wxWindows changes name

Piet van Oostrum piet at cs.uu.nl
Thu Feb 26 11:04:34 CET 2004

>>>>> afriere at yahoo.co.uk (Asun Friere) (AF) wrote:

AF> I think you misuderstand the concept of 'genericity' as it applies to
AF> trademark law (though I should stress I don't have my law degree from
AF> a US institution, so there might be some differences there).  Perhaps
AF> I'm misreading you, but you seem to imply that because a word is in
AF> common use it cannot function as a trademark.  This is not so.

What I meant is that the word 'Windows' as a generic term (not as a
supposed trademark) was already in use before and during MS's use.

AF> Generally a trademark must be (in the terminology of my jurisdicition)
AF> 'sufficiently adapted to distinguish' the product from other products
AF> in its class.  The test is whether other vendors of that product would
AF> want to use that term in regard to that product.  Eg if you are
AF> selling fish the term 'ocean' wouldn't be sufficiently adapted to
AF> distinguish, but the term 'door' might be (ie you shouldn't be able to
AF> trademark 'Ocean Fish(tm),'  but 'Door Fish(tm)' should be fine.)
AF> Similarly you /shouldn't/ be able to trademark 'Digital Computers(tm)'
AF> (Aha!), but 'Gateway Computers(tm)' would seem to be OK.  It is
AF> arguable that 'Windows' is sufficiently adapted to distinguish one
AF> operating system from another, certainly it is far better than 'Disk
AF> Operating System,' sans the 'MS-.'

I think 'Windows' and 'Word' are in the same league as 'Ocean' for fish.
Piet van Oostrum <piet at cs.uu.nl>
URL: http://www.cs.uu.nl/~piet [PGP]
Private email: P.van.Oostrum at hccnet.nl

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