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O'Reilly Lawyers Set Up Shop in the Patent Office

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the great-uses-of-time dept.

190

theodp writes "On the same day Netizens fumed over the trademarking of Web 2.0 (R), lawyers for O'Reilly were beating a path to the USPTO to file for a trademark on MAKER FAIRE, lest some Irish scallywag try to co-opt that catchy phrase for a conference. Speaking of NETIZENS, USPTO records show O'Reilly once sought a trademark for that term. And while details are sketchy, USPTO records also indicate that O'Reilly not only sought to trademark the term WEBSITE, it was the plaintiff in a scheduled Trademark Trial involving a defendant who laid claim to the phrase WEB CITE."

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FP Trademark (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956815)

I trademark "First Post" tm!

Re:FP Trademark (3, Funny)

j0nkatz (315168) | about 8 years ago | (#15957105)

Sorry I claim "prior art"!

Re:FP Trademark (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957333)

In Soviet Russia, "prior art" claims you!

Re:FP Trademark (3, Funny)

jesuscyborg (903402) | about 8 years ago | (#15957506)

In America, catch phrases get old!

Re:FP Trademark (3, Funny)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | about 8 years ago | (#15957592)

And then move to Korea.

I'm Trademarking Trademark! (tm) (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956821)

"On the same day Netizens fumed over the trademarking of Web 2.0 (R), lawyers for O'Reilly were beating a path to the USPTO to file for a trademark on MAKER FAIRE, lest some Irish scallywag try to co-opt that catchy phrase for a conference. Speaking of NETIZENS, USPTO records show O'Reilly once sought a trademark for that term. And while details are sketchy, USPTO records also indicate that O'Reilly not only sought to trademark the term WEBSITE, it was the plaintiff in a scheduled Trademark Trial involving a defendant who laid claim to the phrase WEB CITE."
Un-fucking-believable (tm)

Sounds like (1)

smithfarm (862287) | about 8 years ago | (#15956940)

Sounds like O'Reilly has unwittingly given IT@Cork massive publicity for their conference!

Re:I'm Trademarking Trademark! (tm) (5, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | about 8 years ago | (#15957014)

No kidding, they've gone from "Good Guys" to "Shite Sucking Weasels" in my book.

MAKER FAIRE is an OK trademark (5, Insightful)

CalvinLawson (997097) | about 8 years ago | (#15957050)

OK, unless you're of the "trademarks are evil" school, it seems like there's nothing wrong with this. In "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", Raymond talks about how he and O'Reilly tried to trademark the term "Open Source", and have it defined by the OSD. His reasoning was that there would be legal recourse against people using the term open source when not actually opening their source code. And after seeing shenanigans of this sort (Sun, anyone?), this makes perfect sense.

This is all just so ludicrous. (3, Insightful)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | about 8 years ago | (#15957257)

I agree that companies should be allowed to protect the names of their products to make sure they are not used by other companies for their products, be they similar to the Original (in which case we would speak of plagiarism) or completely different (in which case they might still make unfair use of the original companie's product's fame). That's what trademarks are for.

But I think this is a very limited scope. A trademark should, in my opinion, not allow you to forbid anyone to simply _use_ the name of your product (as opposed to stick it to their own products). Words are symbolic representations of the sounds we make with our tongues while speaking. They are free like the wind. Imagine Microsoft would sue a carpenter because he sold windows. The fine line lies in the difference between using a word as a name and a word as a word. You cannot trademark words. If you could, Shakespeare's heirs would have a nice source of income from about every native English-speaker in the world. How is a "maker fair" or a "web site" a name? They are just words. "Microsoft Windows" is a name. "Windows" is not. "Dodge Ram" is a name. "dodge" and "ram" are words.

Re:MAKER FAIRE is an OK trademark (1)

RomulusNR (29439) | about 8 years ago | (#15957567)

In "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", Raymond talks about how he and O'Reilly tried to trademark the term "Open Source", and have it defined by the OSD.

