Lawyer seeks a lock on lingo

There are 1 comment on the Feb 21, 2008, Baltimore Sun story titled Lawyer seeks a lock on lingo. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

Eric Menhart is still making people mad. It used to be just e-mail spammers who were upset with him, back when he was a George Washington University student suing them under Maryland law.

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Freecycler

Napa, CA

#1 Apr 12, 2008
Nice article. I particularly like this part:
"Protecting that business is what was on his mind when he filed for trademark registration, he said."

"In the meantime, he has attached the symbol 'TM' to both his firm's name and his blog. It indicates that he treats them as trademarks, but does not specify official rights."

"'The notation scares away people who don't know any better.... It means nothing official,' said Ned T. Himmelrich, an attorney with Gordon Feinblatt LLC in Baltimore. Himmelrich had not heard about the cyberlaw flap."

This is the same M.O., same SNAFU, and same likely outcome as Deron Beal's megalomaniacal power grab when he tried to gag millions of ordinary people who were peacefully reducing waste output and greenhouse gas emissions...

Beal demanded everyone who used the term "freecycle" kowtow to his narrow set of rules as to who could use the word, how it may be used in a sentence, and where it must be used. He also demanded the "TM" be attached to the first place the word appeared in any context.

Beal enlisted Yahoo Groups' management, who apparently "don't know any better", to do his dirty work. At his bidding, Yahoo deleted several hundred Yahoo-based groups, which disconnected tens of thousands of recycling-friendly activists and set the freecycling movement back a few years.

Beal's minions continue to attack peaceful, well-meaning groups of freecyclers by falsely claiming trademark infringement and demanding that Yahoo delete the groups. This despite the fact that a court has ruled that Beal cannot claim trademark rights because the term was already in widespread use before he had the idea to hoard the term for his own use.

Another victory for free speech in the court system, which all too often allows people like Menhart and Beal to steal our free speech rights in order to maximize their personal gains.

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