Smalltalk and Python

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 14 10:15:23 CET 2000


"Michael Khaw" <michael.khaw at acm.org> wrote in message
news:3A3800A3.D8E936D8 at acm.org...
    [snip]
> It's pretty hit-and-miss though. I see mom-and-pop stores in small towns
> all over Italy which prominently feature Disney characters in their
> logos/store names (Topolino=Mickey, Papagallo=Donald), yet Disney hasn't
> gotten around to sic-ing its lawyers on them.

'Topolino' (which Disney Italia uses as Mickey Mouse's name) just
means 'little mouse' in Italian, as 'Paperino' (Donald Duck) means
'little duck', 'Pippo' (Goofy) is a common abbreviation of Filippo
(just like 'Phil' would be in English), etc.  These choices hark
back to the '30s, by the way.  Hard to get intellectual-law
protection for such generic terms.

('Pappagallo' means 'parrot' and is not the Italian name of any
Disney character).

It's true that sometimes small shops &c do use somewhat-recognizable
_drawings_ of the copyrighted characters to go with the names -- THAT
could certainly induce Disney to sue if they learned about it.  But
even more incredible to me, I just saw the other day a new fast-food
shop downtown (falafel and kebabs, mostly) -- it's called 'McKing',
and the logo for the 'M' uses _perfectly_ recognizable 'golden arches'.

With McDonald's well-known proneness to aggressive defense of their
trademarks, I'm astonished anybody could provoke them in such wise,
particularly a small direct competitor (maybe the strategy behind it
is that the lawsuit will produce a lot of publicity, and the David vs
Goliath effect, plus the likely antipathy against McDonald's on the
part of typical local consumers of Arab-cuisine fast-food, will in turn
increase the small shop's customer base by more than enough to pay
for the lawsuit's costs...?).


Alex






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