Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Lawyers Starting To Understand The Pointlessness Of Over Aggressive Trademark Enforcement

from the let-it-go... dept

For years, lawyers have been overreacting to the "threat" of online trademarks. While trademark law does require that you police the trademark, or risk losing it, that doesn't mean you need to go after every use of the market. Trademark, unlike copyrights and patents, don't give you as much control -- and are merely designed as a method of consumer protection against confusion of the authenticity of a product. However, it's become quite common for lawyers to go after anyone and everyone who use their trademark, even if it's not in any way confusing of damaging. Where it gets particularly bad is where the lawyers step in and start shutting down fan sites who were only helping to promote the brand. However, the good news is that a few lawyers may finally be coming to terms with all of this. Whether by simply being worn down by the sheer volume of use of the mark, or simply by finally realizing that much of the use helps promote the brand, some lawyers are recognizing that going after every use of a trademark on the web just doesn't make sense. In fact, some of the lawyers even seem to be grasping the Streisand Effect -- that trying to take something offline is likely to get it even more attention. Now if we could only get more lawyers to recognize a moron in a hurry, we might be getting somewhere.

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