In 2012, he took notice that Reddit, a popular online community site and the self-described “front page of the Internet,” had developed a forum for gays interested in cyber games: /r/gaymers. Vizzini sent a cease-and-desist letter that has led to a concerted and successful response against him and his mark.
The LGBT community on Reddit enlisted the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Perkins Coie, asserting that gaymer was a widespread, generic term long in use before Vizzini came on the scene. The unhappy opposition petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office urging it to cancel Vizzini’s trademark. The agency officially canceled Vizzini’s trademark recently, and he, ultimately, surrendered it, thereby ending the legal battle.
In the cut-throat and now global marketplace, the virtues of trademarks and the protections they offer for goods are undeniable. Still, the laws and basics about them are clear: And while it’s always hats-off to the counsel who can come up with a novel, sound argument for a client, the cases involving head-scratching claims have burgeoned in recent days. The attention-grabbing but unsuccessful or discontinued cases from those who obsesses over and seek to monopolize targeted words, names and the like, include: Beyonce and Jay-Z’s attempt to legally protect heir daughter’s name, Apple’s claim on ‘App Store’ and Louis Vuitton’s claim against Warner Bros. for the use of a fake LV bag in The Hangover Part II.