Classic cabalism. "My personal circle of associates are superior to the rest of you, so it is right and just for us to solely dictate." Wasn't James Coburn in a movie or two about the problems of prejudicial wonkocracy? Let's not even get into the anti-openness of such a move (which is especially ironic for the term "open source") -- I'm sure it's been said.

Reason #1239746 why I dislike Raymondism.

They can trademark... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956825)

my shiney metal ass.

UBUNTU (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956833)

Do UBUTNU. Do it now!

That crazy Bill (4, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | about 8 years ago | (#15956834)

Bill O'Reilly is always up to crazy stuff. Next he'll want to patent racy phone calls that generate a lawsuit.

What? Oh, you don't mean that O'Reilly? Yeah, we'll they are crazy too. Al Gore invented the word website.

Re:That crazy Bill (1)

corbettw (214229) | about 8 years ago | (#15957151)

Bill O'Reilly is always up to crazy stuff. Next he'll want to patent racy phone calls that generate a lawsuit.

Prior art. [wikipedia.org]

Re:That crazy Bill (0, Offtopic)

chewedtoothpick (564184) | about 8 years ago | (#15957396)

I thought Al Gore invented the internets...

What will he invent next? He already invented Global Warming.

On the subject of Website... (4, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | about 8 years ago | (#15956836)

Way back in the mid-1990s, O'Reilly published a web server program for Windows called... wait for it... Website Professional. Generally abbreviated as O'Reilly Website or just Website. It was later sold to Deerfield, which incorporated it into their VisNetic line. Eventually, Deerfield dropped the product entirely.

So as crazy as it seems, they actually had a product to trademark.

Re:On the subject of Website... (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 8 years ago | (#15956907)

The question is whether everyday words should be allowed trademarked, and how doing this reflects upon those who grab the trademark. Before long, we'll see unscrupulous people trademarking everyday terms like Windows or top level domains like dot-net.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:On the subject of Website... (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | about 8 years ago | (#15956982)

I think his point is that while "website" may be a common word today, it was not when they filed on December 28, 1994.

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

morcheeba (260908) | about 8 years ago | (#15957472)

Netscape uses the terms "netsite" and "web browser" in its 1994 press releases [netscape.com] , but not the term "website". In 95, they start using "web site".

Re:On the subject of Website... (3, Insightful)

oyenstikker (536040) | about 8 years ago | (#15957016)

Like "xerox", "kleenex", and "thermos"?

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 8 years ago | (#15957232)

Your analogy is flawed, those are made up words that were trademarked and then became common words. Not common words that were trademarked.

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | about 8 years ago | (#15957328)

Your analogy is flawed, those are made up words that were trademarked and then became common words. Not common words that were trademarked.

Your own argument is flawed - website is also a made up word. In fact, as has been stated elsewhere in this article, the application they had that was called Website was from 1994 (and ran on 3.1!)... a point in time at which the term website was most definitely not a common term. I know I was still spending most of my time in newsgroups and IRC at the time.

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 8 years ago | (#15957411)

The post I replied to had no mention of the word Website..

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | about 8 years ago | (#15957684)

The post I replied to had no mention of the word Website..

That's what this entire thread has been about.

Re:On the subject of Website... (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 8 years ago | (#15957455)

It does actually appear to have been a common term to describe, erm, websites: Examples [google.com] . Of course, there weren't many in 1994.

There may not have been a massive number of mentions, the count is in the hundreds not thousands, but that appears to be the time the term started to become popular. So it looks like O'Reilly jumped on a technology that was emerging at that point, and decided to trademark a term already in use by those already using the technology.

That doesn't strike me as acceptable.

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 8 years ago | (#15957647)

your argument is flawed. Website, or web sites, followed the same common naming convention as gopher sites and ftp sites, both of which predate 1994 by quite a bit. Matter of fact, from the WWW mail archives [w3.org] :

              Marc Andreessen started working on the Mosaic web browser in 1992.

and also Google's search result comments [google.com] indicate that WWW and W3 were already in use. The archives also indicate that Mosaic 1.2 was released by Apr 93, thus they had to have something to connect it to, unfortunately I was unable to access the mail archives, and thus could not ascertain what they called the server and documents and collections of documents they connected to at that time. I can't trust 13 year old memories as to whether we called it a "site" back then, but I seem to recall lots of references to ftp sites and such, so it would only be natural (Simtel was a big one in the day).

