August 19, 2004

That Wacky Ken Layne

This is hilarious, especially if you have a Web site of any kind.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 19, 2004 08:22 PM

I think Athens 2000 just invited a Fark contest.

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at August 19, 2004 11:45 PM

Athens 2004 jumps the shark.

Posted by: David at August 20, 2004 03:46 PM

ROFL. It made my day.

Posted by: jj at August 20, 2004 04:38 PM

Yes, I thought it was quite funny four days ago, when I linked that Olympic policy on the 16th. (Why do I feel like the only way to get anyone to link to me is to e-mail them?)

Posted by: Gary Farber at August 20, 2004 06:11 PM


Being a large mammal in the TLB ecosystem you have not very much to complain, do you?

Posted by: Frans Groenendijk at August 21, 2004 04:46 AM

Google-bomb those idiots. Athens sucks. Stupid games.

Posted by: Adam Raizen at August 21, 2004 04:21 PM

I don't specialize in trademark law, but I know a little about it (which makes me dangerous). Yes, this seems silly. But the "Olympics" (trademark) and its symbols, such as the "5 Rings"(trademark), is a valuable trademark. A trademark has value because it is exclusive. Thus trademark holders can charge money for licensing it. If a trademark becomes common parlance because a trademark holder fails to take affirmative steps to protect it, trademark law may place the trademark in the public domain. Once in the public domain, the holder can't require license fees. Thus you will read about McDonalds suing mom-and-pop burger joints using the Golden Arches (trademark). If the trademark holder doesn't sue those who violate the trademark, the alleged infringer will introduce evidence of this to show that the trademark has slipped over to the public domain. So, as much as I despise the International Olympic Committee, they are simply doing what every holder of a valuable trademark does by putting out these silly notices. Want a historical example? "Aspirin" used to be a trademark before falling into common usage, without enforcement sought by the trademark holder, and thus is now in the public domain. Any company can use the word "aspirin" without paying licensing fees to Bayer (yes, Bayer at one time owned the trademark).

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at August 21, 2004 10:09 PM
Worth remembering some of the history of Bayer's involvement with aspirin:
Bayer Company archives credit the crucial work to a Jewish chemist who, with the rise of the Nazi Party in the 1930s, had to be written out of history. Jeffreys goes on to describe how the Nazis extorted cash from Bayer and thus profits from aspirin helped build up their regime, and Bayer chemists' involvement in setting up the concentration camps and gas chambers.
Posted by: anthony at August 24, 2004 01:11 PM
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