Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What's in a Word: "Ungoogleable" as a Trademark Violation? And What About "Retina"?

Google gets ungoogleable off Sweden's new word list is the title of an article by Sean Fanning at BBC News that goes to the heart of word "trademarks" as law.

After all, what's in a word?

A similar question is whether a basic language word like "retina" belongs to us or to some profit-gouging commercial enterprise that steals some of our most basic and popular common words for their own selfish purposes.

To our way of thinking, trademarks should protect specific PRODUCTS, not serve as monopolies on words.

I was recently "googling" the Rosetta Stone for my ancient megalithic land survey researches and was not too happy that the first thing that turns up is some commercial enterprise that has appropriated that name and sells a popular language program under that "trademark".

One way to finance government would be to put exorbitant fees on trademarks that appropriate generic or specific terms clearly causing confusion with "the real thing", sort of a reverse protection of marks.


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