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

B11 (894359) | about 8 years ago | (#15957529)

or "googling?" [slashdot.org]

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

brainspank (515274) | about 8 years ago | (#15957533)

or maybe like "word", "excel", "office" and "windows"

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

julesh (229690) | about 8 years ago | (#15957187)

The point is, though, that the fact that some corporations have trademarks on common words doesn't actually prevent the rest of us from using them at all. It prevents other people from setting up businesses that rely on selling products in a similar field with names that are confusingly similar.

Hell, there's even a glazier in my local area called Windows 2000. And I happen to know that Microsoft's UK trademark agents are based not far away, so they're probably well and truly aware of the existence of this company.

Re:On the subject of Website... (2, Informative)

saddino (183491) | about 8 years ago | (#15957478)

To answer the big question:

1) There is nothing wrong with using everyday words as trademarks. Many consumer products do (just check out your supermarket aisles).

2) Trademarks, when applied for, must describe the market for their good and/or service. A trademark simply protects the good/service in that market, and does not stop anyone from using the word in any other context (or even for any other product/service, given some caveats, e.g. famous marks).

3) Trademarks need to be actively defended, so a C+D letter or even a lawsuit needs to be seen as a necessary requirement to defending a registered mark.

4) A trademark cannot be "held" to block others. A necessary requirement for keeping a trademark is production of your good and/or service. If you never produce anything, you'll lose the trademark. In other words, unscrupulous people aren't going to make much use of trademarks that they aren't actually using.

So, if "dot-net" is registered as a trademark (which it perfectly can), for say a software company or a web 2.0 service, it really doesn't affect anyone except /.ers who feel like getting worked about meaningless things.

Re:On the subject of Website... (1)

ajs (35943) | about 8 years ago | (#15957652)

Website (one word) was not an every-day word at the time. In fact, even in the technical lingo, "Web site" (two words) was just a variant of "FTP site" which had been used for years, and not a stand-alone word.

Slashdot: News for people who were too stoned or too young to remember the mid-90s.

Sources: Before 1995, the word "website" was used less than 300 times [google.com] on USENET. During the same time, the term "web site" was used over 5000 times [google.com] . If you prowl through those uses of "web site" you will see that almost all of them are people who were talking about, but didn't quite understand the technology. I don't think the USPTO generally accepts infrequent mis-use or mis-spellings when considering a trademark.

In fact, there were even more people saying "world wide web site" [google.com] before 2005.

Re:On the subject of Website... (4, Informative)

eln (21727) | about 8 years ago | (#15956918)

And if you actually look at the trademark application, it states that they were seeking to trademark the term as it relates to "computer software used to create a server on a global computer network and enable management of documents on the server, for use by those who access the electronic global information infrastructure". Also, the trademark application was not rejected, it was abandoned by O'Reilly.

So, the summary is a little misleading as it seems to suggest that they were trying to blanket trademark an obviously generic (even at the time) word.

Re:On the subject of Website... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956966)

And so if I try and trademark "Blog" as the name of some software I have for maintaining blogs, I shouldn't be considered evil?

Tim O'Reilly and his Web 2.0 trademark are now being seen for what they really are - evil attempts at forcing others out of his industry (technology publishing) by trademarking the jargin related to it. That's evil in a way Microsoft could only dream of being.

I haven't bough O'Reilly books for a while, and I'm certainly not going to be after learning about this. O'Reilly can burn in Hell for all I care.

O'rielly is just a guy (-1, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 years ago | (#15956862)

who published need books and was able to get stores to display the prominantly.
Noy they create really good books.
That is all, O'rielly is in it to make money, he is not incitefull(pun) in any way.

