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Sender: "ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
X-To: Bill Abel <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2006 13:07:03 -0500
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems the service mark is
actually for "Web 2.0" and NOT "Web 2.0 Conference".

You can find more information at the following address:

Now I am no intellectual property (IP) lawyer, but I have some past
experiences in service marks and trademarks.  Common name or not
present day, was it common back in 2003?  What cannot be marked are
the terms Web and 2.0 by themselves.  "Web 2.0" as one term was able
to be marked.

A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any
combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and
distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods
manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the
goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.

A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination,
used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish
the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to
indicate the source of the services.

CMP filed for the servicemark in 11/2003 and it is now registered with
the USPTO as the following goods and services:

1) "Arranging and conducting live events, namely, trade shows,
expositions and business conferences in various fields, namely,
computers, communications, and information technology."

2) "Organizing and conducting educational conferences, tutorials and
workshops in the fields of computers, communication and information

You cannot register a mark if it is confusingly similar to trademarks
previously applied for, registered or established by another. Two
trademarks are considered confusingly similar if they are so like each
other that they can be confused and (as a main rule) refer to goods or
services of the same or similar kind.

I am not sure where "Web 2.0 Conference" came from, but I wanted to
point this out since it really does impact future use of the term "Web
2.0" and how or where it can be used.

Basically, if you wanted to add the term "Web 2.0" to a product name
it would be fine by law.  However, if you are conducting educational
conferences, tutorials and workshops at live events, you may not use
the term "Web 2.0".

Hope I was able to lend a bit of information to the conversation which
did not perviously exist.


On 6/8/06, Bill Abel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Jun 7, 2006, at 11:27 PM, Jared M. Spool wrote:
> > It turns out Pepsi (and Coca Cola too) hires college students by
> > the droves, sends them to restuarants that serve Pepsi, and pays
> > them to order a "coke." If the staff doesn't ask the question, they
> > report it to Pepsi's legal team who sends out a stern letter
> > warning the restaurant to defend the trademark.
> Actually, Coke is a unique name which refers to a product. Unique
> names are very easily protected by trademark law. Furthermore, Coca-
> Cola protected the name from the start. It was never used by Coca-
> Cola as a synonym for a soft drink.
> In contrast, Web 2.0 has been used as a generic term to describe any
> websites using certain technology. It does not refer to a product or
> service.
> > In order to prevent losing a trademark, you have to diligently
> > protect it. That means sending out stern letters. Aspirin was once
> > a trademark of Bayer. Tissues were once a trademark of Kleenex
> > Corporation. Floppy Disk was once a trademark of IBM. All were lost
> > because the trademark owners weren't diligent.
> These are good examples and there are many others. Once a name, even
> a unique name, becomes a common term, then it loses all protection
> under trademark law. This is why I think O'Reilly has a problem. They
> haven't protected the term Web 2.0 which is the truly unique name.
> > O'Reilly has not trademarked "Web 2.0." They've only trademarked
> > "The Web 2.0 Conference." As I mentioned before, you or anyone else
> > can hold a conference about web 2.0 concepts. You just can't call
> > it what O'Reilly calls it. (Being that I run a conference called
> > the "User Interface Conference," this notion of trademark falls
> > very near and dear to my heart.)
> While the name The Web 2.0 Conference would have some protection
> under trademark law, it would be hard to keep someone else from
> describing their conference as "a Web 2.0 conference", just as it
> would be difficult to keep someone from describing a conference as "a
> user interface conference". That's the problem with using common
> terms and words as names. If you don't like that, then you shouldn't
> use such a generic name.
> > It seems you have the chronology wrong: O'Reilly created the Web
> > 2.0 Conference before the term was a "general description." One
> > could argue that it became general because the conference series
> > was such a success. Should O'Reilly be punished and lose the
> > ability to control its own properties just because they had a
> > successful idea?
> Given this, the term Web 2.0 could have been protected, but I
> seriously doubt a court would believe O'Reilly ever meant to protect
> the term Web 2.0 given the way it has been used by them. It's been
> used as a technical term to describe a new use of technology - not a
> product or service  - which is what trademarks protect.
> I've been reading about 'Web 2.0' for a long time now and this
> discussion is the first I've ran across where the name was claimed as
> a trademark. There obviously is no effort to protect the name Web 2.0.
> > Do you feel O'Reilly also shouldn't own trademarks on their "Where
> > 2.0 Conference" or their "Telephony 2.0 Conference"? At what point
> > does something go from obviously being a trademark to when it is "a
> > general description"?
> >
> I think any company should own trademarks as long as they treat them
> as such. However, if Coca-cola started referring to all soft drinks
> as 'coke' in their advertising, and corporate culture, I doubt a
> court would take them seriously if they changed their mind later and
> wanted to protect the term as a trademark. I wouldn't.
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