Friday, February 19, 2010

Maalox has the "opposite" trademark problem


Here’s a bizarre twist on the “trademark problem”. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is ordering Novartis to use a different brand name for its most potent form of “Maalox”, that is, “Maalox Total Relief” because some consumers might not realize it could have other side effects due to containing ingredients chemically similar to aspirin.

A typical story is with Portland OR station KGW and the AP, link (web url) here.

It’s perfectly appropriate for companies to own multiple brands, and sometimes they need to use separate brands to avoid confusing consumers.

I didn’t have any Maalox at home for a picture.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A note on my use of "do ask do tell" as a domain name, maybe a movie name


Let me reiterate my use of the phrase “Do Ask Do Tell” in my 1997 and 2002 books, and of my largest website doaskdotell.com.

It’s possible that future employment opportunities could force me to scale back my personal web presence, in ways that I may discuss later. In some situations that I can envision, it might not be possible for me to display my own material in a “free entry” fashion indefinitely. Furthermore, some time in 2010, my material may very well be restructured and simplified.

I don’t claim that “do ask do tell” is a trademark, but I am committed personally to using the term for the foreseeable future in conjunction with a certain social mindset, that has arisen in reaction to the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy.

I do envision a motion picture based loosely on some materials in the 1997 book (greatly reorganized) and I would want to be able to use the “Do Ask Do Tell” to lead off the movie title. If there were to be considerable trimming or removal of material from sites to avoid potential employment conflicts, they would not go so far as to credibly prevent my keeping the registration of the doaskdotell domain. More details may come later if necessary.

USPTO still shows only one DEAD registration of the phrase from the middle 1990s.

IMDB does not show any film names starting with this phrase, neither does Sundance. However, there are films called "Ask Not" and "Do Tell".


Generally, movie and book titles are not regarded as trademarks until they have sequels and become “franchises” (like Lionsgate’s “Saw” franchise).