A few weeks ago, I knew little about trademark law. I understood that I preferred knowing that if I went into a store and bought something called Coca Cola, that I would get a bottle or can of the soft drink I’ve known and loved for most of my life. Thus, I never really thought of trademark as anything but benign.
Then, I read the articles Darrell, Jeff and others wrote about the FS v. Serotek case and listened to my wife Susan as she described a trademark case she worked on in law school and suddenly this branch of IP law became a lot more interesting. This morning, I read an article called, “Microsoft sued over Windows Vista name,” in PC Advisor.
The article about
Software publisher of illegally using the trademark "
‘Gildas registered the
Microsoft registered its Windows Vista trademark with the INPI (French National Institute for Intellectual Property).
“Philippe Gildas had registered the
Télé Vista project was delayed, but is now coming to fruition, with plans to launch the channel later this year.
‘Gildas sees Microsoft's hogging of the limelight with its new
operating system as an obstacle to that launch, and so he decided to sue, arguing that he registered the
television, web and so on."’
I can think of lots of other commercial uses of “
I don’t know anything about French or EU trademark law. In the EU, patents go to the individual who is first to file for a patent on an invention; in the US, patent protection is afforded the first to invent so, if you can show that you have invented the concept prior to another filing for a patent, you can maintain ownership. So, if patent law has such a fundamental difference, maybe trademark does too.
Frankly, I doubt too many people will mistake a television show aimed at elders with an operating system and I doubt anyone will mistake New Freedom feminine napkins with Freedom Scientific but one never knows in this whacky world of predatory litigation who might get sued for what. Hell, Donald Trump tried to get a trademark on the term, “You’re fired!”