And his ego seems to be getting very large, but that could just be his people.

Re:O'rielly is just a guy (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 8 years ago | (#15956910)

Looks like you need a book, one called a Dictionary.

heh; actually (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 years ago | (#15956978)

I need sleep. I only got 2 hours last night.

So, no more posting for me today.

Re:heh; actually (1)

daeley (126313) | about 8 years ago | (#15957576)

I need sleep. I only got 2 hours last night.

That's why you're a geekoid instead of a geek -- real geeks don't sleep. ;D

Re:O'rielly is just a guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957293)

What animal is that book?

Web 2.0 trademark (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956871)

Might as well trademark the equivant phrase "overhyped vaporware"!

Re:Web 2.0 trademark (1)

Stealth Dave (189726) | about 8 years ago | (#15957406)

Sorry, but that trademark has already been awarded [3drealms.com] .

- Stealth Dave

P.S. - Kudos to the DNF web team for creative use of the <blink> tag!

Re:Web 2.0 trademark (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 8 years ago | (#15957490)

Isn't that already taken by Microsoft?

The "Netizens" & the "Hactivists" Go "Wardrivi (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 8 years ago | (#15956874)

...and are never heard from again. Maybe they get infected with "virii."

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Re:The "Netizens" & the "Hactivists" Go "Wardr (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 8 years ago | (#15957522)

Yeah. Hopefully they'll take all their "boxen" with them too.

In all seriousness... (3, Interesting)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | about 8 years ago | (#15956882)

When did O'Reilly stop being about making quality books and stuff and start being about creating buzzwords and catchphrases (Web 2.0, bleh.) and trademarking them?

There was a time when I'd buy an O'Reilly book to learn a new technology; now I mostly just find resources on the web via Google. I half-seriously wonder if lots of other developers made the same transition and eroded O'Reilly's original and sane-seeming business model.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

masklinn (823351) | about 8 years ago | (#15956959)

I think most devs still read books, but O'Reilly's collection is only used for the classics (the camel book for example), there are quite a few other publishers with very good stuff.

Declining quality of O'Reilly books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957066)

The older O'Reilly books were good, but I've been disappointed with their newer books. It just seems like the quality has been dropping. Lately I've been buying more books from Wrox and Manning than from O'Reilly.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957124)

I just download their books from Russian websites and eMule. Cheaper and easier.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

neura (675378) | about 8 years ago | (#15957205)

Yeah, about the time they had their legal team prevent another conference from using "Web 2.0" in the name of the conference, I cancelled my safari subscription and I will never buy another book from them, again.

Now it's looking more and more like the right choice.

@O'Reilly: GG NEWBS

Re:In all seriousness... (3, Informative)

nuzak (959558) | about 8 years ago | (#15957215)

> When did O'Reilly stop being about making quality books and stuff and start being about creating buzzwords and catchphrases (

Around the time the "Hacks" series came out. Those are some seriously crappy books, almost without exception.

Manning Press has some really nice books out these days with the "In Action" series.

Re:In all seriousness... (2, Interesting)

Stringer Bell (989985) | about 8 years ago | (#15957525)

I was surprised by the general shittiness of Ruby In a Nutshell [oreilly.com] . I found it difficult to use to actually learn ruby. On a co-worker's recommendation, I picked up a copy of Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide [pragmaticprogrammer.com] , which I've been much more happy with.

That's the first O'Reilly book I've encountered that's been so thoroughly unsatisfactory. A shame, really. I'd like to believe this is an exception to the rule rather than the harbinger of a general downard trend in the quality of O'Reilly books.

Interesting show (-1, Offtopic)

JBHarris (890771) | about 8 years ago | (#15956888)

A bit offtopic, but anyway, where goes...
I watched that show for the first time EVER last night. I was appauled that the 'fair & balanced' new channel allowed him to provide a 'perspective' on the recent NSA wiretap that involved one 'expert' who was nothing more than an ex-speech writer for G.W. Bush. The opening question...."Does this judge want people to die?"

