Marketing Company Trademarks 'Radical Media' Threatens To Sue Real Activists
from the because-trademark-law-is,-like,-totally-radical dept
Jamie Love points us to yet another ridiculous case of trademark bullying. Apparently a marketing firm called "Radical Media" (except it stupidly spells it @radical.media to sound more radical, I guess) has trademarked the term "radical media" and has threatened to sue the organizers of a conference on the generic and widely used term "radical media." A cease-and-desist letter was sent of course, because legal bullying is so totally "radical."
It has come to our attention that you are using the RADICAL MEDIA trademark to advertise a conference to be held in central London on 8th and 9th October 2011. This conference is not an event licensed by @radical and you will therefore appreciate that your use of the RADICAL MEDIA registered trademark constitutes an infringement and passing-off of @radical’s valuable intellectual property rights.Rather than fight this, the creators of the conference have unfortunately caved in and renamed their event "Rebellious Media." They claim they wanted to fight it, but the legal fees were daunting:
@radical does not take lightly any misuse of its intellectual property, unauthorised association with their programs of with itself and any possible damage to the reputation, goodwill and earnings of the same.
Our collective jaws dropped, how could anyone own an adjective? Yet in the closed-source world where intellectual property is hard currency, it appears that virtually anything may be trade-marked. We didn’t know whether to rant or cry. Our instincts told us that anyone with a radical bone in their body should fight this corporate usurpation of language, but the prospect of facing legal costs in line with house prices tempered this instinct. Even if we won such a battle we could only expect to recover 75 percent of these costs, leaving us tens of thousands of pounds down, money which – even if we had it – should be spent on more useful, more radical things than legal fees.Of course, all this really seems to scream is that Radical Media... er, sorry, @radical.media is a bunch of the most uncreative corporate suits imaginable. Who would ever want to hire a firm like this to do their marketing?