What is Legal Hackers, LLC, you ask?

Legal Hackers is a global movement of lawyers, policymakers, technologists, and academics who explore and develop creative solutions to some of the most pressing issues at the intersection of law and technology.

Hey, that sounds awesome. But wait:

The term “Legal Hackers” is currently pending trademark registration with the USPTO [by Legal Hackers, LLC].

Wait, what? That sounds like bullshit. I’m no trademark lawyer, but isn’t legal hackers just a description of a kind of hacker, like family lawyer is just a description of a kind of lawyer? I don’t think you can trademark that sort of thing. Besides, it sounds like Legal Hackers, LLC, thinks it should own the movement. If I were a part of this movement (which I totally want to be, now that I know about it), that would make me pretty uncomfortable.

The legal hackers community is having a quite civilized debate about the whole thing. Probably more civilized than it deserves. But if you want a pretty detailed breakdown of the whole thing, see these posts by John Grant:

  • “Call for Debate Over the Proposed “Legal Hackers” Trademark Registration”
  • “Why I Oppose the “Legal Hackers” Trademark Registration”
  • “Why I (Still) Oppose the Legal Hackers Trademark”

Be right back, I’m off to trademark GROCERY STORE.

1 Comment

  1. It’s an abuse of the TM system, something IP lawyers can articulate a lot better than me, but something that still bugs me nonetheless. And lawyers can get in on the fun too, e.g. a whistleblower law firm in DC called “The Employment Law Group” that sends out cease and desist letters to firms with the words “employment law group” in their firm name, which is utterly absurd. http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/law_firms_in_trademark_battle_over_employment_law_group_name/

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