Friday, May 27, 2011
If anyone thinks it’s cute to register a domain name that is a misspelling of a well known company, and then either park it to offer links that companies pay for, or come up with scams and “surveys”, leading to wake-up cell phone texts, I’d say, don’t do it. It’s trademark infringement. The trademark holder have every right to go after “you” for trademark dilution. I suppose most of these “sites” are hosted offshore and are harder to go after, maybe. Yesterday, I got a good comment on my Internet Safety blog about a Feb. 27 posting on a “social survey” scam based on misspelling “Facebook”.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
My legal name is “John William Boushka” and my nickname has always been “Bill Boushka” which I used as a pen name for my “Do Ask Do Tell” books.
I looked up the question as to whether a pen name can become a trademark, and found a site called “PublishLawyer” with a general page on trademarks. Generally, yes, if it’s not someone else’s name, too, and doesn’t infringe on anyone. The link is here. Note that a “trade name” is not the same as a trademark, the latter of which needs to become associated with a specific product or service (as a brand).
How many people know romance novels by author name in a grocery store? It seems to me that “Nora Roberts” sounds like a real trademark, for a particular “brand” of fiction.
There is talk that Twitter ID’s will become the subject of trademark controversy. Some artists have become clever with their Twitter names, to the point that they become to sell the artists as if they were brands. Will corporations start cracking down on “twitter squatters?” Here’s a post on that (link).