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Comment Overreaching? (Score 5, Interesting) 409

Does this apply to all apps or just games? If it's just games then the claim may be indeed be legitimate (or not), but if it's all apps then it's certainly a case of overreaching by the trademark holder (or else an overreaction by Apple).

The most ridiculous element is the ban on the use of "memory" as a keyword. Trademark law was never intended to forbid others from naming competitors' products or from using trademarked words in their descriptive sense ("this game will enhance your memory and give you super-strength!").

Comment Re:Is this surprising? (Score 1) 105

Can the authorities abuse their position of power for various nefarious deeds? Absolutely. Are some of their requests legally or ethically dubious? No doubt. Nevertheless, there's plenty of legitimate reasons for governments to request user information and it should come as no surprise that the number of such requests is increasing.

The problem with "legitimate" requests begins when they become so routine that they end up as fishing expeditions rather than legitimate criminal investigations.

Comment The future of America under President Obama (Score 3) 1576

Given Obama's terrible record concerning civil liberties and due process (e.g. indefinite detention of American citizens, domain seizures without a trial, a White House sponsored deal with ISPs to disconnect people accused of infringement, significant expansion of presidential powers in the name of fighting terrorism), what does this mean for the future of America? Would Romney really have been any worse?

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 218

Trademarks only have to be defended against uses that would dilute those marks. There's no reason to believe that reviewing a book bearing an infringing title would do anything to dilute the trademark in question, as almost any reviewer's use of the mark would be strictly nominative. The case against Harper Collins is a different matter, assuming he has a valid trademark.

Comment Re:There are still 88 years to go (Score 2) 1184

The good thing is that Apple learned how to protect its look and feel from the Microsoft case. Trade dress, how about that.

Didn't Apple's trade dress infringement claims against Microsoft fail to produce a verdict in Apple's favor?

Apple won its case against Samsung mainly on the strength of its patents rather than its trade dress. Either way, one thing is clear: the US intellectual property system is seriously fucked up and needs to change.

Comment How open is this "open console"? (Score 4, Interesting) 218

I asked developers whether Ouya will run games sold outside the official store (without having to root the device, like with to Android's "unknown sources"), but they never replied. Until they do, I don't consider this a particularly open console.

Have we reached an era when even those who advertise openness won't release commercial platforms that aren't like walled gardens?

Comment Re:Google's Not The Only One (Score 1) 341

Gmail alone has approximately 425 million users, the vast majority of whom pay no money for the service.

Not directly, but without those 425 million users Google's advertisers wouldn't make any money from Google Ads and Google would end up broke. Google customers therefore deserve some attention in exchange for their patronage.

Comment Re:Oracle vs Google (Score 1) 330

countless makers of now standard instrument shapes would have been forbidden from building such instruments unless they simply obtained permission to do so


Just like Samsung could make perfect replicas of iPhones were Apple to give them permission to do so. Apple, of course, would never allow it. Knowing they could adds nothing of value to this discussion.

Comment Re:Oracle vs Google (Score 2) 330

That cello is protect the first 20 years its patented...then after that it is fair game.

Design patents don't preclude subsequent trade dress protection, so it wouldn't be "fair game" unless the owner of the design patent decided to forgo trademark protection or it were somehow ruled not distinctive after so many years of patent-enforced exclusivity.

Comment Re:Oracle vs Google (Score 1) 330

"Apple ain't making that mistake."

Which is precisely the problem. If musical instruments were treated the way Apple wants its phones and tablets to be treated, countless makers of now standard instrument shapes would have been forbidden from building such instruments under patent and trademark law. There would be no cellos, violins, oboes or classical guitars as long as trademark rights in their designs persisted.

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