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Submission + - Corporate bullying under investigation by USPTO (

Larisa writes: Last week, a small, Bay Area audio-drama group received two distinct, cease-and-desist letters from the National Association of Realtors, demanding that they waive their First Amendment right to the fair nominative use of the word "Realtor," in their satirical, Silicon Valley haunted office story, "The [BLEEP] & the CEO" (a note to Slashdot community ghost-hunters: this ghost story was a work of *fiction*). Lacking the financial resources to defend their legal rights against a major national organization, the audi-drama group has been forced to capitulate. But this is simply one case in point.

Corporate bullying of this kind has apparently become so commonplace that it has prompted the United States Patent and Trademark Office to undertake a formal investigation of: “the extent to which small businesses may be harmed by litigation tactics by corporations attempting to enforce trademark rights beyond a reasonable interpretation of the scope of the rights granted to the trademark owner” The results of the study are to be presented to Congress, upon the study's completion. The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s “Request for Comments on Trademark Litigation Tactics” will be open until February 7, 2011. Comments can be submitted to, with the subject line “Small Business Study.”

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Corporate bullying under investigation by USPTO

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