Trademarks: the good, the bad and the ugly

(R)Cory Doctorow takes on trademarks in his latest Guardian column:

And that’s where it all starts to go wrong. Trademark holders inevitably consider themselves to be trademark owners. They don’t enforce their marks to protect the public, they do it to protect their profits (this is by design). Trademark starts from the assumption that the public makes an association between a product and a service on the basis of commerce: if I see Gillette on a disposable razor, that’s because Gillette is the company that thought of putting the word “Gillette” on a line of products, and its creativity and canny marketing have made the association in the public’s mind.

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