Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bricks and mortar trademark infringement of designer goods results in arrests in VA

A police raid at a store near Manassas, VA, about 30 miles from Washington DC, netted illegal imitations of goods by Gucci, Coach and Versace brands. This case amounts to “criminal” trademark infringement.

A more common form of criminal infringement is the use of trademarks in phishing attacks sent by spam. Infringement in the bricks and mortar world had become less frequent, it seemed, until today. It used to be common in the 1950s and 1960s even with counterfeit long playing records.

ABC affiliate WJLA in Arlington VA has a news story here.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

More accidental name similarities: Microsoft and the "gay community" even have a synonym

More and more I stumble across totally unrelated business or political/social entities using almost the same name.

There are a bunch of gay-lesbian oriented free newspapers owned by a LLC called “Window Media” (link), including the Washington Blade. I noticed this again yesterday when I found a story about the new ENDA legislation in the Senate in the Southern Voice. I recall the origins of the company from the days that I lived in Dallas in the 1980s, I think. Notice that the word "window" is singular here.

Then yesterday I noticed, after an accidental touchpad click on my laptop, the omnipresent “Windows Media Center” from Microsoft on my new Dell XPS laptop. This happened five minutes after I read the ENDA story, triggering my “short term memory” which I guess I still have at 66. Of course, the Windows Media Player has been around for years.

There’s no confusion for me, since I know (and belong to) the GLBT community. But the coincidence of names struck me as odd, and probably accidental.

The USPTO generally allows the same wordmark to be used for different companies in totally different lines of business.