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View Diary: DOJ quietly drops investigation of Monsanto (145 comments)

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  •  Trademark is a name (2+ / 0-)
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    LilithGardener, CA wildwoman

    not a product, per se.  It's a name representing the product (or company), that you've registered with the government.  The name "Coca-Cola" is a trademark.  But the formula for the product (the product itself) is not a trademark.  In the case of Coke, the original formula was patented, whereas the new formula, afaik, was not (however it's still a trade secret).  But it's still not a trademark -- only the name, "Coca-Cola", is a trademark.

    Similar situation with a variety of plant.  You can't trademark a plant.  But you could, possibly, trademark a name for the plant.  Anyone can sell tomato seeds.  But if you call the seeds "Early Girl" tomato seeds, you'd be infringing on Monsanto's trademark.

    You're absolutely right, a trademark is neither a copyright nor a patent.  

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:53:42 PM PST

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    •  Right - thank you - (1+ / 0-)
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      A trademark is an embodiment of the company reputation attached to a specific product or service (the latter being a Servicemark, right?)

      "Early Girl" - Monsanto's tomato seeds that mature early.

      Can they use the same mark to sell Early Girl pea seeds too?  Or does that require a separate trademark?

      •  Tomatoes only (1+ / 0-)
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        In this case the trademark would apply only to tomatoes.  That's usually how it works when the trademark consists of generic nouns and adjectives.  One couldn't sell anything with the name "Monsanto" attached, since Monsanto is not a generic noun. "Sweet Baby Girl" tomato is a Monsanto trademark.  But Monsanto does not hold any claim to the words, "sweet baby girl," unless they are specifically attached to a type of tomato.  Hey, I'm not a lawyer here -- patents, trademarks and copyrights can be really complex fields of law.

        My understanding is a servicemark is basically equivalent to a trademark, only applied to a service rather than a product.

        Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

        by winsock on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:02:44 PM PST

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