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Amazon have trademarked “Real Name™”

During a slightly confrontational yet good natured bit of email tennis about the pros/cons of allowing anonymity in message boards, someone produced Amazon’s policy on the matter. (This was on the infamous ‘[BBC] News Interactive Talking Shop’ mailing list btw – oh, it’s legendary!)

During my perusal of the said document, I noticed that Amazon have trademarked “Real Name” (or “Real Name™” as I should probably refer to it)! That’s just plain ridiculous.

I’m not sure but it could mean that the BBC, or anyone else for that matter, can’t say “Please use your real name” in the context of online identity without Amazon’s express permission. I’ll have to do some checking…

Maybe I should try and trademark “Date of Birth” or “Mother’s Maiden Name”…

(Amazon have pulled this kind of stunt before too. They successfully trademarked “1-Click”, both the name and the concept of buying and paying for an item with a single click – based on the already-authenticated session information about the user).

Published in Thoughts and Rants

One Comment

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