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[_] Trademarks

rw at rw at
Thu Dec 31 00:19:43 GMT 2009

Perhaps I'm just being picky, but as I understand it you can't trademark a
web app.

The trade mark is just that - a mark. A logo design or a word or phrase. A
trade mark may be used by the trade mark owner when that owner sells a
specific service via a web site for example. Or it could be used as the
name of a software product sold on the internet. The logo at the top left
of the page may well be the name of the product, but its the logo that is
registered as a trademark, not the product.

The trade mark owner is entitled to do what they want with the mark. They
could use it to refer to a web app one day and a sweet shop the next. Its
not the app or the shop that is trade marked. Registering the mark just
helps to identify who the owner is when someone else starts using it -

I stand to be corrected, but I believe that a trademark can be used
legitimately by more than one company if they are using it for different
purposes. IBM could trademark the word "Think" (I guess they probably have)
in association with IT services. That shouldn't stop someone else
trademarking it in association with cheese. That Kerboodle link is
identifying what the Kerboodle trade mark is being used for - presumably so
that it is clear whether some other use of the same mark would infringe
upon the original registrant's right to exclusive use?

I suspect if you ask 6 people how important it is, you'll get 6 different
answers. My lawyer explained that it depends on what I perceived the risk
to be - how likely is it that someone's going to try to rip me off, how
generic is the mark, etc.


Original Message:
From: Andy Davies dajdavies at
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2009 18:19:45 +0000
To: underscore at
Subject: Re: [_] Trademarks

2009/12/30 Thomas Buckley-Houston <tom at>

> Ho there,
> Can anyone give me the lowdown on trademarking a web application? How
> important is it? Also seeing as the internet is essentially international
> territory do I have to register a trademark in every major country?
Here's an example of a trademark for something that's a web app (essentially
a web based elearning offering for secondary education) but also has text
books associated with it. The brand logos associated with kerboodle are also

For the international situation there's some guidance here -


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