Somehow there was a jump from 'protecting the US Constitution' to 'wanting Americans to die'.

I'm just really worried that Fox news is where most Americans get their news...Flair & Baised.

Brad

Re:Interesting show (1)

JBHarris (890771) | about 8 years ago | (#15956906)

I wish I could mod my own post, -1 offtopic and -10,000 dumbass who didn't RTFA.

Sorry,
Brad

Re:Interesting show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957027)

That and you just attacked the hell out of Papa Bear. You're bound to incur the wrath of the Colbert Nation with that post. :)

O RLY? YA RLY! (1)

knight37 (864173) | about 8 years ago | (#15956890)

Its good to know that our language is being protected by these companies.

The End of Make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956931)

So, I guess all the anti-trademark Boing-Boing hipsters involved with Make Magazine will be quitting in protest?

please trademark netizens and website (0, Flamebait)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 8 years ago | (#15956942)

Dear O'Reilly: Please trademark netizens and Website. Also, feel free to flip through the dictionary and trademark any other dumb word you can. Then, sue everyone that uses those words. The legal system will be so inundated that I'll get tons more work as an IT consultant implementing test cases or what have you for the cases.
Thanks,
signed everyone

oh please please *crosses fingers* (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956962)

Please trademark "GINORMOUS" .. please.. and defend it vigorously.

Re:oh please please *crosses fingers* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957237)

... and the verb 'leverage' where it means jack shit else than 'use'.

Re:oh please please *crosses fingers* (1)

kinglink (195330) | about 8 years ago | (#15957248)

I'd give money to the legal defense of that trademark.

Also "slippery slope" everyone uses it to defend anything they don't like. There's a couple more I could definatly live with out too.

Re:oh please please *crosses fingers* (1)

kaizenfury7 (322351) | about 8 years ago | (#15957270)

It has come to our attention that you have leveraged* the word 'ginormous' in your Slashdot post dated August 22. Through this post, you are misrepresenting* and readers are given the direct and false impression that you are providing them with an intelligent reply with a humoristic* upside*.

We hereby demand that you immediately cease and desist from using 'ginormous' in your posts and from making further any use of the word in future posts or any word that uses similar letters, pronunciation, and spelling. We further demand that you provide us with written assurance within ten days that you will cease to use the word in future posts. If these demands are not met, you may face a ginormous(tm) fine and possible jail time.

* Trademark pending

Yayy (2)

joshetc (955226) | about 8 years ago | (#15956963)

Thank god, now finally the damn buzz-word will be gone forever.

On a related note, does that mean I could trademark something like "Apple 8.7" just for fun?

Re:Yayy (4, Funny)

rainman_bc (735332) | about 8 years ago | (#15957033)

Thank god, now finally the damn buzz-word will be gone forever.

Now what'll we use to impress C level management??? Hard work??? I want more jargon! All I have left is Ajax!

Web Shite(tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15956986)

The reality of Web2.0(tm)

What's wrong with a trademark? (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | about 8 years ago | (#15956993)

When you apply for a trademark, you are applying for exclusive use of a given mark for a particular business area. If O'Reilly registers the phrase "Maker Faire" as a trademark for the business of trade conferences, what exactly is wrong with that? Most people wouldn't argue that it would probably be wrong for somebody to start up some mom-n-pop copy store and call it "FedEx Kinko's." They can't do that, because the real FedEx Kinko's has registered that mark as a trademark. Similarly, if O'Reilly invests a considerable amount of money to organize, advertise, staff, and otherwise produce a trade show and they have decided on a name for that trade show, why on earth should they not trademark that name?? If some "Irish scallywag" moved to Palo Alto next week and threw together a fly-by-night trade show under the name "Maker Faire," how could it conceivably not damage the equity O'Reilly has invested in that brand? Protecting business investments is the purpose of trademarks.

NEWS FLASH: The name "Slashdot" is trademarked. Shock! Horror!

