[Foundation-l] Wikipedia trade mark misuse

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 15:25:58 UTC 2010

On 16 June 2010 08:52, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:
> Thomas Dalton wrote:
>> On 15 June 2010 00:17, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:
>>> Tardises are antiquated visual whatchamacallits, but not
>>> even remotely "trademarks".
>> Now you are just embarrassing yourself. Check your facts:
>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/2352743.stm
> You misrepresent your own case. If you read the article carefully you
> will see that the police could not prevent the BBC from using the police
> box image on T-shirts and other promotional material. Nowhere does it
> say the the police could no longer use the image.

That source was to counter the claim that there was no trademark on
police boxes, which it was perfectly adequate to do. The story of the
police trademark is a long one, and if my memory is correct it does
include a ruling that the police couldn't use an image of a police box
in some training or recruitment video. I can't immediately find a
source for that - it's a difficult topic to google, since the internet
is full of stuff about tardises.

> I have a copy of "Wiki Wiki Kau Kau Cookbook", first published in 1954,
> Ward Cunningham did adapt the word to the computer age, but it was
> already in use for other contexts.

Context is extremely important in trademark law. For example, the
trademark on "apple" is owned by Steve Jobs' company in the context of
computers, The Beatles' company in the context of music and is generic
in the context of fruit. That "wiki wiki" appeared in the title of a
Hawaiian cookbook is completely irrelevant.

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