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From Louis Suárez-Potts <lui...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Apache Dataflow Incubator Proposal
Date Fri, 29 Jan 2016 04:15:17 GMT

> On 28 Jan 16, at 21:47, Greg Stein <gstein@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 6:29 PM, Doug Cutting <cutting@apache.org> wrote:
> 
>> On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 3:11 PM, Greg Stein <gstein@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> As a regular english word, "beam" cannot be trademarked, by others/us.
>> 
>> Like Windows® or Apple®?
> 
> 
> oh, snap. True.
> 
> Hrm. Given that, I'm confused why I keep hearing "oh, natural word, can't
> be trademarked."
> 
> Thx,
> -g

"Snap" is not yet trademarked, so you get off "free."

But do look at this: Very clear, clean, concise, comprehensible.

http://www.inta.org/TrademarkBasics/FactSheets/Pages/TrademarksvsGenericTermsFactSheet.aspx

Relevant quotes:

<quote/>

	• Fact Sheets Home
Trademarks vs. Generic Terms


Updated, June 2015


1. What is meant by “generic term”?

Generic terms are common words or terms, often found in the dictionary, that identify products
and services and are not specific to any particular source. It is not possible to register
as a trademark a term that is generic for the goods and/or services identified in the application.
If a trademark becomes generic, often as a result of improper use, rights in the mark may
no longer be enforceable.


2. Are generic terms considered a category of trademarks?

In assessing their suitability as trademarks, words can be divided into five categories. These
categories range from fanciful, invented words, which typically are strong trademarks, to
generic terms, which are not protectable at all. The stronger the mark, the more protection
it will be given against other marks.

The categories, ranked in decreasing order in terms of strength, are:

a. Fanciful Marks—coined (made-up) words that have no relation to the goods being described
(e.g., EXXON for petroleum products).

***b. Arbitrary Marks—existing words that contribute no meaning to the goods being described
(e.g., APPLE for computers).***

c. Suggestive Marks—words that suggest meaning or relation but that do not describe the
goods themselves (e.g., COPPERTONE for suntan lotion).

d. Descriptive Marks—marks that describe either the goods or a characteristic of the goods.
Often it is very difficult to enforce trademark rights in a descriptive mark unless the mark
has acquired a secondary meaning (e.g., SHOELAND for a shoe store).

e. Generic Terms—words that are the accepted and recognized description of a class of goods
or services (e.g., computer software, facial tissue).

</quote>

Interestingly, and perhaps not surprising to some of us, Windows™ is far more plausibly
a suitable descriptor of a software user interface that steps out of the confines of the command
line (which I prefer, as it happens) than Apple is of an electronic calculating engine made
of dirty silicon and shiny metal, colourful plastic, and exotic minerals. Unless, that is,
one thinks of what apple means in relation to tempting knowledge that goes beyond good and
evil.

Regarding "Beam." I think the items Inta.org offers give some guidance?

louis




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