Wires Crossed # 86 – June 1

Man Sues To Cancel Google Trademark
When a trademarked word enters the lexicon and common vernacular, does the company or person holding that trademark give up their rights? They should, according to David Elliott from Arizona in the US. To be fair, Elliott does have an agenda in that he has a whole list of website domain names that start with the word “Google” and was taken to task recently by the company. However, the bigger question is our original premise – when the word becomes common place, should it belong to everyone? I know that Dupont still owns the trademark for Teflon, while the same company also developed nylon, but does not own the rights to the name. What say you?

Lady Gaga Angers Thais Over Fake Rolex Tweet
Pop Icon Lady Gaga has raised the ire of Thai fans, according to the Sun Times. She is on a tour of South-east Asia, which has already had its fair share of controversy, not least being the cancellation of her Indonesian concert. And what has angered some Thais? When she arrived in the country she tweeted that she wanted to buy a fake Rolex. Apparently this is insulting and might give a bad impression of the country, says some Thai commentators. Whether that is true or untrue is not for us to decide, but we are wondering what the fuss is all about. At the end of the day Lady Gaga is right – Bangkok is a hub of knock-off products and if Thais get upset about people stating the obvious, only they can change that by getting rid of the vendors and markets that support these enterprises.

Ban The Xbox Says Judge
An International Trade Commission judge has recommended that the 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 S consoles should be banned in the United States. Why? Because they turns kids in couch potatos? No. Because too much gaming is bad for you? No. It’s all about patents. Apparently the judge, one David Shaw, found in favour of Motorola in that Microsoft had violated several patents that the flagging mobile phone manufacturer has, which are used on the Xbox 360 consoles mentioned. However, Xbox fans don’t need to get upset. We’re thinking that some sort of agreement between Motorola and Microsoft will happen, or it will be tied up in court for a year or 10.

Samsung Feud Shows No Signs Of Abating
We’ve already spoken a couple of times in Wires Crossed about the battle between Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee and his brother Lee Maeng-hee, plus a couple of other relatives. It is not about control of the company – Kun-hee has that tied up – but more about shares in Samsung Life, a insurance company that is part of the web that makes up the Samsung group of companies. At his most animated, Samsung head Kun-hee is secretive, as is most of his family. But now some the company’s laundry – dirty or otherwise – is about to be aired as the court case starts. We await the outcome with interest.

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