IMAX Threatens Open Source 3D Engine With Bizarre Reasoning

from the say-what-now dept

Proffer alerts us to the bizarre story of how IMAX (last seen suing competitors and misleading people about what an IMAX film really is) is now threatening the folks behind the Sandy3D open source 3D flash engine. Apparently, IMAX has some sort of 3D drawing system called SANDDE. So, maybe, if you squint, you could see how IMAX might be complaining about a trademark issue. But the letter from IMAX is quite odd. It doesn't mention trademark at all. Instead, it mentions a French patent.

This is quite odd, considering that there's clearly no patent issue here (beyond the fact that Sandy3D isn't in France and the products are entirely different). So why isn't IMAX talking trademark? Well, perhaps because IMAX's trademark on SANDDE was considered abandoned as of March 8, 2000. Yes, more than ten years ago. There's also the fact that this open source project is not a commercial endeavor at all, meaning that IMAX might have a lot of trouble proving "use in commerce" even if it actually had a trademark. Perhaps IMAX could get away with claiming a common law trademark, but even then, its ability to do anything to Sandy3D would be quite limited, and it's difficult to see anyone finding a likelihood of confusion existing between the two.

In the end, it looks like some IMAX lawyers decided to just threaten these open source developers, hoping that by spewing some totally unrelated info about a patent, it might scare the developers into changing the name on a product, even though the patent has nothing at all to do with the issue, and the company has no registered trademark on the name in question.

Filed Under: 3d, imax, patents, threats, trademarks
Companies: imax

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: its the lawyers

    Well then, the solution is simple as well. Just make it so that any time a lawsuit is filed, the lawyers must state, under penalty of perjury, that they are filing in good conscience. Then, when these ridiculous lawsuits come up that any unbiased lawyer with a brain would see was winnable if it ever came to trial, enforce that penalty. You end up with a bunch of overly-litigious lawyers in disbarred and behind bars. Problem solved, right?

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