[Foundation-l] Wikipedia trade mark misuse

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Sun Jun 13 22:54:47 UTC 2010

On 13 June 2010 23:33, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <cimonavaro at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thomas Dalton wrote:
>> "Dog" isn't strongly associated in the public psyche with a particular
>> brand. "Wiki" is. Like I say, these are complicated issues of legal
>> interpretation and really should be left to the lawyers.
> If there is any party with dibs on "Wiki", that would
> be Ward Cunningham, not the WMF.

Trademark law does not include an automatic right to "dibs" on a mark
to the first person to use it. (At least, it doesn't in the UK - I
expect Czech law is similar.) What is important is what the public
associate the mark with, and "Wiki" is very strongly associated with
"Wikipedia". (A fun example: the trademark on police boxes is owned by
the BBC and the police need the BBC's permission to use them in films
and videos. That's because the public associates police boxes with
Doctor Who much more strongly than with the police. The police clearly
used them first, but that's not relevant.)

Trademark law is a lot more complicated that you seem to think, so
please stop guessing and leave it to the lawyers.

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