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Re: [Amps] (fwd) Re: Heathkit Copyright

To:, Roger <>
Subject: Re: [Amps] (fwd) Re: Heathkit Copyright
From: Glen Zook <>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 18:22:21 -0700 (PDT)
List-post: <">>
You are confusing "copyright" with "trademark".  There is a big difference!  
When a company does not vigorously defend a "trademark" and the term starts 
becoming a generic term for a product then the "trademark" can be invalidated.  
For example, the term "xerox" is often used to describe any copy of a 
document.  However, the Xerox Corporation does vigorously defend their 
trademark to keep from losing it.  It is the same thing with Motorola and 
"Private Line" (their trademark for CTCSS) and "Handy Talkie, Handi Talki, HT, 
and so forth.  Although many amateur radio operators use these terms for any 
portable radio or handheld radio, since Motorola has defended its "trademarks", 
those terms are not in the "public domain".  By the way, there is no "time 
limit" on trademarks.

Back in the 1970s, when the Japanese first started exporting handheld radios to 
the United States, several of those companies placed advertisements in the 
various amateur radio magazines using the terms "handy talkie", "handi talki", 
HT, and so forth.  Just as soon as those magazines "hit the streets" Motorola's 
legal department came down hard on the magazines and the Japanese companies for 
using their "trademarks".  The magazines refused to publish any more 
advertisements with those terms and the Japanese manufacturers had to change 
the advertisements to eliminate Motorola's "trademarks".

When I was in college (mid 1960s)in one business law class we had various 
examples based on actual cases.  One of these had to do with the Bell Telephone 
System and their "Liberty Bell" trademark.  One day one of the Bell executives 
noticed a "pushcart" vendor in downtown Philadelphia with a "Liberty Bell" on 
the side of his cart.  Since the "Liberty Bell" was the trademark of the Bell 
System the executive decided to make the "pushcart" vendor take the "Liberty 
Bell" from the side of his cart.

The Bell System legal department first sent a letter to the vendor which he 
ignored.  Then they decided to take him to court.  The vendor "showed up" with 
a lawyer in tow and had made a counter-suit for several millions of dollars.  
The Bell System lawyers presented, over a couple of days, their reasons why the 
vendor's use of the "Liberty Bell" violated their trademark rights.  When the 
Bell System lawyers were through the vendor's lawyer walked up to the judge's 
bench and handed him a piece paper.

The judge read the paper and then immediately ruled against the Bell System and 
ruled in favor of the vendor's counter-suit. 

The Bell System lawyers were absolutely surprised that the judge not only ruled 
against them, but had ruled in favor of the vendor in just a few minutes.  Then 
the vendor's lawyer took the piece of paper over to the Bell System lawyers.  
It was a document from the United States Government showing that the "pushcart" 
vendor had "trademarked" the "Liberty Bell" in the late 1800s while the Bell 
System had never even applied for that symbol as their trademark.  The vendor 
was perfectly happy for the Bell System to use "his" trademark but when the 
company decided to make him stop using the trademark he became angry.

The result was the vendor was awarded a large sum of money and the Bell System 
was given a certain length of time to remove the "Liberty Bell" from their 
buildings, telephone booths, etc.  The Bell System then went to the "stylized" 
bell.  There was no notation in the textbook about what happened to the 
executive who had instigated the lawsuit.  However, I suspect that his tenure 
with the Bell System was ended in a very short period of time.

Glen, K9STH


On Wed, 19 May 2010 03:45:11 +0000, Charles Harpole<> wrote:

"Kleenix" was denied copyright with the argument that the word had entered the 
language to such a thorough extent as to no longer just refer to one branded 
"DeepFreeze" LOST their copyright to their name as it was in such common use 
that it was considered "generic". That has always puzzled me that DOS was 
copyrighted as it is by itself a generic term.

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