[consulting] Trademark policy [OT]

Eric Tucker eric at semperex.com
Wed Aug 12 22:47:51 UTC 2009

----- "Evan Leibovitch" <evan at telly.org> wrote: 
> George D. DeMet wrote: 
> > That's exactly correct, in order for the word Drupal to lose its 
> > trademark protection through becoming genericized, the word would need 
> > to become so widely used that people no longer recognized it as only 
> > referring to a specific product, but as a common term for any similar 
> > product. Some examples of words that have become genericized in this 
> > way and lost their trademark protection include Aspirin (still a 
> > trademark in Canada and many European countries, but not the U.S.), 
> > escalator, pilates, yo-yo, and Zipper. 
> This actually makes its way to court from time to time. I think the most 
> famous case -- one that helped to define the concept -- was in 1958 when 
> a company called Aladdin started selling "thermos bottles". The Thermos 
> company wasn't too pleased, but the court ruled that the term had indeed 
> become generic enough to describe competitive products. 

Because the term Drupal is still known primarily to those who own or operate web sites, it does not reach into "common use" vocabulary? 

If the term does not reach into the wider public, is it at less risk? 

> > So while I suppose one technically could try to use the word "Drupal" 
> > to refer to something completely unrelated to Web software or 
> > communications like, say, a brand of kitchen sink, I still wouldn't 
> > recommend it. ;-) 
> Stranger things have happened: 
> http://www.levenez.com/unix/other/ 

At least in America, since it's outside in the domain of what Drupal is used for ... seems less likely this would cause problems? Since one can in principle trademark a certain term in a certain domain whether or not it is used in another as long as not in the same domain, if the term is in a different domain but does not meet the standards of "common use" is the trademark not still valid? 
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