Trademark issue?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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Hailon
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby Hailon » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:49 pm

*Edited - Please see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=28093 for Shiny Footprints and what hope to see from members on our forum. Thanks! * -TazKristi

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NickShabazz
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby NickShabazz » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:31 pm

The Deacon wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:00 pm
And yet,over the years, several manufacturers who use opening holes of other shapes have claimed their shape is the best. It could be argued that the additional traction offered by, say, a 10 or 12 sided polygon might be of more value than the "rotational symmetry" of a round one.
Maybe I'm cynical, but if I was trying to compete in this market, even if my knife's thumb-hole was made of broken glass and shaped like the outside of a hedgehog, I'd sure as heck be claiming it was the "best of the bunch". :D All I know is that I've handled a few knives, Byrds included, and never once felt that any variety of non-round hole was remotely better for thumb-opening.
Mourning the Slysz Bowie and loving the rest of Spyderco's gems. Check out my reviews at https://www.youtube.com/c/nickshabazz!

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sal
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby sal » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:30 pm

Hi Nick,

So I guess you would have no problem with someone posting you tube knife review videos using the name Nick Shabazz and imitating hour style? Now that you have created a good reputation?

And just because you think the round hole is better, doesn't mean all of the others claiming superior shapes are wrong?

sal

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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby knivesandbooks » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:38 pm

The spyderco round hole is definetly the best. I've tried many and have preferred Spyderco. Ovals don't do it. Maybe hole shape preference is like ergos though?

Regardless, Spyderco needs to defend their trademark. First, out of principle. Second, I believe trademarks that go undefended can be lost, if I remember correctly.
I own an assisted knife and am embarrassed to admit I enjoy it.

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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby sal » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:54 pm

Yes, you are correct.

sal

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NickShabazz
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby NickShabazz » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:03 pm

sal wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:30 pm
Hi Nick,

So I guess you would have no problem with someone posting you tube knife review videos using the name Nick Shabazz and imitating hour style? Now that you have created a good reputation?

And just because you think the round hole is better, doesn't mean all of the others claiming superior shapes are wrong?

sal
First off, looking at forums, I don't know that they'd want my reputation! :D

But I don't know, I've always been in the "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" camp, and particularly for functional elements (e.g. "the good, great, bad and ugly" or using a fixed cast of knives for size comparisons), I'm not particularly possessive. I'm using them because they're making my work better, and I'm thrilled if others use them to make their work better too. And indeed, I know of a few reviewers using that format or close variants, and heck, I borrowed the "Good, Bad and the Ugly" meme from Ars Technica myself. But I'm also not putting food on my table with reviewing. I can see feeling differently and being much more defensive of those things if my ability to stay 'on top of the pack' (and thus, feed my family and employees) partially depended on my work having certain functional advantages over my competitors. I'm an idealist and scientist, not a businessman, and that's one of many reasons why I couldn't do what you did and Eric does.

Of course, somebody using my name would be a problem. Which is why I'm not a fan of (and indeed, speak out against) clones and counterfeits. But I think there's a gulf between "using functional innovations that somebody else developed in my products" and "making my products and claiming they're somebody else's").

And of course, I acknowledge that I'm just one random jackass, different grinds for different kinds, and that some folks might genuinely prefer a ____-shaped hole, particularly if they're selling it. But finger-flicking aside, it's always felt like those non-round holes are generally only non-round for legal reasons. I'd drone on, but I don't think I need to make impassioned rant on the benefits of a truly round hole to Sal Glesser. :p
Mourning the Slysz Bowie and loving the rest of Spyderco's gems. Check out my reviews at https://www.youtube.com/c/nickshabazz!

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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby tvenuto » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:28 pm

NickShabazz wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:03 pm
Of course, somebody using my name would be a problem. Which is why I'm not a fan of (and indeed, speak out against) clones and counterfeits. But I think there's a gulf between "using functional innovations that somebody else developed in my products" and "making my products and claiming they're somebody else's").
This.

