There Is No Cat – Adventures in The Trademark Zone
I received a note from the clue-by-four folks also, asking that I refrain from using the term on my domain BoxOfClue.com which is a joke, in case anybody missed it.
At first, I was inclined to just quietly comply, but, fortunately, the page above was mentioned to me.
For those of you who missed the story, the basic idea is that somebody trademarked the phrase “clue-by-four”, and wants to stop everyone else from using that phrase.
I first heard the term used when I was in grad school, which was in the 1992-1994 time period. While I’m not anxious to get sued about it, I’m not about to stop using a phrase that has been in common usage for a least 10 years, just because somebody says that they own the phrase.
And, if you wonder why I’m not referring to them by name … well, I seem to have deleted the email message. I can’t find it anywhere. So, if you’re reading this, mr clue-by-four, you might want to send it again, so that I can respond and say no.
I’m sorry that the trademark office was negligent enough to take your money and think that you can trademark a phrase in common usage. That was wrong of them, and you should request a refund. While you’re at it, you might also want to trademark the phrase “get a clue” and “without a clue” and “utterly clueless”, just in case.
I’m not trying to be disrespectful or unkind, but you can’t dictate the way I use the english language by sending threatening email. If you want to send it registered mail, you have my address. However, I can’t imagine I’ll take that any more seriously.