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Old 06-05-2007, 06:54 PM   #21
the_logos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Mabus @ June 05 2007,5:03)
You do not have to be a commercial organization to apply for a trademark. Registering with the IRS as a not-for-profit organization would allow trademarking of the name. Non-profit organizations, which the God Wars community should qualify for (as they are both artisitic and for the public benefit), can apply for and receive trademarks.

As an example of a non-profit winning a trademark case over a for-profit (commercial) enterprise see the WWF.

You can also check your state to see if they allow trade name registration. I know I use a fictitious name for myself with my music, and it is registered in my state (and is listed on all my copyright forms as a pseudonym). Trade name registration would provide legal basis to show that the name is in use, especially if you choose to object to a company's trademark application.
I didn't say you had to be for-profit, just that the trademark/servicemark has to be used in conjunction with commerce or has to be intended to be used in commerce. The WWF engages in commerce so is eligible to apply for a trade-mark in conjunction with that. Whether you engage in commerce and whether you aim to generate a profit or not are two separate things.

Also, I was incorrect earlier in saying that you had to register a trademark. In fact, you don't, in the US at least. It's just helpful in proving that you were there "first."

As far as trade name registration goes, it'll differ greatly from state to state. In California, for instance, it goes by county, not state. Federal trademark law is just going to look at when the mark was first registered (which, again, require use in commerce or demonstrated intended use in commerce in some future time frame that I'm not sure of) or first used in commerce.

--matt
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 05 2007,5:54)
I didn't say you had to be for-profit, just that the trademark/servicemark has to be used in conjunction with commerce or has to be intended to be used in commerce.
Commerce, by its very legal definition, implies profit (or at least being paid a consideration, whether monetary or barter).

"COMMERCE - The exchange of commodities for commodities. Considered in a legal point of view, it consists in the various agreements which have for their object to facilitate the exchange of the products of the earth or industry of man, with an intent to realize a profit.

In a narrower sense, commerce signifies any reciprocal agreements between two persons by which one delivers to the other a thing, which the latter accepts and for which he pays a consideration. If the consideration be money, it is called a sale; if any other thing than money, it is called exchange or barter."

There is a commerce exception for non-profits, and they may obtain trademarks. The WikiMedia Foundation for example is a non-profit with trademarks. As MUD codebases can be educational tools (both in learning programming and in promoting literacy) I see no reason why a codebase creater could not both form a non-profit and be declared a "small entity" for trademark purposes.

But again, I am not a lawyer. Standard disclaimers still apply.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:57 PM   #23
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At DartMUD, we had a help file called 'Allocations For Dummies" and we received a Cease and Desist Letter from IDG's sharks. Apparently they found the helpfile in some kind of google trawl.
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Commerce, by its very legal definition, implies profit (or at least being paid a consideration, whether monetary or barter).
It does not imply profit. It implies money trading hands for goods, or, as you say, barter. Non-profits engage in commerce all the time.

Pulling definitions from dictionaries is not helpful, incidentally, for arguments rooted in specific disciplines, since the specific meaning of words that are bound up in that discipline usually differs, often significantly, from usage outside of that discipline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
There is a commerce exception for non-profits
Not to my knowledge and google brings up no information that a short scan can find on such an exception in the US.

Can you cite?

In any case, one isn't needed since non-profits are free to engage in commerce.

Here's the relevant section of the USPTO rules on its own website. Of course, plain language on a website is no substitute for a lawyer's advice on a specific issue, so don't don't take this as gospel:
---------------------------------
"What is "use in commerce"?

For the purpose of obtaining federal registration, "commerce" means all commerce that the U.S. Congress may lawfully regulate; for example, interstate commerce or commerce between the U.S. and another country. "Use in commerce" must be a bona fide use of the mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not use simply made to reserve rights in the mark. Generally, acceptable use is as follows:

For goods: the mark must appear on the goods, the container for the goods, or displays associated with the goods, and the goods must be sold or transported in commerce.

For services: the mark must be used or displayed in the sale or advertising of the services, and the services must be rendered in commerce."
------------------------------

--matt
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:47 PM   #25
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Key word there being service, a MUD is an entertainment service(though some could also be called educational services).
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:44 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Baram @ June 06 2007,3:47)
Key word there being service, a MUD is an entertainment service(though some could also be called educational services).
Yes. "And the service must be rendered in commerce."

--matt
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:35 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 06 2007,12:22)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
There is a commerce exception for non-profits
Not to my knowledge and google brings up no information that a short scan can find on such an exception in the US.

Can you cite?
I was wrong. I admit it.

I misunderstood the "small entity" provision for lower cost when I thread read it. After rereading the source I retract the non-commerce exception that I posted. I was incorrect.

The key (in the USA) to any small, not-for-profit organization (and I would gather MUD codebase development groups and other "hobbyist" organizations as well) to be able to get a trademark would be to apply for and receive non-profit status within their own state.

Again, I am not a lawyer. Post only for purposes of discussion. Blah, blah...standard disclaimer.
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