SXSW Threatens YXYY With Trademark Infringement
from the can't-we-all-get-along? dept
So, it's a bit distressing to find out that SXSW decided to get trademark bullyish and send YXYY a cease and desist. While it was a somewhat more friendly cease and desist (not sent by a lawyer, but still implying legal action) claiming that the name violates SXSW's trademarks and could "cause confusion or dilution of the SXSW marks." I don't see how it would cause confusion, given that YXYY was always pretty clear that it was not associated with SXSW directly. And the "dilution" claim seems pretty weak as well (admittedly: I've long argued that dilution claims shouldn't be included in trademark law, but they do exist).
Either way, the YxYY have agreed to modify their name slightly, keeping the YxYY, but now claiming that the "x" refers to "and" rather than "by." So it's now "Yes And Yes Yes." As they point out, this is also a bit of a play on the standard improv rule of "yes and..." which fits with the more improvisational nature of the event. It's unclear from the announcement if the SXSW folks find this an acceptable change, but I certainly hope they do. SXSW is a mammoth event and it's kind of silly to think that its brand would be in any way harmed by another event -- clearly inspired by SXSW -- that happened to use YxYY to mark its own event.