Wednesday, January 20, 2021

EFF mentions a supposed "patent troll" that might play a major role in the automated contact tracing you need to collar COVID19 (in conjunction with Rapid Tests)

Deer Creek Reservoir


Joe Mullin has an important story on patent trolling and contact tracing software, in Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “stupid patent of the month” series, link

A contact tracing app would keep track of sustained proximity to any other phone of a person in a system who had tested positive, and whose result was record on their phone.  It would also let you know about secondary exposures where the intermediate person had not been tested yet.  But there would various rules on duration of exposure, and on recording of tests to the phones.

South Korea is good at this, and they could certainly overtake what seems acceptable for civil liberties.

But a company in Utah called Blyncsy seems to claim a patent on cell-phone contact tracing.

But the company has a video explaining what the company does, from young CEO Mark Pittman.  The YT video shows their side of this.

So this could be a secondary issue for making rapid testing and tracing for Covid work.  And it can be critical for avoiding the worst of the lockdowns.  

Maybe a big problem.  Somebody need to oversee all the pieces and "connect the dots".  Biden will need to look at this.  Viva Frei (an attorney in Montreal who makes funny YT videos on kooky legal problems) should look at this one. 

Picture of Deer Creek Reservoir, embed from Wikipedia, click for attribution 

Sunday, January 03, 2021

A note on my own brand names (after 2021)


Me at 17

Just a note on my own marks.

My domain name expires on December 2, 2021.

I still use the names “” for a concept domain started in 2006 (following and old java starter domain whose host went under) and (based on my legal name) has my old mainframe IT resume site.

I expect to consolidate the use of these domains at the end of 2021.  I will use (although right now I use j and john on social media because of real name policies) because these are the names on my books.  I will approach the social media companies about the change to “bill” toward the end of 2021.  But there is a possibility I could settle on “john.w” instead.

More details will be announced soon on my Wordpress domains.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Fashion designer Hayley Paige and her use of her own name as a trademark (given a contract)


MD state park

There is a bizarre trademark dispute between wedding gown designer Hayley Paige Guttman and company JM Couture over the use of her own name as a brand. Apparently the company believes it can control how she uses her own name as a trademark because of a previous contractual or employment agreement.

The Stimulus bill included a provision to stop trademark trolling and it might discourage this kind of arrangement.  That sounds like a good question.

Her situation has a rough parallel to my “conflict of interest” in the 1990s.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Trademark fair use: a strange cease and desist from a cheese consortium



Triton Park, MD

 “Lawful Masses with Leonard French” explains geographic or PDO (products of designating origin)  trademarks in discussing Grana Padano cheese, belonging to an Italian consortium.

He says that in the US there is a “trademark fair use” which is related to making comparisons to other marks.

He says that trademark law does not allow monopolizing ordinary words (like my “do ask do tell”) from use by unrelated products.

There is “nominative” fair use, and “descriptive”.

The video discusses a cease and desist sent to a particular cheese manufacturer, Gavin Webber.

The manufacturer depicted the letter on YouTube but did a takedown in five days. But eventually he got an apology for the bogus “counterfeiting letter”.  But there is a duty to report denigration of a mark in Europe.  In the US, there is a duty to enforce a trademark to keep it but not the same with copyright.

But usually, French says, it is OK to reverse engineer a product and describe how to make one similar as long as you don’t use the same name for your product and that there was no trade secret compromised.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

One more year for my wordmark (as it stands now)


My book cover, 1997

A couple of notes about my “doaskdotell” mark (and domain and book series title).

Wednesday this week was December 2.  A year from that date, a Thursday in 2021, the domain name expires.  At this point I do not believe it will be renewed unless I can set up a much more “commercial” setting for it.

If we start coming out of the pandemic (with the vaccines) and it become reasonable to travel by air again (maybe a lot), I can imagine some negotiations that could happen. One use would be data tracking, for other things besides coronavirus, say climate change.

The other big issue is the screenplay “Epiphany”, which uses the three DADT books retrospectively, and get that cleaned up enough that the work is professional in quality and can be registered.  I am enrolled in the Practical Screenwriting course and Facebook group.

But absent a specific development, the book series would stay available as POD extra year, through the end of 2022.  More will be said about this on the DADTNotes blog soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

When can your name be a trademark?


Is your name (with uniqueness identifiers for multiples, of course) a trademark? 

It is at least a wordmark.  But it doesn’t become a trademark unless your public use of it causes commercial transactions and make money (that, in a social sense, could support you or other people). The transactions could come from direct consumers, advertisers, governments, other companies. But there need to be transactions.

Cryptocurrency counts.  It may be that some day we will consider user analytics as a kind of cryptocurrency.  We might even look at “social credit” that way.

The problem could come up if web hosts or even social media platforms cut services if their ability to function is severely impacted by the pandemic, with lockdowns and even employee illness, as the pandemic seems to be exploding.

You might own a domain name but a scenario could come up where you might not get service if you don’t generate “essential transactions”.  That is what I would fear could be an outcome, and it might be hard to get it going again. 

In extreme cases in the past (Charlottesville), socially destructive entities have been denied both domain names and web hosting.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Remarks about the future of my own wordmarks (, and my two personal names)


Recently, I have posted on a Wordpress domain a statement about the contents of my screenplay “Epiphany”, and a possible estimate of when I might file it with a Writers Guild and enter a pitchfest, and any issues concerning my wordmark, which has never been officially registered with USPTO.

The mark expires on Dec. 2, 2021 (in about thirteen months).

Given a lot of issues floating around with regard to Internet content, security, and even the possibility of challenges to security resulting from both disruptions from the pandemic and ideological enmity overseas, I do believe that by that time, it will be more problematic for someone to attempt to use a domain with a “common words” name for a soapbox unless there is legitimate transactional commercial business behind it (a record of selling things) or some kind of recognized institutional (non-profit) or corporate support from third parties.  That’s why I don’t at this time expect to keep the current “” site up as is after Dec. 2, 2021, and I do expect the availability of the blogs (WP and Blogger) to end as of Jan. 1, 2022. 

Instead, I would expect to make the site based on my nickname to become the one site with all my content.  There may be a second site on blockchain (like Minds, etc). 

I would expect to discontinue the old resume site based on the legal name “John W Boushka” and be known only as “Bill Boushka”.  Online, this is a bit of a problem in social media right now as I use “J” or “John” consistently, partly because Facebook used to require legal names only for user accounts (that has since been relaxed to allow nicknames).  How that will be handled is not settled yet, and may not be until about the start of 2022.

“Bill Boushka” would become my own “trademark” or wordmark. There is an old "legacy concept" site by that name now (from 2006) that would be archived and replaced with a new format (including Wordpress) in mid 2021. 

I am encouraging the idea that “” could be used for issue data tracking (including covid or pandemics now, and maybe climate change later), and there might be more discussions of this idea in “early” 2021, after inauguration and our volatile political climate hopefully settles down. 

Picture: a high "glacier" at Tioga Pass, CA (2012).