Linked by David Adams on Wed 16th Dec 2009 18:27 UTC
Legal Last week, OSNews received an interesting email from a German attorney. It informed us that a company called Smartbook AG has a trademark in several countries to the term "Smartbook" and admonished us (semi-threateningly) not to use the term for anything but his client's company's products. Our first reaction was, "huh?" But a quick search reminded us that several companies, most notably Qualcomm, have started referring to low-power mini-notebooks as smartbooks. It turns out that OSNews, and many other news sources, have been caught in a trademark dispute between Smartbook AG and Qualcomm. This prompted me to do a little research on trademark law.
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Reminds me of a similar mail we got
by timl on Wed 16th Dec 2009 19:47 UTC
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On the website of our study association, we mentioned another club and their location: the Portakabin next to a particular building.

Apparently, Portakabin was fearing for their brand of temporary, modular, movable "buildings" to become generic as well. So we got an email from an expensive sounding law firm, informing us of the trademark situation, and essentially forbidding us to use the name Portakabin for that particular location. It came complete with a large list of alternatives, some rather disparaging (like shed).

The kicker: that particular accommodation was actually the genuine article! It even prominently featured the name of the manufacturer.

So we promptly changed the wording on our website to a less flattering one, replied to the law firm that we would comply, included a link to the updated article, and cc-ed an address at Portakabin's domain ;) .

Not that we ever got a reaction, but the remaining 6 months that shed stood there, I always smiled with glee when I passed it by.

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