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Porn Giant Vivid to Take Legal Action Over HTC Vivid Name

from the there's-a-fap-for-that dept

Trademark... *sigh*. Such a decent idea twisted horribly, horribly wrong at times. I'll try to keep this one simple for fear of flying off into some kind of puntastic boondoggle.

Reader sinsi sent in the Tom's Guide story about Vivid, best known for pumping out pornography, sending a cease and desist notice to HTC, best known for pumping out phones. The issue, apparently, is that HTC's latest smart phone is called "The Vivid," a word fairly commonplace in the English language. Now, Vivid Entertainment has crossed paths with the technology sector in the past, when they sued the enigmatically-named PornoTube website (I wonder what they have to offer), or when their executives decided that it was Google and Yahoo's fault that kids were seeing the fine cinematography Vivid produces.

Still, I find myself asking the same questions about many of these Trademark suits lately: doesn't there have to be some kind of industry crossover for this to be valid? And at what point are moron-sturbators in a hurry going to confuse a smart phone for a the latest Superhero porno parody? Seriously...how does this happen? Did someone at Vivid overhear an HTC customer say, "This phone blows," and get confused?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Vivid films

    You scoff but lots of others think it is fine cinematography.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Kevin H (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re: Vivid films

    That is some high quality mattress acting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Francisco, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 11:47am

    You bastard!

    I was drinking a glass of water when I read this:

    "And at what point are moron-sturbators in a hurry going to confuse a smart phone for a the latest Superhero porno parody? Seriously...how does this happen? Did someone at Vivid overhear an HTC customer say, "This phone blows," and get confused?"

    Brilliant sir! Brilliant.

    I guess that Vivid's lawyers were having a boring day at work so they decided to sue. What I can not understan is how can you be bored if one of your clients is a porn company.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Re: You bastard!

    "What I can not understan is how can you be bored if one of your clients is a porn company."

    No, no, sir. I really think we need to discuss this in person, preferably at one of your sets. I'll bring the blow....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Kevin H (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: You bastard!

    easy, you can only watch someone get drilled 3 ways so much before its like getting a cup of coffee. Like anything you just get used to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Re: Vivid films

    The actors are so lazy. One of them is always lying down while the other one does all the work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    You'll love the new variety of vibrate settings on the Vivid!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Is it not time for us to all start "Copyrighting" words out of the Dictionary ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    A Dan (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Blame Apple

    You remember how Apple was able to settle by assuring Apple Records they would never go into the music business? Remember how they later did?

    "As a condition of the settlement, Apple Computer agreed not to enter the music business, and Apple Corps agreed not to enter the computer business."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v_Apple_Computer

    These trademark things of "not in the same industry" cause problems later when the upstart spreads into the industry they initially weren't encroaching on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    aikiwolfie (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    IPMAX In Thunderdrome!

    LOL! This whole IP ownership nonsense gets more ridiculous by the day. Before you know it every human on the planet will have to devise his/her/it's own language and totally unique name just to live without being sued. Of course we'll all have to pay each other royalties every time we talk to one another using the other's language.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: IPMAX In Thunderdrome!

    That won't fix the problem. English may as well be open source (technically it's public domain). It's corporations paying government for the right to abuse the commons via what's supposed to be a consumer protection device.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    MAC, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Blame Apple

    Apple Computer lied.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Joe Perry (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Blame Apple

    I agree with your point, but that case is different in that it was about the company name, and this case is about a company name vs the name of a product. even if htc went into the music business for w/e reason, they would presumably not use vivid in the name, as that's just one of many phones they offer.

     

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  14.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: You bastard!

    I'll bring the blow
    Be careful with that quote around porn sets . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: You bastard!

    But you still get a cup of coffee 2 to maybe 3 times a day every day.


    Love PPPPPorn!!!! Thats right I said it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Blame Apple

    Well high res shots of the phones in glamor poses could be considered nerd porn... you win this round...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

    Wait, so you're telling me that every use of the word "Vivid" isn't related to the porn company of the same name?

    I was wondering why enabling PowerDVD's Vivid mode didn't make everyone naked, like I expected...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    Damn, I'm going to cancel my order for the Vivid phone... I thought it was going to come preloaded with some Porn!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:58pm

    Well, this is one of those cases where on the surface it looks silly, but in reality it's a very good case.

    First off, Vivid needs to zealously protect it's trademarks. That is sort of a requirement. Second, Vivid does offer online porn via smart phones / mobile phones. So there is potential at least to some extent for some marginal confusion. Thirdly, the name might suggest to some that Vivid has partnered with HTC on a phone, which is just not the case.

    Without taking this action, Vivid would leave themselves open for others to use their tradename is other ways that the company might get involved in, say like "Vivid Blu Ray Discs" (blanks).

    Mike, you need to think past your nose, you are so in a rush to slam things that sometimes you just don't think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:18pm

    Re:

    Hi. I wrote this article, not mike, so it is my rather copious nose we'll be discussing, not his. That said, I'll be thumbing said nose at the sheer nonsense of your comment.

