23 October 2009

Protecting The Brand

Few days ago Envato (Australia based startup) announced they have to change one of theirs marketplace's name and URL. They run several websites like ThemeForest, GraphicRiver, AudioJungle, VideoHive, FlashDen and more. Latest one FlashDen is our suspect. What happend is that Adobe Systems Incorporated law firm representative contacted them asking to change their name, as TechCrunch reported. Envato did changed it into ActiveDen to avoid further legal problems.

There are few very strange things here. First, FlashDen is already registered trademark in Australia from August 2008 and therefor Envato should be protected by law, but they decided to change their name and url right away. Second, many websites use similar names like flashcomponents.net, flashloaded.com (to name a few) and a LOT more, but it seems like only Envato is contacted about this issue or at least I'm not aware of others. Idea that this is only first step and that all those websites will be contacted in near future is unlikely because it will be biggest technology suicide of all times!

Community responded and they responded hard. Just check 500+ comments on Envato forum. Some are furious, but many of readers are simply confused. Matthew Craig wrote:

"This is absolutely ridiculous… A community developed around a product to promote that product yet the product thinks it’s harmful to the product having a community promoting it? Makes no sense to me. It’s like mall-cops on a power trip thinking they are real cops."

and Mark wrote:

"I’m pretty annoyed that companies like Apple, and Adobe are so vicious with it’s legal protection of their trademarks. Sad really."

So, how about Adobe? What are their thoughts? Let's see what they say about proper use of the flash trademark:

"Trademarks help protect corporate and product identity, and the Flash® trademark is one of Adobe's most valuable trademarks. By following our guidelines, you can help Adobe protect the Flash brand name. The Flash trademark must never be used as a common verb, as a noun, or as a generic term for animation or video or to describe the output format. The Flash trademark should always be capitalized and should never be used in possessive form or as a slang term. It should be used as an adjective to describe the product and should never be used in abbreviated form."

It seems that Adobe is just trying to protect their brand. There is nothing wrong with it and I think there is no room for talks about 'evil Adobe' (at least not for now). Just imagine what would The Ronald do in same situation. They will sue everyone, right away, until extermination! And after dust comes down, they will sue some more! If you put The Ronald and other big aggressive brands together in same room, Adobe would be like nerd teenager trying to get attention, nothing more. For now.

*_*

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