Wiki Demonstrates How Yellow Pages Are Obsolete -- Gets Sued For Its Efforts
from the yeah,-people-must-be-confused dept
It really is amazing that the yellow pages business directory business is still as strong as it is. In the age of the internet, selling ads in phone books is still a multi-billion dollar business -- though, those in the business must realize it's at risk. While millions of the books are distributed, sooner or later advertisers are going to wake up to the fact that most of these books are a complete waste, likely only to be thrown out (if touched at all). There are ways that yellow pages providers can move into the internet age (and a few are trying), but it seems there are going to be a few speedbumps along the way. The world's largest yellow pages publisher, Yell, who made about $2.4 billion last year has apparently unleashed its legal attack dogs against Yellowikis, a volunteer wiki-based yellow pages directory that lost a grand total of $500. The company is, of course, claiming trademark infringement, but it's hard to see how "yellow pages" can't be considered a generic term at this point. Furthermore, it seems incredibly unlikely that there's any confusion (which is what trademark law is supposed to be about: preventing consumer confusion) about the fact that Yell has absolutely nothing to do with Yellowikis. Of course, thanks to this news spreading, it's likely going to mean that Yellowikis will get a lot more attention, boosting the bottom-up threat to Yell's traditional business.