[NTLK] OT Call for Einstein domain names

Terence Griffin terence.griffin at nist.gov
Mon Dec 5 13:00:24 EST 2011

Dennis Swaney wrote:
> Yes, they can and have done so. A lot of small businesses have been forced
> to change their name when a large conglomerate trademarks a name. The
> latter then have their shysters file cease and desist motions against the
> small business, who can do one of two things: comply or fight it out in
> court for the next 10 years.
Well, yes. I didn't mean strong arming. I meant legitimately.
> As for product/market, sometimes that is not even considered. There was a
> watch maker (Luxus?) who sued Toyota over the Lexus car name saying it
> would cause confusion. Ditto Beretta Arms sued Chevrolet over the car
> Beretta though in this case it was slightly valid. See:
> http://www.americanrifleman.org/blogs/firearms-trademarks/
Fair point. Trademark damage isn't necessarily restricted to within
a product domain. A completely different product type may ridicule
another's trademark. And trademarks a often licensed to products
way outside the original domain.

IIRC, Lexus/Nexus data service lost a similar suite against Toyota.

> On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 8:36 AM, Terence Griffin <terence.griffin at nist.gov>wrote:
>> Certainly they can't prevent someone one named Einstein from using the
>> name commercially if it doesn't cause market confusion, say Einstein Carpet
>> Cleaners. I wonder if it's even a valid trademark, i.e what is their
>> product/market? Would this product be close enough to their's to cause
>> confusion (Re: Apple Inc. v The Beatles)? It's not an uncommon name,
>> sort like a German 'Smith' or 'Jones.'
>> Anyone here named Einstein who'd be willing join The Board?

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