Re:What's wrong with a trademark? (1)

jamsessionjay (802511) | about 8 years ago | (#15957176)

Didn't the World Wildlife Fund bring a lawsuit against the World Wrestling Federation for trademark infringement? And the whole Apple computer company fight against the Apple record label? These are hardly in the same category, but lawsuits were still brought up and won.

Re:What's wrong with a trademark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957210)

The whole idea of patents is to patent something that YOU personally created. If O'Reilly did, in fact, create the term "Maker Faire" then they have every right try to protect it. However (and I don't know) if they're just trying to patent a phrase that they heard someone else say or is common lexicon, or waited until a random phrase they made up has made it into common lexicon before trying to patent it, then they are just trying to patent common words that many people use so they can sue them.
Patenting of a word in the common lexicon should always be denied.
If you create a new word and want to protect it, then you should apply for a patent on that word the moment you slap it on some product of yours, and long before it becomes common lexicon.

Re:What's wrong with you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957374)

You can't patent a word, idiot. Jesus, is everyone on Slashdot absolutely clueless about intellectual property???

Trademark != Patent != Copyright

Wikipedia if you must, but damn, teach yourself something before commenting on it.

These make sense (4, Informative)

Plutor (2994) | about 8 years ago | (#15957005)

1) Maker Faire, Netizen, and Web 2.0 are all registered for a single use: Conferences. They named a conference and they should be allowed to protect that name. If someone started running their own thing and couldn't come up with a name so they called it E3 or PCExpo, you'd expect the holders of those trademarks to sue, no?

2) The "Website" trademark application was also for a single use, in this case "computer software used to create a server on a global computer network..". Apparently, O'Reilly used to make a piece of software called "Website Professional [geotrust.com] ", and it was this uninspired name they were trying to protect. Again, color me unsurprised.

This entire argument has gone back and forth a million times already, so it's kind of pointless. People who are anti-trademarks will argue that this is word-squatting and that "netizen" and "web 2.0" are public domain words. People who aren't will argue that the trademarks only cover their original uses by O'Reilly and thus using the word(s) netizen on a website or a newspaper or even the cover of a best-selling book is not infringement.

Great! (0, Offtopic)

Screwy1138 (976897) | about 8 years ago | (#15957011)

We need more of this. The more obviously fraudulent patent claims that go in, the closer we'll get to patent reform.

Seriously.

Re:Great! (1)

Brunellus (875635) | about 8 years ago | (#15957286)

patent!=trademark

Dang, didn't realize... (1)

Cheetahfeathers (93473) | about 8 years ago | (#15957025)

It's April 1st again already? ;P

patents != trademark (1, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | about 8 years ago | (#15957060)

Common editors, you have been doing this for how long, and you still don't know the difference between patents and trademarks?

Re:patents != trademark (5, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | about 8 years ago | (#15957113)

USPTO = United States Patent and Trademark Office.

This means that in the US:
Patent Office = USPTO
Trademark Office = USPTO

So, even though patent != trademark, we can still conclude that:
Patent Office = Trademark Office

Re:patents != trademark (1)

FormOfActionBanana (966779) | about 8 years ago | (#15957202)

You just assigned Trademark Office to Patent Office.

I think you meant to conclude that Patent Office == Trademark Office.

Now we leave it as an exercise to the reader to check my grammar and apostrophes.

Re:patents != trademark (1)

Error27 (100234) | about 8 years ago | (#15957564)

No. The headline was misleading and sucky.

Patent law is important but complaining about trademarks is for weenies.

Re:patents != trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957147)

The word "common" refers to something that is easily obtainable. When used to refer to people, it's a put-down of the lower classes by the upper class -- to be common is to lack distinction or taste. The Slashdot editors may indeed be common, but that is not what you meant to say.

You meant to use the two-word phrase "come on," which is an exclamation demanding that someone give up their pretense and/or commence with action.

Many people slur the phrase so that it sounds like one word. To render this dialect in print, an apostrophe is often used: "C'mon."

