[OT] trademarks (was: Re: Bundling)

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Fri Dec 11 11:14:37 CET 2009

Hello Mark,

Thanks for the very interesting data.

On 2009/12/08 6:51, Mark Davis ☕ wrote:
> Interestingly, I have it on good authority that in terms of trademarks,
> eszett and ss are treated the same -- that is, in trademark lingo, a phrase
> that only differed by exchanging these characters from a trademark would
> infringe that trademark.

I'm in no way a lawyer, and not at all an expert in trademark law. But 
assume there was a village with two traditional bakeries, one called 
Bäckerei Boss and another Bäckerei Boß. It's very well possible that 
they both would get their trademarks protected, based on the fact that 
everybody in the village knew they were different. That would be 
different if one was well-established, and the other was a newcomer, 
which is I guess the case you are referring to.

On the other hand, if somebody tried to open a hamburger chain and call 
it Wendys or Wendy or Wendi's or some such, it's highly likely that 
Wendy's would successfully claim a violation of their trademark, based 
on the fact that it's easy to confuse these, and that "Wendy's" is 
already well established.

Lawyers are not computer scientists, and law doesn't work like 
computers, but tries (many times not very well) to adjust to people's 
varying perceptions.

Regards,   Martin.

#-# Martin J. Dürst, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
#-# http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp   mailto:duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp

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