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Re: MTA Demands Slice of the Action at Brooklyn Bagel Shop or Else

Posted by Max Roberts on Tue Mar 15 09:18:35 2005, in response to Re: MTA Demands Slice of the Action at Brooklyn Bagel Shop or Else, posted by Allan on Tue Mar 15 08:57:41 2005.

No, no, my point is that just because a rich company decides to pay to trademark something, it doesn't mean that it can be trademerked, at least in the UK. So there are 3 issues, at least there would be here.

Is the trademark valid. Is it distinctive enough for the creator to have eclusive rights to using it?

Is the trademark merely a piece of generic information, or a mere fact. It is a mere fact that the F train serves the district. For example, if I were to write a guidebook to NY and use NYC Subway bullets, could MTA insist a payment.

Is there a passing-off issue? Is the establishment trying to make itself appear to be an official MTA eating place?

In this case, I would argue that the Bullets were not a valid trademark and had been granted in error, that letters in coloured bullets are merely a generic means of presenting differentiated information (take a look at the Zapf Dingbats font, I use these every day in my lectures), and that the use of these in a store name is mere advertising its proximity to an NYC Subway line.

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