Re: [rumori] Iowa Prof. to Muzzle AT&T

From: matt davignon (
Date: Thu Jan 23 2003 - 12:26:31 PST

Some thoughts about this (which'll probably get shot down).

Doesn't a registered trademark only protect a phrase or symbol from being
put to the same use by someone else? For example, Apple Computers has a
registered trademark on that apple symbol, which means that another
computer/tech retailer can't use it. But an apple retailer or a after-school
program could use a similar symbol without violating copyright, right?
Wouldn't Kembrew's trademark of the phrase "Freedom of Expression" only
apply to the use of the phrase as a title for printed matter & media
channels, and not to prohibit individuals and corporations from uttering it?

And lastly, how can he claim a trademark to a phrase that's been in common
usage for hundreds of years before he could talk? Could I register a picture
of George Washington as my trademark? How about the phrase "Where's the
Restroom?" (Perhaps I could get a patent on it as a method of determining
where the restroom is.)

>From: Kembrew McLeod <>
>January 23, 2003 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>Iowa Professor Owns Phrase Freedom of Expression, Threatens Suit Against
>AT&T for Violating His Trademark.
>At a January 25, 2003 press conference in Chicago, IL, University of Iowa
>professor Kembrew McLeod will formally announce his plans to pursue legal
>action against AT&T for trademark infringement. The telecommunications
>giant used "Freedom of Expression" as the slogan for a recent print ad
>campaign, which violates Dr. McLeod's federally registered trademark,
>Freedom of Expression, which is also the name of his long-running

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