June 28, 2003

LAWSUIT THREATENED

Read all about the Clue by Four legal dispute thatís ripping the Internet apart!

Posted by Tim Blair at June 28, 2003 07:07 PM
Comments

Look like someone needs the attention of a Clue-by-Four.

Posted by: PixyMisa at June 28, 2003 at 11:27 PM

I'm thinking of renaming my blog "Clue-by-Four."

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 29, 2003 at 04:08 AM

Next British boyband: "cloob i4"

Posted by: tim at June 29, 2003 at 04:11 AM

I'm afraid the guy does have a registered trademark on the term dating back to 2001.

Sadly, he may have a case, and the threatening letters are actually required of him ("due diligence," yada yada) if he wants to keep it.

Posted by: Bill Herbert at June 29, 2003 at 05:04 AM

Well, I am pretty sure the phrase has been in use since well before 2001. Which reminds me, has anyone registered "the"? If not, then... there's some money to be made! (Rubs hands together and smiles an evil smile.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 29, 2003 at 06:47 AM

No, Bill, he doesn't have a case.

A trademark doesn't grant someone an exclusive right on the use of the word, even if it's a word he coined himself (itself doubtful).

THe US Government didn't have to pay Parker Brothers to use the word Monopoly when it sued Microsoft.

Rather, he has a right to protect his own trademark from future dilution and confusion in the market place. If "Clue-By-Four" is, say, a trivia game, Trivial Pursuit couldn't come out with a "Clue-by-Four" edition. But that's a very clear case --- and most anything else isn't.

These are so fact dependant and so prone to interpretation that in the case of someone using the word "Clue-by-Four" he'd never get an injunction against its use...

Posted by: Andrew at June 29, 2003 at 08:19 AM

"Bringing it to market", forsooth!

I can make a suggestion as to what use this dim bulb should put the first Clue-by-Four(tm) off the assembly line...

Posted by: mojo at June 29, 2003 at 07:50 PM