SPARC No Fun At All; Threatens SparkFun

from the spark-up-the-lawyers dept

John Fenderson was the first of a few of you to send in a link (via Slashdot) to the story of how SPARC, the computer architecture company owned by Sun, is threatening SparkFun over trademark infringement claims. SparkFun is an electronics shop, which sells components and kits and the like. The two are pretty different. This whole situation apparently was “sparked” (heh heh) when SparkFun applied for its own trademark, at which point SPARC sought to block the trademark application. From there, they went on to sending a cease & desist. The folks at SparkFun do a nice job breaking down why the two marks are entirely different, and why even Sun employees seem to have no trouble understanding the difference between the two. This seems like yet another case of overly aggressive trademark enforcement, just because some lawyers feel the need to oppose anything that might conceivably be considered even close to similar.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: sparc, sparkfun, sun

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Comments on “SPARC No Fun At All; Threatens SparkFun”

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17 Comments
Dark Helmet (profile) says:

...er, I don't get it.

One is an acronym in caps, and one utilizes the word “spark”. They’re even spelled differently. Plus they include an entirely new syllable. Also, they appear to be selling to entirely different markets, consumer vs. industry.

….so where’s the confusion?

Oh, and before I forget:

“This whole situation apparently was “sparked” (heh heh)”

Love this site, kid, but leave the funny to us pros…

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

For those outside the UK the last part of the above comment is a reference to the highly successful (and amusing ) ComparetheMarket.com / ComparetheMeerkat.com UK ad campaign, which revolves around an invented trademark confusion.

Strange that people prosecute these cases when ComparetheMarket has shown that “silly trademark confusion” makes a really effective publicity tool.

The Buzz Saw (profile) says:

...really?

SPARC needs to realize that “spark” is too generic of a term. It is a dictionary term and is subject to endless use in the business world. It can be part of product names, corporate protocols, departments, etc.

Now, if SPARC had some far out name like Boogyggsby, only then would it have a claim against BoogyggsbyFun for blatantly riding coattails.

I wonder how long until Syfy starts suing bookstores for having Sci-fi sections.

Simon Phipps (user link) says:

Not Sun's Responsibility

On Sun’s behalf, I’d like to make clear that this action was taken by Sparc International (SI). SI is an independent trade association. Sun was involved in starting SI many years ago but today is one of several members and is not responsible for the actions SI takes. I’ve asked Sun’s representative to SI to investigate, but beyond that there’s not much else I can do.

S.
(Sun community ombudsman)

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