[Foundation-l] Wikipedia trade mark misuse

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Thu Jun 17 05:18:06 UTC 2010

Thomas Dalton wrote:
> 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.

Well, the quotation that is most relevant in that TARDIS
affair, in the sense of being on point for "wiki" and
"wikpedia" is:

'Mr Knight said that the police telephone box had been
used by other police forces outside London, so was not
exclusive to the Metropolitan Police, and at best it would
be described by the public as "street furniture".'

This is the situation with regard to wikipedia, and other
reference works with "wiki" in their names. That is
Wikihow, Wikitravel, Wikia, etc.


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

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