Goat becomes latest victim in trademark lawsuit
A confused mountain goat was caught in the crossfire of the ongoing corporate trademark lawsuits filed by e-commerce retailer Sidecountry.com earlier this week.
The goat in question—a wild resident of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains，alleging trademark infringement of the popular e-tailer’s brand identity and logo. Legal representatives tell TGR that the goat, commonly referred to by hikers and land managers as “Bill E.,” intends to fight the charges.
The lawsuit alleges that Bill the Goat “bears striking resemblance to the likeness and bearing of the company’s fictitious brand mascot.”
In a public-facing marketing statement, Sidecountry.com spokesperson Mark Evers says that the company values both its customers and wildlife and wants.
“Nonetheless,” Evers says, “we will crush Bill the Goat Our goal is to punish and deter the defendant and make an example out of him.“
But despite the long odds and having a major corporate adversary, Bill the Goat remains undeterred. Since the lawsuit was unveiled days ago, approximately $1.7 million has been raised through a crowdfunding campaign dubbed #savethegoat organized by concerned citizens.
“Bill the Goat won’t be bullied!” Marcela Clark, an attorney representing the goat defendant, told TGR. “He’s been gallivanting in the high country for years now. And he’s got a right to goat as hard as he wants, wherever he wants!”
Google-Oracle lawsuit will be heard once again
This has been an ongoing issue and we’re crossing our fingers it will be over soon. One of our first years here, we started discussing the Google versus Oracle debate. Soon, people were claiming more Android rules were using Oracle code. The FTC then started investigating Google’s Android and Web Services. We thought the lawsuit would end soon but nothing. Oracle was reported to claim $1.16 billion in damages from Google and then a patent claim against Android was tossed out.
In 2012, Oracle said Google earns $10M a day. A lawsuit showed the world the first ‘Google Phone’ from 2006. A verdict was thought to arrive but the jury was deadlocked in Google vs Oracle copyright case.
Eventually, Google was cleared of patent infringement. Oracle’s Android patent and copyright claims were dismissed. Oracle lost again and was ordered to pay Google’s legal fees. It continued to fight Google’s ‘fair use’ ruling with an appeal.
Fast forward to three years later, Google’s Android profits revealed in lawsuit vs Oracle were possibly around $31 billion. Oracle’s lawsuit against Android was still on. It wanted $9.3B in damages.
Google and Oracle have once again failed to agree on a settlement. Google surprisingly won a $9 billion ruling over Oracle with fair use affirmed by the court. The fight isn’t over as Oracle continues the legal fight with Google. The last we heard was that Oracle may be paid billions of dollars by Google as an earlier ruling was reversed.
Over a year later, we’re about to learn an update as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear an appeal from Google. Oracle still insists on the $8.8 billion in damages. The court said it will review a previous decision that concluded Google violated the copyrights of Oracle. The case is expected to be resolved by July next year.
Google has been arguing that the ruling has actually “upended the computer industry’s longstanding expectation that developers are free to use software interfaces to build new computer programs”. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said, “There is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform.”
Oracle only wants one thing: that copyright protections for original software will be preserved. Deborah Hellinger, an Oracle representative said: “We are confident the Supreme Court will preserve long-established copyright protections for original software and reject Google’s continuing efforts to avoid responsibility for copying Oracle’s innovations. In the end, a finding that Google infringed Oracle’s original works will promote, not stifle, future innovation.”
The case will go back to a jury in California once Oracle wins this time. The court will only then decide how much will be paid by Google. If Google wins, then the case is over.
FOX Trademarks 'OK Boomer,' but Can You Own a Meme?
福克斯商标为“ OK Boomer”，但是否可以拥有网络语商标呢？
FOX Searchlight has filed an application to secure the trademark for "OK Boomer," the popular catchphrase being used to denigrate members of the generation born between 1946 and 1964.
