defending the right to innovate
Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.
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I just came across the site of a German patent attorney who seems to collect on his website non-traditional trademarks (archive). A gold mine if you are looking to roll your eyes for hours on end. There are, for example, 84 pages worth of trademarked colors. Other crazy trademarks: the scent of lemon or freshly cut grass; the motion of forming a T with your hands (time-out); moving your fingers to imitate the cutting motion of scissors; giving a child your hand. Oh, how much I have sinned without knowing it.
Your post is misleading. First, among the "84 pages of trademarked colors" are numerous applications that were abandoned. Indeed, the very first "trademark" I looked at was 79004508. Well, it is not actually a trademark at all, but was an application that was ultimately abandoned. So the lists provided by Dr. Ralph Sieckmann is a list of trademark applications and trademarks, which includes the infamous, but now abandoned, trademark application for the sound of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Further, trademarks in the United States (I am unable to answer for other countries) have additional limitations or specificity. For example, Owens-Corning has a variety of trademarks that associate pink with insulation (Think Pink!). They were able to get this trademark because of the strength of association of pink insulation with Owens-Corning. So, the color "pink" is trademarked by Owens-Corning, but only in association with insulation. You can use pink as much as you want without "sin," as you put it.
So, the only sin I see here is that you misrepresented the meaning of the list. It is unlikely that you have violated any of the registered U.S. trademarks on any of the lists if you are a U.S. citizen, unless you are in the business of manufacturing pink insulation or blue pills of a particular shape.
[Comment at 01/05/2009 06:17 AM by Lonnie E. Holder]
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