O'Reilly Lawyers Set Up Shop in the Patent Office (1)

MarkByers (770551) | about 8 years ago | (#15957089)

On the same day Netizens fumed over the trademarking of Web 2.0 (R), lawyers for O'Reilly were beating a path to the USPTO to file for a trademark on MAKER FAIRE, lest some Irish scallywag try to co-opt that catchy phrase for a conference. Speaking of NETIZENS, USPTO records show O'Reilly once sought a trademark for that term. And while details are sketchy, USPTO records also indicate that O'Reilly not only sought to trademark the term WEBSITE, it was the plaintiff in a scheduled Trademark Trial involving a defendant who laid claim to the phrase WEB CITE.


So what does this have to do with Patents? It's the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Are you trying to confuse us on purpose?

time for a boycott? (-1, Offtopic)

Yonder Way (603108) | about 8 years ago | (#15957097)

I want to read up on this more before I decide to act, but like a lot of other people here I spend hundreds of dollars every year on O'Reilly books and probably once every year or two make it out to one of their conferences. I am seriously considering a total boycott of their products and conferences because of all of the stories surfacing of using their lawyers to achieve absurd business objectives.

If O'Reilly is going to be abusive of the patent system, I really don't want to fund a company that encourages their legal department to be so overly litigious. There are plenty of other good publishers out there now of technical books. Until now I had been loyal to O'Reilly because their books are generally good and have historically done a great job of documenting open systems and open source software. It would be a shame to find they are undoing all of that good karma that they earned with the community.

Yes, it's time to boycott O'Reilly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957338)

Web 2.0 got the ball rolling, but apparently O'Reilly has been doing this for years. "Netizen?" "Website?!"

It's time. I haven't bought an O'Reilly book in ages (mostly because I haven't found any that appear to actually be useful), but seeing that O'Reilly has attempted to own common Internet jargon for years means it's time to step that up to an actual official boycott.

There's no reason anyone can give, anywhere, that can justify attempting to trademark "website". It'd be like attempting to trademark "kernel". It's just ridiculous.

And what's worse, they attempted to sue someone with a trademark on "web cite" that, while a bad pun, at least makes sense.

So, yes, it's time to officially start the boycott.

Hi, I'm Lizzy Fair (3, Funny)

spun (1352) | about 8 years ago | (#15957112)

Have you people never heard of the tragedy of the commons? Words and phrases that are owned "collectively" will be mismanaged into meaninglessness. Ideally, every possible combination of characters and punctuation will be owned by someone. Only then will our words be safe from the evil communists seeking to collectivize our precious language.

Comment from 2016 (5, Funny)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | about 8 years ago | (#15957146)

Slashdot is one of my favourite [REDACTED], because it keeps me informed on all the recent developments in the exciting fields of [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and Doctor Who.

I use my [REDACTED]-aggregator for quick access to all of the cool articles, and then follow the underlined [REDACTED] to other [REDACTED] with related information! Easy as 1-2-[REDACTED]!

Of course, paying the IP tax to read certain words like [REDACTED], [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] can be a bit of a pain, but [I HEARTILY ENDORSE ALL ACTIONS OF THE PATENT OFFICE]!

Your friend,
[REDACTED]

Such Patent Abusers should be sued (0)

unity100 (970058) | about 8 years ago | (#15957175)

And the lawsuits has to be class action lawsuits. So that nobody should be able to try to patent a PUBLIC, EVERYDAY word and get away unscathed even they are unsuccessful.

Re:Such Patent Abusers should be sued (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957305)

You can't patent a word. You can however, be granted a trademark to PROTECT a good or service in a market that you produce.

Furthermore, PUBLIC, EVERYDAY words are trademarked ALL THE TIME and HAVE BEEN FOR OVER A HUNDRED YEARS and that fact hasn't hurt you one bit.

Re:Such Patent Abusers should be sued (1)

chromatic (9471) | about 8 years ago | (#15957454)

So that nobody should be able to try to patent a PUBLIC, EVERYDAY word...

I realize the difference between a patent and a trademark is exceedingly subtle, but you can tell them apart because they're completely different things. (I was lying about the difference being subtle.)

