Trademarking time

It’s hard for me to let go on the issue of “‘trademark’ is not a verb,” but I’m certainly not alone.

The most recent installment to park here starts with the tweet below, which picked up a most untoward verbing of trademark by the Chief Justice in the oral argument in Brunetti — but you must follow through the thread to get it:

One problem with Twitter threads, however, is that you can’t always follow them cleanly, because they can branch off into multiple tributaries. And there are some good thoughts in this discussion, including a couple of my own (well, if I didn’t think that I wouldn’t have a blog) that you might miss, so I am pulling out some of those here, to wit:

Is confusing laymen a thing not to care about?

Now look at Zvi Rosen cutting in with some impressive, if somewhat esoteric, historical background (his specialty) on the related issue of verbing copyright:

Now, back into the Brunetti lane:

And here I’ll let Devlin Hartline have the last word (though if you click through to the thread, you’ll see how it really ended):

This is as good as it gets, more or less, for engagement on Twitter regarding trademark law and lore. That’s because most lawyers aren’t active on Twitter; and even among those who are, most good ones don’t spend much time on it because they didn’t get where they are by thinking or caring about things that don’t pay. And while, in contrast, most younger law professors are on Twitter, very few of them will engage with mere practitioners of the art they teach. And as academics, even fewer will deign to dialogue with those who do not meet their political purity standards.

So while this thread is pretty good, as I said, it’s about as good as it gets. That is a shame, considering how much we could all learn through discussions such as this one if it weren’t for walls of attitude that some people can’t get over. Or is it just themselves they can’t get over?

2 comments

  • I might just be a lay person, neither lawyer nor professor, but I can at least say it has been primarily through Twitter and a few select blogs that I’ve learned to avoid using “trademark” as a verb. Just a semi-outsider looking into the wonkiness (and preciseness) of how language is articulated. I learned a long time ago how imperfect of a vessel language can be when conveying thoughts, especially since words themselves can change meaning depending on intention and context. The fact that most of the public and many judges get this word wrong does complicate things…maybe even gets the word additional meaning – or secondary meaning if you will 😉 -even if that meaning is wrong

  • Thank you for your insightful views, sir. We enjoy hearing from non-lawyers, no matter how bass.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.