What the CMP/O’Reilly Web 2.0 Trademark really means

Ok, I promise that this will be my last post on this.

I just wanted to outline the reality of the attempt by CMP, supported by their partners O’Reilly, to Trademark the use of the phrase ‘Web 2.0’.

The application is for a Community Mark- this is a special kind of Trademark procedure which allows the applicant to seek protection for their sign or phrase in all the EU member states with a single application.

The application was filed on 21st March 2006 with the UK Patent Office by CMP Media LLP’s agents Barlin Associates. There is a strict three month time limit for the public to object. This time limit will run out therefore on 21st June. If no objection is lodged before that time the Trademark will be granted automatically.

The Trademark application covers the use of the phrase ‘Web 2.0’ only when used in relation to certain named activities and circumstances.
If granted, as it will be if no objection is lodged, it will give property rights to CMP to protect in the following fields of endeavor:

Class 35:
Arranging and conducting live events, trade shows, expositions and business conferences in various fields, including the fields of computers, communications and information technology.

Class 41:
Organising and conducting educational conferences, tutorials and workshops in various fields, including the fields of computers, communication and information technology.

If I were a university, college or educator I’d look askance at the property rights being sought in relation to Class 41. If granted it would allow CMP to prevent any educational institution from running a class, lecture, conference or workshop with the phrase “Web 2.0” in the title. And according to their own statements and letters, once such property rights had been granted to them, they would feel themselves obliged in all cases to take action to protect them.

This seems consequential.

6 Comments

  • […] Via Tuppenceworth comes news that this Web 2.0 malarky will also ban college courses from mentioning web 2.0 in their title. If I were a university, college or educator I’d look askance at the property rights being sought in relation to Class 41. If granted it would allow CMP to prevent any educational institution from running a class, lecture, conference or workshop with the phrase “Web 2.0? in the title. And according to their own statements and letters, once such property rights had been granted to them, they would feel themselves obliged in all cases to take action to protect them. […]

  • I’m no lawyer but the reading I have of the Class 41 rights do not appear to affect my continuing use of Web 2.0 in third level course notes. As far as I have read, Class 41 protections are designed for commercial applications–recurrency training, lifelong learning workshops, professional training events. As far as I know, Class 41 does not intrude inside educational institutions running syllabus-directed academic courses accredited by national higher education authorities.

    All the education licenses extending from our purchase of O’Reilly textbooks, teacher kits, Safari Bookshelf subscriptions and the like explicitly permit the use of those textbooks in classrooms, virtual education, and course notes. I doubt that an EU Class 41 protection overrides those explicit license agreements.

  • […] College course with web 2.0 banned? Via Tuppenceworth comes news that this Web 2.0 malarky will also ban college courses from mentioning web 2.0 in their title. […]

  • Simon McGarr says:

    Hi Bernie,
    I agree with you that the application would have no impact on your ability to distribute or use notes with ‘Web 2.0’ in the title. They would merely prevent you from calling your course/lecture/tutorial/live event any title with the phrase in it.

  • US law has a “fair use” provision for trademarks that would exclude this being an issue.

  • Simon McGarr says:

    Would they also extend to Community Marks registered for EU Use?

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