To see what Trademark protection you have, check out the Lanham
Act. I forget the URL, but use Yahoo and search on
'Trademark Lanham'. It's return an extensive document concerning
how it applies and what needs to be proven. In a nutshell
what you say about registering a trademark is correct. You don't
need to in order to establish that it's yours. You must also
prove that the infringement confused the public and then you
may be able to collect punitive damages.
Copyright is something that you create. This could be your company
logo, artwork or whatever. Unless you explicitly commit it to
the public domain, or get the original copyright holder
to allow you to use it, or the Federal Government created it,
it's a violation to use in any form and you can collect up to
3 times the amount you would have made off the artwork or that
you lost significant amount of income, based on analysis of
what you average in income, as punitive damages plus attorneys
No one will go to jail in either instance, but financially
you could broke or worse. With copyright, you don't even
need to give them a warning, you can just bring suit. The
threat of a lawsuit over copyright infringement should be
taken seriously by everyone, especially here on the Internet.
But those who don't can end up with a hefty financial
burden and you could end up with someones deed of trust. :)
I would think the threat of a copyright infringement
lawsuit would shut them down. But, if all you're willing
to do is call or send email asking, nothing need be done by
the violator. Legal action and the willingness to follow
through will any action be taken on the most biligerent
I just went through this with one of my customers on both
issues. However, this tactic raises some other concerns
on the internet that is a whole other topic, and a scary
one. Especially considering most people will sue at the
drop of a dime if the think they can get any money out
> The CLI online tutorial is very interesting. One feature
> of cyberlaw is trademark. We were told if you use a name
> or a mark, it's yours, and registering it will only insure
> that fact, although it isn't necessary to establish it.
> So..... Supposing I had a unique list name, say `Nerdnosh'.
> And let's pretend also that someone was to
> use my list name in vain, without my permission. He
> might quit my list and begin one of his own under the
> same name, or he might even run a roboperation to compile
> mailing lists on his hardware to display to customers.
> If copyright won't stop him (just for the sake of argument),
> might not trademark? The use of trademark protection is
> to prevent an infringement of name causing confusion
> in the market. Can I at least claim the name of the
> list, plus any distinguishing marks, as proprietary?
> mailto:email@example.com (Tim Bowden)
> Proud member of NERDNOSH (tm)!