Huh? Someone wants my king Evil spot?

Rick Segal says I appreciate CMP and Tim O'Reilly taking over my "King Evil" spot — by trademarking, and defending such, the words "Web 2.0" in a cease-and-desist letter to Tom Raftery.

Um, no. I want that spot all to myself! I hate it when people try to steal my evil. :-)

Seriously, this news was discussed by Shel Israel, my coauthor, and a bunch of other people over on Memeorandum.

This brings about memories of when a competitor to Fawcette Technical Publication's conference series would copy everything we did (down to the format of the brochure). So, I understand some sensitivity on behalf of conference producers to brands and trademarks.

That said, all this does is give IT@Cork a bunch of free publicity. All Tom has to do is change it to "Future of the Web Workshop" and the lawyers don't have a case and they get all this free publicity.

It looks like O'Reilly is claiming a service mark on "web 2.0 conference" if you visit their conference Web site. IT@Cork's site says "Web 2.0 Half Day Conference." That could, possibly, be confusing to people, so CMP and O'Reilly probably does have a legal case. But, probably not if they change the name to "Web 2.0 Half Day Symposium" or something like that.

Either way, I don't think it's confusing enough to warrant the lawyers and the impending bad PR for CMP and O'Reilly.

Update: O'Reilly responds here.

29 thoughts on “Huh? Someone wants my king Evil spot?

  1. The trademark application isn’t for ‘Web 2.0 Conference’. It’s for the phrase ‘Web 2.0′ in the context of a live event.

    So if the trademark stands (and it won’t) your suggestion of a name change to ‘Web 2.0 Half Day Symposium’ wouldn’t work, I’m afraid.

  2. The trademark application isn’t for ‘Web 2.0 Conference’. It’s for the phrase ‘Web 2.0′ in the context of a live event.

    So if the trademark stands (and it won’t) your suggestion of a name change to ‘Web 2.0 Half Day Symposium’ wouldn’t work, I’m afraid.

  3. I wouldn’t worry about it. “Web 2.0″ will be a stupid term of yesterday in another week anyway. Every time I heard O’Reilly say it at Mix06 I wanted to barf. :)

  4. I wouldn’t worry about it. “Web 2.0″ will be a stupid term of yesterday in another week anyway. Every time I heard O’Reilly say it at Mix06 I wanted to barf. :)

  5. Well, for what it’s worth, I don’t recall anyone using the term “ecosystem” to describe the software industry before I started using it in 1999 … then that’s all you hear from Bill Gates ….

    I could’ve got all uptight, like Microsoft’s lawyers over “lindows” instead, I laugh … what Bill Gates appears to know about ecosystems in general could be bundled up in a nanothimble for a Tom Nanothumb and his Nanothumbelina bride.

    Trademarks are a mark of absurdity unless applied with care, like gentian violet.

  6. Well, for what it’s worth, I don’t recall anyone using the term “ecosystem” to describe the software industry before I started using it in 1999 … then that’s all you hear from Bill Gates ….

    I could’ve got all uptight, like Microsoft’s lawyers over “lindows” instead, I laugh … what Bill Gates appears to know about ecosystems in general could be bundled up in a nanothimble for a Tom Nanothumb and his Nanothumbelina bride.

    Trademarks are a mark of absurdity unless applied with care, like gentian violet.

  7. Robert, the mark is “Web 2.0″, not “Web 2.0 Conferences”. Moreover, it’s a USPTO registration, which doesn’t apply in Ireland and/or Europe. Moreover, it’s pending, not registered.

    http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78322306

    CMP/O’Reilly might have a case were Tom in the US and the mark actually registered, but is that really the issue here? The issue, imho, is both CMP and O’Reilly’s woeful handling of the situation. And O’Reilly just made it worse:

    http://www.tomrafteryit.net/oreillys-mean-spirited-response/

    Did they really think Tom wasn’t going to publish that? Talk about dumb.

  8. Robert, the mark is “Web 2.0″, not “Web 2.0 Conferences”. Moreover, it’s a USPTO registration, which doesn’t apply in Ireland and/or Europe. Moreover, it’s pending, not registered.

    http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78322306

    CMP/O’Reilly might have a case were Tom in the US and the mark actually registered, but is that really the issue here? The issue, imho, is both CMP and O’Reilly’s woeful handling of the situation. And O’Reilly just made it worse:

    http://www.tomrafteryit.net/oreillys-mean-spirited-response/

    Did they really think Tom wasn’t going to publish that? Talk about dumb.

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  10. The post on the O’Reilly blog says it all “You’d be hearing from Tim, but he’s off the grid, on a (rare) vacation” My guess is it happened whilst he was away

  11. The post on the O’Reilly blog says it all “You’d be hearing from Tim, but he’s off the grid, on a (rare) vacation” My guess is it happened whilst he was away

  12. This is CMP’s blunder, not O’Reilly’s. Almost none of the bloggers on this story have read the actual letter from the lawyer, which is right there in the original post! See my blog for more…

  13. This is CMP’s blunder, not O’Reilly’s. Almost none of the bloggers on this story have read the actual letter from the lawyer, which is right there in the original post! See my blog for more…

  14. Robert,

    There are many things that you can accurately be called–I’ve probably already called many of them. But Evil? Jeesh, your just a big Teddy Bear.

  15. Robert,

    There are many things that you can accurately be called–I’ve probably already called many of them. But Evil? Jeesh, your just a big Teddy Bear.

  16. The words “Web” and “2.0″ would seem mighty generic to me.

    So are “Windows” and “95″, but it isn’t surprising that Microsoft defends that trademark.

    That said, there’s no way they should be able to have “Web 2.0″ service/trademarked. That’s absurd.

  17. The words “Web” and “2.0″ would seem mighty generic to me.

    So are “Windows” and “95″, but it isn’t surprising that Microsoft defends that trademark.

    That said, there’s no way they should be able to have “Web 2.0″ service/trademarked. That’s absurd.

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