    Zealously protecting trademarks is fine, if there's a chance of market confusion. In this case, there isn't. Morons in all kinds of hurries wouldn't think HTC was partnering with Vivid. The very idea of a technology firm like HTC snuggling up with a bunch of cum-dumpsters like Vivid is silly. The fact that you try to pawn it off as some kind of confusion makes you silly too.

    I suggest being less silly. Perhaps there's a class somewhere....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 9:57pm

    That phone doesn't blow, it sucks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    hmm (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 1:48am

    waiting

    I'm just waiting until Vivid try to claim they have copyright/trademark/patents (take your pick) on human genitalia and sue everyone doin' the nasty........

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 1:49am

    no confusion

    Also theres no confusion here about products, unless for the HTC Vivid maybe you have to turn the phone on by stroking its screen faster and faster for 10-15mins and then it 'comes on'.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowheard, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 2:12am

    nice

    "Did someone at Vivid overhear an HTC customer say, "This phone blows," and get confused?"

    You win the internets until something else grabs my atten..... ooh, squirrels.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re:

    Nice dismissive comment, too bad you don't address the material.

    Carry on. Ignorance is bliss, and you are proving to be a pretty happy helmet today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nice dismissive comment, too bad you don't address the material.

    Uh, yeah he did. You claim there is a genuine chance of market confusion - he claims you're an idiot if you actually believe that. And I hate to break it to you, but I think he's right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Machin Shin, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:19am

    Re:

    Who owns the copyright on the word copyright? I think I need to go ahead and stake my claim on this. So from now on I will claim infringement anytime anyone has a copyright case without licensing the term from me first.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Marcus, there is a chance of market confusion between Vivid's "smartphone" services as this phone. It's not a HUGE chance of confusion, but in the world of trademarks, any potential for confusion should be addressed, otherwise you allow your trademark to narrow.

    He entirely ignored the fact that Vivid does play in the online marketplace, and that their content is delivered by smart phone, and they have potential to actually have a named phone or service in the future (not unlike ESPN's phone service, example).

    Of course, I wouldn't expect you to ever side with a rights holder on any issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    ethorad (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    It keeps going down on me!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    ethorad (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re:

    He kind of does have a point, after all HTC named all of their other phones after partnerships.

    - For the Mozart and Schubert they travelled back in time to collaborate with classical composers. And of course the Mondrian was styled by the painter himself

    - They got movie tie ins for the (I am) Legend, the Incredible(s) and the Buzz (Lightyear).

    - They even dabbled with making phones out of alternative materials for the Gold and the Sapphire, although the Espresso was not well received. And that's before we even get onto the Stallion, that was messy.

    How were we to know that for this phone HTC had instead just picked a random word, just like how every other company names every other product in the world.

    [sent from my Motorola RAZR. Ow]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sorry, but just to clarify, you're saying there's an actual legimtate chance that Vivid becomes a partner for an actual phone named after them? A company is going to tie themselves to Vivid Entertainment?

    Dude....lay off the drugs....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you think that you should be able to trademark a dictionary word, then prevent anyone from using that word in any markets you might potentially enter? I'm sorry, but that's insane. They are a company that produces digital video, which is ubiquitous, so under your model they could potentially extend their trademark into virtually every single sector of consumer tech. Owning the trademark on "Vivid" as a video production studio does not mean they can control use of the word in any class of device that plays video.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    . . . . Seriously...how does this happen? Did someone at Vivid overhear an HTC customer say, "This phone blows," and get confused?


    Actually it was when the phone did NOT blow, that the confusion was caused, the reputations were damamged, and the trademark claim filed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    known coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    the linked post was by known coward. and should have had the title "it is the other way around"

    what can i say, i saw the topic and got a little ummm over excited.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    B Pickel (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Vivid may play in the online entertainment marketplace, under the name “Vivid Entertainment”
    Espn also plays in the online entertainment marketplace, under the name “ESPN”
    The difference with Espn is that;
    one, the name is made up,
    two, it’s the name they trade with,
    three, they use a “name” not an adjective

    If your point was the case, I fail to see why Vivid entertainment has not gone after the following companies/people for also using “vivid” in some of there names:
    vivid Sydney - vividsydney.com
    vividwireless - www.vividwireless.com.au (maybe vivid did branch out into this )
    vivid group - www.vividgroup.com.au
    Vivid publishing - www.vividpublishing.com.au/
    vivid – the Japanese band
    vivid – the album by living colour
    Vivid imaginations - a uk toy company (not those kind of toys ;) )
    Vivid – a centre for the production and exhibition of media art

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, if the phone was pink, had a rubber case (sorry) and could only be used for 10mins before having to rest for 30mins or so

    Also there would be some sort of blue pill-shaped addon that would give you 4hours battery life......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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