福克斯探照灯企业提交了申请，以保护“ OK Boomer”商标，这是一句流行语，用于贬低1946年至1964年之间出生的这一代成员。
Trademark lawyer Josh Gerben posted the filing on Twitter, noting that it was for use in a "reality, comedy or game show."
The phrase has enjoyed a dramatic rise in popularity over the last few months, as the election has brought up generational conflicts on how the world is run and what previous generations have left for young people to deal with.
It's easy to see why FOX would want to capitalize on the trend, especially with an unscripted program which typically takes significantly less time and budget to produce.
This is far from the first time a major company has attempted to cash in on a successful meme, and it raises legal questions as to the ethics of intellectual property ownership in the internet age.
FOX is not the creator of "OK Boomer," but they can certainly trademark the phrase in spite of that. The U.S. trademark system under the Lanham Act lets you file "text marks," or combinations of words that are legally protectible, as long as they are not what is known as a "common word" in relation to your product.
福克斯不是“ OK Boomer”的创建者，尽管如此，他们还是可以给这个短语注册商标。《兰纳姆法》（Lanham Act）规定的美国商标制度允许提交“文字商标”或法律上受保护的单词组合，只要它们不是与您的产品有关的“通用单词”即可。
The best example of that is Apple Computers—because "apple" is a common word in food products, it would be impossible for an orchard to trademark the word. But it is not a common word for computers and electronics, so the government has granted Apple the trademark in that area.
In 2014, Ultra Pro International filed a trademark application for "Doge," an Internet neologism used to describe Shiba Inu canines. The "doge" meme sprung from a photograph of a female Shiba named Kabuso making a quizzical expression and surrounded by broken English text in Comic Sans, and it spread rapidly to places as far-flung as a cryptocurrency branch and a NASCAR vehicle wrap.
2014年，Ultra Pro International提出了“ Doge”商标申请，Doge是一种互联网新词，用于描述柴犬。“Doge”表情包出于一位名叫Kabuso的母柴犬的照片，该照片表达了一种古怪的表情，并且被破碎的漫画体的英文文字包围着，并且迅速传播到了加密货币分支和全国汽车比赛协会的汽车包装等地方。
After backlash around the trademark application, Ultra Pro released a statement saying that they only intended to enforce it around specific products—card sleeves, boxes and accessories—and would not block other companies from using the word or the dog's image on non-competitive items. Their application was granted and they continue to sell Doge products.
A common barrier for trademarking memes comes with the associated copyright. In the United States, the creator of the work is granted automatic copyright protection at the instant they make something. That protection gives them the legal authority to block other people from reproducing or profiting from their creation. In the Ultra Pro case, they made an agreement with the Shiba Inu's photographer to financially compensate them for use of the dog's image.
网络语商标的常见障碍是相关的版权。在美国，作品的创作者在创作时即获得自动版权保护。这种保护赋予他们合法的权利，可以阻止其他人复制他们的创作或从中获利。在Ultra Pro案例中，他们与柴犬（Shiba Inu）的摄影师达成了协议，为他们使用狗的影像而给予经济补偿。
"OK Boomer" has no associated copyright, as the origins of the phrase are murky. It's been traced back to posts from 2015 on controversial message board 4Chan, but exploded in popularity starting in January.
“ OK Boomer”没有相关的版权，因为该短语的起源是模糊的。它的历史可以追溯到2015年有争议的留言板4Chan上的帖子，但在一月份开始风行一时。
The US Patent and Trademark office does take into account both prior and common use when they review an application. If a mark has entered common use, it can be challenged in court and abandoned. Examples of that include "aspirin," "dry ice" and "thermos," all of which are now common terms and not protected by trademark law.
FOX's filing for "OK Boomer" is likely to succeed based on prior cases, but it remains to be seen whether the meme will still have legs by the time the show makes it to TV screens.
福克斯“ OK Boomer”的申请可能会基于以前的案例而成功，但是，直到电视上放映该网络语时，是否还会保持还有待观察。
Author：K THOR JENSEN