Re: Trade Marks
OK let's try again, I'm not abolishing trademarks - I'm saying restrict it to company names only!
> A better example would be, say, me and a couple of friends making utterly shit phones and selling them on Ebay under the name "iPhone".
I'm not saying make it legal to create fakes. I'm saying you would have to market your product as "Me and My Mates(TM) iPhone" and Apple would have their "Apple(TM) iPhone" therefore a customer would still be informed and offered consumer protections against you selling an "Apple iPhone" which was your own knock-off.
> You're insane.
Well that escalated quickly... so imagining a different world or proposing changes to law is insanity is it?
What's the term for someone such as yourself, who blindly purchases products based solely on the product name without any investigation into their function or cost?
> The boxes would be identical in your world, since the distinctive features of packaging design that enable companies to differentiate their products are trademarks.
No they're not, they're designs and protected by design patents. I actually mentioned design patents above if you had taken the time to slow down and read my comment rather than rage.
So back to my example above - you are selling a box with "Me and My Mates iPhone" and apple are selling a box with "Apple iPhone". The shitness speaks for itself and the market will dictate which is better in the long run.
> No, a few people gravitate to quality, which establishes reputation, then everyone else gravitates to reputation. This is precisely why trademarks are valuable and useful.
So, in "my world", people will gravitate to Apple(TM) and avoid "Me and My Mates(TM)" - your shitty company that makes inferior iPhones.
> If your surname is McDonald, you can start a burger bar called "McDonald's" but you can't use the golden arches or make adverts with Hamburglar in them -- which is of course precisely why companies have more than one trademark. Like I said, trademark law is pretty reasonable.
Finally, a valid rebuke to my argument - however this doesn't actually seem to stop companies like Apple, The Olympics Committee and Hollywood (to name a few examples) from suing smaller established companies using the same names or symbols for valid purposes you mention - and not even in the same industries or markets.
Of course you may agree with the actions of Apple, The Olympics, Hollywood and similar actions taken by others, which means we will never see eye to eye. However I think allowing this abundance of trademarking only causes more confusion and lawsuits than solves it.
So my response is as follows; that in a world where McDonald's were limited solely to the trademark of their own name, either they would have to come up with a more unique name, or simply tie it to the location of their head office (should sort out the offshore tax loophole issues at the same time).
Let's face you've almost made my point for me. McDonald IS a name. Many people ARE named McDonald. We don't need to enforce unique names on people and we seem to manage fine in differentiating them based on other factors which can still be considered generic amongst the populace.
If you respond to this, before you vent (and hurl more insults) please consider I AM FOR TRADEMARKS, just arguing against trademarks on product lines.