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Comment Re:Sounds like justice, until.... (Score 1) 210

Companies (at least successful ones) by definition behave like sociopaths. They have to.

Corporations are intelligence without morals or consciousness. That's what makes them successful. It is a fundamental requirement to be a sociopath to be successful in a corporation. If you ponder the moral and ethical consequences of your actions, you're already being passed by and trampled on by someone who wouldn't even know why he should ponder it altogether.

Comment Re:Don't know the source (Score 1) 210

Since when does it really matter who really did it? As long as we have some kind of lead towards the boogeyman du jour?

I mean, hell, that's enough to bomb a country back to the stone age, you really think we'd employ more scrutiny for mere data?

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 177

if they used the LEGO term, even to say they were compatible with LEGO, even with all explicit trademark acknowledgements, it would be at LEGO's discretion to either issue a C&D or not to bar them from continuing to refer to them, unless they company were somehow able to show that they were not a competitor for LEGO in any way

Sigh. I'm getting tired of having to do your homework for you:

It is the wholesale prohibition of nominative use ... that would be unfair. It would be unfair to merchants seeking to communicate the nature of the service or product offered at their sites. And it would be unfair to consumers, who would be deprived of an increasingly important means of receiving such information. As noted, this would have serious First Amendment implications. The only winners would be companies like Toyota, which would acquire greater control over the markets for goods and services related to their trademarked brands, to the detriment of competition and consumers. The nominative fair use doctrine is designed to prevent this type of abuse of the rights granted by the Lanham Act. ...

Trademarks are part of our common language, and we all have some right to use them to communicate in truthful, non-misleading ways.

That's from Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. v. Tabari, 610 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 2010). Hint: Toyota's LEXUS mark was at issue, and had been used by a competitor, and the court did not come down on the side of Toyota.

Nominative use is a doctrine in US trademark law by which parties other than a trademark holder can use a trademark without permission if:

1) The product is not readily identifiable without using the mark. (LEGO bricks are not readily identifiable without using the LEGO mark to refer to them; otherwise you'd have to say something stupid like 'plastic toy bricks made by a well-known Danish plastic toy brick company')

2) The defendant does not use more of the mark than necessary. (The word LEGO in an ordinary typeface would be fine; the red, yellow, black and white square-shaped LEGO mark, with its distinctive balloonish typeface, on the other hand, would be too much merely to indicate compatibility)

3) The defendant cannot falsely suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. (This is typically done by not using the mark in a way that suggests a relationship, while also disclaiming any relationship. It doesn't require not using the mark at all, however; the public recognizes that not all uses of a mark indicate endorsement)

Note, there is no requirement that the defendant claiming nominative use not compete with Lego. That's perfectly fine. If I make toy bricks and I want to say that based on a survey, children prefer my bricks 10 to 1 over LEGO brand bricks, I'm totally free to do so. (Provided, of course, that I have got such a survey; I can't just make crap up)

The decision of whether advertising should directly refer to competitors (e.g. People who took the Pepsi challenge preferred Pepsi to Coke) or whether it should not (e.g. Our dishwashing liquid works better and faster than brand X) is entirely one of the advertiser's preference. There is no legal requirement compelling one over the other, provided that the ad is truthful and (to some extent) not misleading.

I am suggesting that Steamboat Willie describes the cartoon, and Mickey Mouse describes the character.

If the MICKEY MOUSE mark describes the character, and the copyright on the Mickey Mouse character lapses such that anyone can create works featuring the Mickey Mouse character (which is a copyright issue), the MICKEY MOUSE mark no longer is capable of indicating that all such marked goods originate from a common source, which is a fundamental requirement for a trademark. Thus, the MICKEY MOUSE trademark is lost with regard to such goods, e.g. DVDs, comic books, and the like.

So if one makes an unauthorized copy of Steamboat Willie, they are not actually using the trademark in Mickey Mouse without permission

Yes, they are. "Without permission" means the same thing as "unauthorized," genius. It's no different than if I make an unauthorized copy of a Louis Vuitton purse.

Copyright and Trademark protect different things

Yes, but different aspects of a single object can be protected by different sorts of rights.

Consider a humble glass bottle of refreshing Coca-Cola. The shape of the bottle is protected by a design patent. The COCA-COLA mark is protected as a trademark. The formula for the liquid inside is protected as a trade secret. If it's a decorative bottle with a picture of Santa or a bear, or Santa Bear, the artwork is likely copyrighted. If the artwork is of a particular real person, it may also be protected by that person's right of publicity. And if they make the bottle out of some new sort of safety glass, the formula for the glass itself may be an invention protected by a patent. All this wrapped up in a single item that you can get out of a vending machine with the change in your pocket.

The Mickey Mouse character is protected, in different capacities, even in the same work, by both copyright and trademark. This is not even slightly unusual.

As I said, even though their trademark continues to be respected, the copyright on their oldest cartoons have already expired in several first-world countries with IP laws quite similar to those in the USA, and that did not extend their copyright as the US did. I live in one such country. The character was never freely copyable here even though the cartoon itself was.

I have no idea what your country is or what its laws are like, and as I said before, I really don't care. I've been discussing US law this entire time, which is reasonable on a US-based website, like this one, and that's all I'm really interested in.

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 2) 178

And you know what, nobody cares. I don't mean to sound rude, but whatever BB's benefits as an Android device, even BB doesn't believe them anymore as it plans to release actual Android devices. And really, it's irrelevant, as the company is basically running on fumes now. Chen's keeping it afloat by selling off assets and firing people. No wonder they have to build an Android phone, their R&D department probably isn't capable of keeping the QNX-based OS going.

Comment Re:It worked (Score 1) 178

Except no one is buying Windows Phones. They want iPhones and Androids. One has to wonder how many billions of dollars MS has blown trying to become a big smart device player. How long will their shareholders tolerate them dumping vast sums into dubious projects?

For chrissakes, has the Xbox division actually paid off the huge investments MS threw into that division? I don't mean have the last seven or eight quarters been in the black, I mean has it actually paid for itself?

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 2) 178

Yes, it's called Android compatibility. The only successful handsets with any significant market share that don't run Android are iOS devices. In fact, what that tells me is that if you aren't Apple, you pretty much need to be Android. Even BlackBerry, though two or three years too late, has figured that out.

Comment Even for men it's too cold (Score 2) 350

Even for a 40+-year-old male offices are too cold most of the time. And in southern Arizona the settings meant you hit a literally 40F+ wall walking out the building door. That isn't healthy. Although if you have to err it's better to have it set on the cool side, people can always add a sweater to stay warmer but you usually can't legally take clothing off if it's too warm.

If God had not given us sticky tape, it would have been necessary to invent it.