Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Jun 2011 22:46 UTC
In the News As we reported earlier this week, Apple is busy sending out cease and desist letters to small, defenceless projects to defend its trademark application (it doesn't actually own the trademark yet) for 'app store'. This has prompted many a discussion over the trademarkability of such a generic term, and over the origins of the abbreviation 'app'. Who came up with it? How old is it? To my surprise - the abbreviation is much older than you'd think, and in a way, it illustrates quite well the demise of the programmer. What? Read on.
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RE[2]: This is a red herring
by MOS6510 on Sat 25th Jun 2011 06:11 UTC in reply to "RE: This is a red herring"
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Did you popularize this term then?

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: This is a red herring
by Neolander on Sat 25th Jun 2011 06:43 in reply to "RE[2]: This is a red herring"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

The question is interesting nonetheless.

Can a company legally use a trademark on a word or expression that has become the commonplace way of describing a concept ?

As an example, I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that in the UK, people don't use "to vacuum clean" all so often. To describe the action of using a powerful electric pump to suck up everything in the floor of a room*, "to hoover" is preferred. Should the Hoover Company have the right to sue all illegal uses of the term ?




* And this reminds me of a webcomic gag about a "suck for a buck" sign and a messy room =_= I spend too much time on the internet.

Edited 2011-06-25 06:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: This is a red herring
by rhavyn on Sat 25th Jun 2011 06:53 in reply to "RE[3]: This is a red herring"
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

Should the Hoover Company have the right to sue all illegal uses of the term ?


Yes or they risk their trademark becoming genericized and potentially losing it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genericized_trademark and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_dilution to understand why a company must defend it's trademarks and marks it would like to use as trademarks if it wants to keep them.

Reply Parent Score: 2