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This Week on The Web 2009-10-04 by jigordon

These are the discussions that happened around the web this week – maybe you already read about them, maybe you need to again.  Come join the party on twitter (follow me here and you’ll participate in the conversation live.)

I also realized that many of you might have no idea what you’re seeing below.  Sorry.  These are “tweets”, 140 maximum character messages sent via Twitter.  Within the Twitterverse individual users follow others and have followers (think of it like overlapping Venn diagram circles).  To read a tweet, you have to wade through a bit of jargon used to make the most of the 140 character limitation.  “RT” for example, is shorthand for “Re-tweet” and the @____ is the username of some other individual on Twitter.  Combined together, then, “RT @_____” means that someone else wrote a tweet that I found important and I now want to forward along to my followers.  The URL’s are then also shortened by shortening services like bit.ly to make the most of the character limitation, too.  Lastly, you might see “hash” identifiers “#______” which are ways to tag tweets of a particular flavor for easy searching later and “<” which means that I am commenting on what came before it.

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This Week on The Web 2009-09-13 (my birthday edition) by jigordon

It happens to be my birthday weekend and between eating some great food, playing Guitar Hero with my wife and hanging with the family, these are the things that happened around the web this week – maybe you already read about them, maybe you need to again – there were some REALLY great discussions going on.  Come join the party on twitter (follow me here and you’ll join the conversation live.)

I also realized that many of you might have no idea what you’re seeing below.  Sorry.  These are “tweets”, 140 maximum character messages sent via Twitter.  Within the Twitterverse individual users follow others and have followers (think of it like overlapping Venn diagram circles).  To read a tweet, you have to wade through a bit of jargon used to make the most of the 140 character limitation.  “RT” for example, is shorthand for “Re-tweet” and the @____ is the username of some other individual on Twitter.  Combined together, then, “RT @_____” means that someone else wrote a tweet that I found important and I now want to forward along to my followers.  The URL’s are then also shortened by shortening services like bit.ly to make the most of the character limitation, too.  Lastly, you might see “hash” identifiers “#______” which are ways to tag tweets of a particular flavor for easy searching later and “<” which means that I am commenting on what came before it.



Intellectual Property Issues in 2009 by jigordon
April 7, 2009, 9:32 am
Filed under: trademark

Prompted by an interesting post by James Governor on the subject of IP ownership of brands, names and even posts made through social networking sites (thanks to Deal Architect for the heads-up), I thought that starting a discussion about these IP Issues in 2009 might be a good idea.  Basic premises of IP protection have remained unchanged for decades.  In the US, there are four basic options: Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights and Trade Secrets.  While Patents and Trade Secrets are important and a conversation on copyright of your posts is enough for an entry all by itself – the discussion of brands, names and posts on such social networking sites is really about Trademark.

Brands, Trade Names, Monikers, Handles, etc. – these are all things that are typically covered by Trademark protection.  While it’s obvious today that a large company would register their domain name (www.largecompany.com), people quickly forget that new services offer new potentials for name registration: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etcetera – each require a new registration.  Of course, at one time, domain names weren’t as common and even The Coca-Cola Company went through an exercise with a third party who had registered coke.com.  But today, it should no longer come as a surprise to anyone that if you want to maintain your presence on each of these services, you have to register – especially if you’re not as large of a company to have a world-wide presence.  In fact, as I pointed out to James, his organization’s name (redmonk) might be common with another person in another part of the world.

Given that trademark registrations are regional in nature, it’s conceivable for two or more organizations to have a common claim on a particular name.  And it’s also possible, if you’re a coke provider (a coal residue), or any number of people with a last name of Coke, that you have a reasonable desire for a coke-related name.  But if you’re a Twitter user, for example, you’ll know that there’s only one option for a given name.  If you want @coke, you have to be the first to register the name.  How do you resolve this within the law and within any notion of fairness?  Well, with respects to domain names, ICANN basically ruled that if you had a legitimate claim on a name (such as those listed before) – or if you liked a particular domain name for your own personal use (and you weren’t squatting – trying to extort a trademark owner for ownership of the domain name), then it was first-come-first-serve.  The same is now true with these other services.