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Friday 30 March 2012

Can a Trade Mark Kill? Techdirt's Glyn Moody Thinks It Can.

Fortunately, I know almost nothing about Glyn Moody.  He's got a brief Wikipedia entry.  I think he writes about technology mostly.  Which brings me to my point:  Glyn Moody really ought to stay out of intellectual property law (IP) and also tobacco-related policies.  Focus on what you really know, Glyn. Whatever that is -- hackers, maybe? Because when you write drivel like this article, it makes you look like a hateful cunt.  To wit:

"[...] because those logos and trademarks are only valuable to the degree they have been attached to products that have caused death and disease: the "best" brands are those with a track record of selling – and hence killing – more people than rival products. In effect, the tobacco companies are complaining that all their hard work getting people addicted and smoking themselves to death will be wasted if the plain-packaging proposals for cigarettes are implemented."

Glyn.  Glyn.  Glynny-Glyn.  I don't know if you are a hateful cunt, or just hateful in general, or just an asshole.  I'm guessing you hate smoking, and you hate smokers, and you probably think it's fine to say smokers are bad people equivalent to paedophiles, and that third-hand smoke kills more than second-hand smoke, which is far more dangerous than the smoke that smokers are inhaling first-hand.  I don't know if you think that. Maybe you don't. But if you do think these things, bully for you. 

But when it comes to IP, your opinion in this instance is based on emotion and how you feel about tobacco (i.e. your opinion), not based in fact, nor is it based in law.  Tobacco is a legal product.  Companies that sell legal products have rights, even if you don't like what they sell.  Even if you think what they sell kills people, they still have a legal right to brand their goods.  This is important, Glyn:  Rights.  Law.  Legal products.  There are other legal products that kill people, Glyn, with far more efficacy. We like to call those pharmaceuticals.  Medicines, if you will.  Notwithstanding, there are simple, easy-to-get products on the shelves that could easily harm you.  Kill you, even.  They have warning labels.  So do cigarette packs.

But I fail to grasp your logic here:

"Patents can kill: so, it seems will trademarks, if tobacco companies get their way."

Hello?  What the fuck?  It wasn't a patent that killed anyone, Glynny-Glyn. That was a company enforcing its legal right to a monopoly on the product they invented or own the rights to sell and manufacture.  (I do think they could have acceded to the others' requests, but they didn't.  They could be complete assholes, sure.  Maybe they are. I dunno.)  You might want to parse that as being a "patent that kills" but that patent killed no one, except perhaps for trade mark attorneys who had to force it through the USPTO's arcane patent system.  Your point is invalid.  It was merely a lack of product availability.  It takes ages, months or sometimes years, to get a legally-acceptable licence in place to allow others to manufacture your goods, to transport those goods across state or international borders, and this is particularly true in respect of pharmaceuticals.  But you wouldn't know that, would you.

But hey, let us test your theory, Glynny-Glyn Moody.  Find me one person who died from only looking at pack of cigarettes.  Find me one person who died from looking at any trade mark.  Or a patent.  Just one, please.  All's I'm asking for is: One.  Uno.  Un.  Eins. Ichi. 

I'll be here, waiting for your reply.  In the meantime, good luck with your hate campaign against smokers, and to your buddy Mike as well. 

I wrote a book about Linux.
I wrote a book about Linux. That means I must be an expert on IP law.

image source: Wikipedia Commons.