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On Tue, 4 Dec 2012 14:27:54 -0800
Sai <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Wrong. Registration is not required; it only creates a presumption
> that a violation was knowing (because you could've looked it up).
> 
> What's required is that it be continuously used commercially, and that
> you actively tell people who use it wrongly to stop. Otherwise it can
> get genericized, like kleenex & xerox (both no longer ™).

Again, USA. The IPO in Britain make it clear: "If you want to protect
your trade mark (brand) then it must be registered as a trade mark."

> This is why I included trade *dress*. See e.g. Wizards of the Coast's
> D20 System / D&D for a good example of this. You can't call something
> in your own published setting a "tiefling rogue" — no more than they
> could call their "halflings" "hobbits", because that'd tread on the
> Tolkien estate's trade dress rights.

Again, USA. No one can restrict the use of the words "halfling" or
"hobbit" elsewhere, because they can't be trademarks (they don't refer
to goods or services) and they aren't covered by copyright law. If no
one could use "hobbit" because it's in a book, then all personal and
place-names used in any work of fiction would become unusable by anyone
else.