Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1995)

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Subject: Re: Trademark infringement
From: Frank Atkinson <FRANK @ han1 . hannah . com>
Date: Tue, 2 May 1995 18:29:49 -0400 (EDT)
To: leigh @ nbi . com
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com, jgeorge @ nbi . com
In-reply-to: <8gNH5c2w165w @ nbi . com>
Mail-system-version: <MultiNet-MM(362)+TOPSLIB(158)>

> -*begin inclusion*-
>... [We are in the midst of developing a] project at Mattel.  As you may
>already know, Barbie is a trademarked and copyrighted brand name, and is
>subject to closely protected by Mattel.  We have worked very closely
>with them to establish an "official" Internet presence that accurately
>determine how we can work with each other and still conform to the
>legalities of trademark and copyright and licensing laws.
>From a non-attorney who has had some dealings with trademark and copyright. 

If you are charging for your list it might make a difference. If you are using
the name Barbie for commercial gain is one thing, using it in a hobby context 
is another. 

Make sure this person is in fact working with Mattel, also make sure Mattel
knows of your interest and userbase. Your contact may be trying a snow job.
Its the owner of the trademark you need to communicate with. 

Mattel may well enforce their ownership and may or may not license anyone they
would like to. If in fact Mattel has made the decision to have a single net
presence that's their option. But one would also assume that you have a number
of folks on your list who might want to engage in a small pr campaign to
convince Mattel that there are other proper outlets for "Barbie" information. 
If anything Mattel will seek to avoid bad publicity. They won't want to see a
"War in Barbie Land" on 60 Minutes. One result, worst case, may be you may not
be able to call it Barbie, you may have to call your list Slim-plastic-lady.
What the users talk about is free speech, the problem is using the name for
profit or for promotional purposes. Most articles and ads in print now have a
standard "DEC", "IBM", etc are trademarks of their respective owners."

>This is also a person who, in earlier paragraphs, stated his intention
>to "post a call for votes" and then create his own newsgroup - in the
>rec.* hierarchy.  I have notified him of proper procedure in creating a
>newsgroup, and pointed him to various documents on the subject, but his
>response was "I've hired someone to learn all that for me, I don't have
>time."  This tells me that this gentleman does not know custom and
>procedure, and really doesn't care all that much about it one way or the

His respect ( or lack of )for usenet protocols will hold little or no 
water in a trademark dispute. The protocol has no legal standing other than 
by the users of usenet, and I assume at some point we will have to decide who
may and may not use the name Usenet. Don't confuse Internet netiquette with 
real law with real courts and real damages. It might not be a bad idea for a
business to consider having a subsidiary manage lists to give some degree of
liability protection. Welcome to cyber-world where many of the rules haven't 
been written. But in the interim count on a court applying traditional law. 

>Any advice which is offered will be gratefully accepted.  I would rather
>be pro-active in this instead of waiting and being forced to react.

 !   Frank Atkinson, DP Manager           ! 614-228-3113 Voice           !
 !   Hannah News Service ( Rotunda Inc. ) ! 614-228-5897 Fax             !
 !   16 E. Broad St.                      ! frank @
 han1 .
 hannah .
 com        !
 !   Columbus, Ohio 43215                 ! fratkins @
 freenet .
 columbus .
 oh !
 !                      !

Indexed By Date Previous: Re: Trademark infringement
From: Roger Burns <cfs-news @ cais . cais . com>
Next: basic info?
From: mtn @ indra . com (Amy Gahran)
Indexed By Thread Previous: Re: Trademark infringement
From: Roger Burns <cfs-news @ cais . cais . com>
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From: mtn @ indra . com (Amy Gahran)

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