Obligatory (1)

jrmiller84 (927224) | about 8 years ago | (#15957182)

Doesn't matter, he's still a blubbering vagina. [thebestpag...iverse.net]

Not OReilly's fault (2, Insightful)

cl0r0x70 (723611) | about 8 years ago | (#15957184)

As a small business owner, I know that often you have to file patents and trademarks defensively.

In other words, it may not be that O'Reilly particularly wants to grab the term and vindictively go after people who use it, but rather that they felt the need to trademark the phrase to protect themselves from someone who may try to do it first and then go after them. My guess is that any name O'Reilly chose would've been trademarked, regardless of how novel it was.

This is probably more a product of our ridiculous trademark/patenting/copyright system than O'Reilly par se.

Re:Not OReilly's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957582)

Its not O'Reilly's fault they want to trademark "website" and "netizens"?

Give me a break. There is no legal imperative to do that.

Lawyers (1)

olddotter (638430) | about 8 years ago | (#15957199)

Patents, Trademarks, and Lawyers might all be a form of legal cancer. Worse its a cancer you can only defend against by getting cancer yourself.

They are all cancerous growths on society.

That Potato Farming Bastard!!! (0, Troll)

eno2001 (527078) | about 8 years ago | (#15957211)

Bill O'Reilly really makes my blood boil. He's such a BIG FAT LIAR it's so sad! Now he's trying to do something to the patent system too! What's he gonna do, get the Fox security team on their cases?

Re:That Potato Farming Bastard!!! (1)

redneckHippe (744945) | about 8 years ago | (#15957568)

Keith is that you?
R.H.

They who trademark clipart (0, Flamebait)

Black Art (3335) | about 8 years ago | (#15957226)

O'Reilly has all sorts of "interesting" trademarks. They have trademarked the Camel on the Perl books. (You know, the one(s) taken from the Dover Animals clipart book.) They will trademark just about anything if they think it will give them an "edge".

I wonder just how much they pay to Dover for all the clipart they use on their covers that have been taken from Dover clipart books. Damn little I bet.

Re:They who trademark clipart (1)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | about 8 years ago | (#15957298)

O'Reilly has all sorts of "interesting" trademarks. They have trademarked the Camel on the Perl books.

Considering that many people refer to the O'Reilly perl books simply as "the camel book" and the "llama book", I don't think O'Reilly is out of line. Clearly people (or at least IT people) mentally link the O'Reilly perl book to the image of the camel (and llama), so a trademark is perfectly reasonable.

Re:They who trademark clipart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957539)

I wonder just how much they pay to Dover for all the clipart they use on their covers that have been taken from Dover clipart books. Damn little I bet.

That's kind of the point of clipart.

O'Reilly has a track record of this kind of thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957246)

It doesn't surpise me in the least that O'Reilly is doing this, nor that they sought to trademark the term WEBSITE.

A while back, O'Reilly also filed a lawsuit against Manning Publishing for using animals on the book covers. Ridiculous, and a nasty thing to do against a smaller (but excellent) publishing company. In case you didn't know, they won that round too, and Manning changed their covers.

Pigs.

Look out, you had better not publish anything with the word "Reference" in it, or you could be sued by O'Reilly.

What happened, O'Reilly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957350)

Your technical reference books used to be cool. Then, getting them on bittorrent was even cooler. Now, you're just not the same... What happened, O'Reilly???

What O'Reilly Should TM (1)

lbmouse (473316) | about 8 years ago | (#15957380)

IMHO the only thing O'Reilly is qualified to even attempt to trademark would be "Shitty Books" and/or "Crappy Conferences".

pft....yea...trademarks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15957392)

doo doo dooo...hey where did that castle come from?

Next up! (1)

AdamWeeden (678591) | about 8 years ago | (#15957433)

BLOGOSPHERE!

WEB SITE(tm), WEB CITE(tm)... (1)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | about 8 years ago | (#15957554)

...what about WEB SIGHT(sic)(tm)?
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