Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Seriously?!? Journalism schools should start offering a class on Intellectual Property 101. I'm so sick of seeing this type of hyperbole. Ekklesia reports that "East African livelihoods at risk in trademark threat." From the article:
Thousands of East Africans could lose their livelihoods – and the freedom to use a word from their language – if a trademark application by a UK company succeeds, says a leading Christian development organisation.

The application, by the Kikoy Company UK Ltd, would give the company sole commercial rights to the term “kikoy” – a corruption of “kikoi”, the Kiswahili word for the distinctive colourful, wrap skirts worn by men and women along the East African coast.


(And lest you argue that this group isn't composed of real journalists, compare this with other reporting on this issue here and here.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, here in our backwater (America), we do call that generic.

nerdlaw.org said...

Clarification: my issue isn't whether or not the mark is generic. My issue is with the statement that a trademark registration would deprive people of "the freedom to use a word from their language." This isn't true, even if it is a valid trademark. A trademark registration does not remove a word from the language, which is the way trademark disputes are often reported.