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RE: Volkswagen Enthusiast Program(VW 1)311

On 26 Mar 2002, at 9:58, phillip bradfield -- volkshaus wrote:

> I can't believe that VW can copyright the word "b*g" - how can this be? And
> the word "beetle" - how can a company copyright simple nouns? Any lawyers on
> the list?

I believe you can register any word you want to as a trademark, as long as 
no one else has beaten you to it in this same field of business. It is then 
your trademark as long as you "protect" it. If you let it get out into common 
use, by letting people just use it without challenge, then you lose it. That's 
exactly why VW is doing this.

I find a couple things interesting about this. One is that it seems to me that 
it's too late for words like "Bug." The other is how many words do they 
actually have registered? I doubt if they have, or could have, registered type 
3, or fastback while notchback and squareback are just possible.

The other big question is why do they feel this is "necessary" when Chevy 
and Ford obviously don't mind.

As far as I know, all you have to do when you use a word that is registered to 
someone else is to state clearly that they are the owner, ie "VW, Bug, and 
Beetle are registered trademarks of VWoA." I don't think there's any 
prohibition against using someone else's trademark, you just have to make it 
clear who it really belongs to.

Jim Adney
Madison, WI 53711-3054

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