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