

      Re: PPK Handgun Co??

      There is no company named "PPK Handgun," Mike just made a mistake with his summary.

      The Hollywood Reporter article says "When the makers of the PPK handgun first tried to register the the sleek and elegant design..." (with "PPK handgun" in bold)

      The actual decision (in the PDF linked by the article) says "Karen A. Brennan of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. for Carl
      Walther GmbH."

      Smith & Wesson distributes Walther branded firearms and accessories in the United States.

       

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    Jake, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Just as an aside...

    The PPK wasn't actually Bond's weapon of choice in canon until quite late in the series, in book and film continuity alike, and has since been replaced by more modern sidearms; if Beretta were still making the M1934, particularly the skeleton-grip variant, they'd have an equally valid claim.

     

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