IP Freely

February 3, 2010

Geo-Mutualist Jock Coats has produced an audiobook version of Stephan Kinsella’s Against Intellectual Property.

Who Dat Say Who Dat?

January 29, 2010

Any unauthorized use of the Saints colors and other [marks] designed to create the illusion of an affiliation with the Saints is equally a violation of the Saints trademark rights because it allows a third party to ‘free ride’ by profiting from confusion of the team’s fans, who want to show support for the Saints.

NFL spokesman Dan Masonson

If ‘who dat’ is used in a manner to refer to Saints football, then the Saints own the rights.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy

The basic idea of trademark as it developed in the common law is that someone cannot use the mark of another if it is confusingly similar to the mark of that other party. Now as I noted in the linked pieces above, the primary right should be the right of the consumer, not the trademark holder, and it should be more explicitly anchored in the notion of fraud–but you can see that the idea of “confusingly similar” is more or less related to the idea of fraud: if the competitor’s mark is so similar that it will confuse the consumer, it’s arguable the competitor is defrauding the consumer. But this has nothing to do with “dilution.” It’s focused on misleading the consumer (note that a clearer focus on this, and making it clear that the consumer, not the trademark holder, is the plaintiff, would not prohibit knockoffs such as cheap Rolex watches or Louis Vuitton purses, since in these cases the consumer is not defrauded or misled at all).

Stephan Kinsella, author of Against Intellectual Property.

Because it is already so anchored, there is no need for anyone – the NFL or the fans – to claim ownership¹. Read the rest of this entry »

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