And given that this feature used to be covered by a patent, clearly it was viewed as functionally advantageous at one point. As such I’d have to think that features moving from patented to trademarked is a rarity. Either way, Spyderco was granted the trademark and they can of course defend it. No one here likes counterfeiting, but this is a different, and as I have posted, legally gray. In fact the main thrust of the Harvard paper I linked to was pointing out the inconsistencies in the functionality doctrine, and how this makes it difficult to interpret how it could/should be applied.

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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby Daveho » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:00 am

You guys are going to love my icosagon shaped opening hole.


Or my chamfered edge round hole

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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:17 am

sal wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:05 am
Hi Sharp Guy,

We vigorously defend our trademarks in the US, China and anywhere else we have trademarks.

sal
I posted this in a separate thread, but then thought I would post it to you here so you would be sure and see it.https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF ... nk22095-20
They have registered a trademark on the name Delica.
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tvenuto
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby tvenuto » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:38 am

I wonder how this is dealt with across industries. Is it a formal rule or just a tacit understanding to avoid ridiculous litigation. Like the Dodge Avenger obviously isn’t infringing on the move franchise and vice versa.

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sal
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby sal » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:42 am

Different industry codes. We trademark in the tool area. Sometimes in clothing code.

sal

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tvenuto
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby tvenuto » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:17 am

I see. Surprisingly pragmatic.

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Doc Dan
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:11 am

Ok. That makes sense, sort of. Thanks, Sal.
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

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Cricket Bite
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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby Cricket Bite » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:46 pm

I actually work for a company that enforces IP for various brands. It would blow peoples minds how much is out there. Some obvious but some are very savvy and deceptive.

As someone else pointed out earlier (and Sal affirmed) that if you don't defend your Trademark then it could become considered "abandonment". Most "borrowers " of IP are in it for nefarious reasons. IMHO even if you are borrowing it to "honor or pay tribute to" does not excuse the infringement. In this case it is batter to ask for permission first. There are millions of good ideas. The ones who stick there neck out and take all the risk should not be poached for ideas by the lazy.

As Sal mentioned there are international trademark codes (https://www.oppedahl.com/trademarks/tmclasses.htm). If you make truck parts it will have a different Trademark class than with clothing. A good example of this was Apple computers company while there was also Apple Records (the record comapny came first). All was fine until Apple computers wanted to go into the music business (iTunes). Then Apple Records and Apple computers fought. Apple computers eventually settled with Apple records for rights to use the name.

As far as enforcing goes it is also very complex. You need trademarks in the country you are enforcing in (for the most part). You could have marks in many countries but the ones doing the biggest counterfeiting are the ones you usually don't have (BTW getting Trademarks can take 6 months to a year to obtain and cost lots of money in each country you get them for).Then even if you do have the marks in appropriate country it will depend on the Marketplace or website/host if they will enforce. Some are hard to deal with and less cooperative. So many variables there is no straightforward way to do things. Luckily my company has kick butt software that does much of the heavy lifting for us.

Of course the worst of the worst for counterfeiters and enforcement is the one of the worlds largest companies that sells everything and is named after a Rainforest. There system is complicated and enforcing with them is a crap shoot. The have more counterfeits than anybody except maybe Alibaba or anything in Russia. Buyer beware.

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Re: Trademark issue?

Postby JacksonKnives » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:11 pm

Sharp Guy wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:02 am
tvenuto wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:41 am
Their hole is a functional feature and thus can’t violate trademarks, which are by definition not functional.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functionality_doctrine
See Sal's comment above. Why would Spyderco bother to trademark their round hole if they can't enforce non-licensed use?
Welcome to intellectual property law and the crazy world of commerce.

Disney was never supposed to get perpetual copyright on cartoons, either, but there are some compelling arguments for keeping them out of public domain. (And plenty of arguments the other way.)


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