Should Lawyerist Cave to Trademark Bullying? (Poll)
Last week, we wrote about Above the Law’s foray into small firm news. Apparently our title, Above The Law Goes Small Law, got TechnoLawyer feeling insecure about its trademark on the term SmallLaw. According to the take-down notice (PDF) we received today from Kristen McCallion of Fish & Richardson P.C., TechnoLawyer is
concerned that such use will diminish our client’s goodwill in its distinctive SmallLaw trademark, and cause the public to mistakenly believe that the columns to be published by Above the Law, as well as the other publications listed . . . , may be connected or affiliated in some way with, and/or endorsed or approved by, PeerViews [TechnoLawyer's parent company] . . . .
We’re a little confused as to the confusion, here.
The term SmallLaw is pretty descriptive, but if there is anything that makes SmallLaw distinctive, it is the missing space. If TechnoLawyer really thinks small law is too-easily confused with its mark, it has a long list of cease-and-desist letters to send, given Google’s search results for “small law” (from which TechnoLawyer is curiously absent).
We’re also unsure about the state of TechnoLawyer’s goodwill in the first place, given last year’s ABA Blawg 100 vote-buying fiasco.
But hey, we’re fair-minded, so we leave it to you to tell us whether our use of small law confuses you. If you are confused, we’ll change the post. If not, we’ll let TechnoLawyer make the next move.