from the missing-the-point dept
Quite a few people have pointed to the story about a Swedish company that has trademarked The Pirate Bay logo
, and plans to sell USB keys with the logo included. The company claims that this is fine because The Pirate Bay had not registered the trademark itself. In the meantime, some folks associated with The Pirate Bay are saying they're going to try to overturn the ruling.
I don't know how Swedish trademark law works, but at least in the US there is a concept of a "common law trademark," which is supposed to prevent others from registering a mark on a brand that someone else is using -- even if they haven't registered it. It would seem like quite a silly trademark law if the Swedish trademark law doesn't include anything like that.
As for those who think it's ironic or even hypocritical that The Pirate Bay guys are somewhat bothered by this, you need to understand a few things. First, they clearly state that they have no problem with anyone doing anything else with The Pirate Bay logo. So, if this company just wanted to sell those USB keys by itself, it could do so. The issue they have is with this company "locking up" the trademark so others can't use it. That seems entirely in support with what they stand for.
Separately, it's worth pointing out (yet again, because some people still get confused by this) that trademarks are wholly different beasts than copyrights or patents. Trademarks are not about protectionism, but about preventing consumer confusion over who actually made or offers a specific product. It's a very different concept.