March 8, 2009
News - Maker Faire Time Lapse an…
about 3 years ago
Bl**dy Volvo Divers!
News - SparkFun Gets a Cease and…
about 5 years ago
IANAL but from memory, generic terms cannot be trademarked. In this case, I’d be curious to see how the lawyers would consider the “phonetically similar” argument when placed next to “phonetically the same as a generic term”.
Or put another way, a claim that ‘SparkFun’ is too similar to ‘SPARC’ would seem to have about the same weight as the word “Spark” [or phonetic equivalents O:-)] being a generic term and hence (i) unlikely trademarkable by itself since it is insufficiently distinguishing; and (ii) unenforceable as a trademark on the grounds of being a generic word. I suspect a good lawyer could argue that the plaintiff can’t have it both ways, without the term becoming generic.
This obviously isn’t legal advice; one of the sad things I’ve learnt when it comes to legal matters is you absolutely need advice from your lawyer. I will add one more thing though. I’ve been a sysadmin working with Sun equipment since 1991. And until I read the entry on the SparkFun homepage a short while ago, it had never occurred to me that there was any similarity between the marks cited in the C&D letter.
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