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(Ars Technica)   ALS Association gets ice water dumped on their trademark application for "ice bucket challenge"   (arstechnica.com) divider line 56
    More: Cool, ALS Association, Trademark Office, for-profit corporations  
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5841 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Sep 2014 at 11:44 AM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-09-02 10:51:07 AM  
Last week, ALSA filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to trademark the term for use in charity fundraising. That move quickly sparked an outcry, since ALSA didn't invent the phrase "ice bucket challenge" and the concept has been used to raise money for other charities before. One commentator stated, "I'm outraged that [ALSA] could try to trademark something that previously existed. Similarly, I'm also outraged at 'Apple' computers and 'Ivory' soap. They didn't invent apples or elephants!"
 
2014-09-02 11:49:03 AM  

Theaetetus: Last week, ALSA filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to trademark the term for use in charity fundraising. That move quickly sparked an outcry, since ALSA didn't invent the phrase "ice bucket challenge" and the concept has been used to raise money for other charities before. One commentator stated, "I'm outraged that [ALSA] could try to trademark something that previously existed. Similarly, I'm also outraged at 'Apple' computers and 'Ivory' soap. They didn't invent apples or elephants!"


Mmmm yeah no. Apple's trademark is restricted to computer-related uses. Hence why there is also an Apple Records.
 
2014-09-02 11:49:24 AM  
Good.
 
2014-09-02 11:49:37 AM  
Ironically, Wally Pipp invented first base.
 
2014-09-02 11:50:04 AM  

Theaetetus: Similarly, I'm also outraged at 'Apple' computers and 'Ivory' soap. They didn't invent apples or elephants!"


That's not an apt comparison. Apple computers can keep me from naming my new computer Apple Computer, but they can't keep me from naming my orchard "Sudo's Apple Orchard." But the only function of an ice bucket challenge is to raise money for charity.
 
2014-09-02 11:50:51 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-09-02 11:50:58 AM  
Last week, ALSA filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to trademark the term for use in charity fundraising.

Some lawyer wanted to figure out a way to make people dislike an org raising money to fight one of the worst diseases ever.
 
2014-09-02 11:51:14 AM  
Good. They didn't create it.
 
2014-09-02 11:54:26 AM  
Forget ALS, what about Lou Gehrig's Disease???
 
2014-09-02 11:55:07 AM  
Is Lou Gehrig still their spokesman?
 
2014-09-02 11:56:14 AM  

Headso: Some lawyer wanted to figure out a way to make people dislike an org raising money to fight one of the worst diseases ever.


Yeah, it would be as silly as going after people for using a phrase like "Race for the Cure."
 
2014-09-02 11:56:39 AM  
Now that we've collected millions to make people aware of ALS, perhaps we could throw a few dollars at actual research.
 
2014-09-02 12:01:58 PM  
People all say that they've had a bad break (ake ake ake)......
 
2014-09-02 12:02:35 PM  
Good..  nothing standing in the way of my new campaign, Ice Bukake Challenge.   Just ned some volunteers...
 
2014-09-02 12:04:15 PM  
richpoi.com

Anybody thinking about a trademark should note first that it's been an Eastern tradition in Hungary for hundreds of years.

/I also need to add that the woman on the picture is consenting
 
2014-09-02 12:13:26 PM  

nullptr: Theaetetus: Last week, ALSA filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to trademark the term for use in charity fundraising. That move quickly sparked an outcry, since ALSA didn't invent the phrase "ice bucket challenge" and the concept has been used to raise money for other charities before. One commentator stated, "I'm outraged that [ALSA] could try to trademark something that previously existed. Similarly, I'm also outraged at 'Apple' computers and 'Ivory' soap. They didn't invent apples or elephants!"

Mmmm yeah no. Apple's trademark is restricted to computer-related uses. Hence why there is also an Apple Records.


You missed the point - trademarks do not require you to have "invented" the term. They can be known words.
 
2014-09-02 12:15:53 PM  

traylor: [richpoi.com image 580x385]

Anybody thinking about a trademark should note first that it's been an Eastern tradition in Hungary for hundreds of years.

/I also need to add that the woman on the picture is consenting


Consenting, or brainwashed by a patriarchal society?!?

/just doing my part
 
2014-09-02 12:24:27 PM  
So is this just some random copied thing adapted for fund raising, or is it supposed to be significant/symbolic to the symptoms of ALS?

wiki: ALS is characterised by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle wasting. This results in difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing.
 
2014-09-02 12:25:12 PM  

CarnySaur: traylor: [richpoi.com image 580x385]

Anybody thinking about a trademark should note first that it's been an Eastern tradition in Hungary for hundreds of years.

/I also need to add that the woman on the picture is consenting

Consenting, or brainwashed by a patriarchal society?!?

/just doing my part


img.fark.net
 
2014-09-02 12:30:44 PM  

traylor: [richpoi.com image 580x385]

Anybody thinking about a trademark should note first that it's been an Eastern tradition in Hungary for hundreds of years.

/I also need to add that the woman on the picture is consenting


So you are saying she was asking for it?
 
2014-09-02 12:31:42 PM  
At some point, I would like to think that the money that is donated actually goes to research instead of paying some lawyer to file a trademark application for this nonsense.
 
2014-09-02 12:32:21 PM  
ALSA? WHO DAT?
 
2014-09-02 12:32:41 PM  

traylor: [richpoi.com image 580x385]

Anybody thinking about a trademark should note first that it's been an Eastern tradition in Hungary for hundreds of years.

/I also need to add that the woman on the picture is consenting


I thought it was "Wet Monday", the day after Easter(n).

Heard it was a pretty fun day.
 
2014-09-02 12:32:44 PM  

Theaetetus: nullptr: Theaetetus: Last week, ALSA filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to trademark the term for use in charity fundraising. That move quickly sparked an outcry, since ALSA didn't invent the phrase "ice bucket challenge" and the concept has been used to raise money for other charities before. One commentator stated, "I'm outraged that [ALSA] could try to trademark something that previously existed. Similarly, I'm also outraged at 'Apple' computers and 'Ivory' soap. They didn't invent apples or elephants!"

Mmmm yeah no. Apple's trademark is restricted to computer-related uses. Hence why there is also an Apple Records.

You missed the point - trademarks do not require you to have "invented" the term. They can be known words.


Can you trademark something multiple other people & organizations have been doing for decades - nor just the same name/word, but the same action for the same purpose?
 
2014-09-02 12:35:25 PM  

dwrash: At some point, I would like to think that the money that is donated actually goes to research instead of paying some lawyer to file a trademark application for this nonsense.


I wouldn't worry too much. Trademarks are cheap.

/trademark attorneys make all of their money in infringement litigation, not filing applications
 
2014-09-02 12:39:08 PM  
goodcat.jpg
 
2014-09-02 12:45:20 PM  
that would be a jerk move to sue another charity organization for trying to raise money in a manner similar to the way you did.
 
2014-09-02 12:51:55 PM  

nullptr: Theaetetus: Last week, ALSA filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to trademark the term for use in charity fundraising. That move quickly sparked an outcry, since ALSA didn't invent the phrase "ice bucket challenge" and the concept has been used to raise money for other charities before. One commentator stated, "I'm outraged that [ALSA] could try to trademark something that previously existed. Similarly, I'm also outraged at 'Apple' computers and 'Ivory' soap. They didn't invent apples or elephants!"

Mmmm yeah no. Apple's trademark is restricted to computer-related uses. Hence why there is also an Apple Records.


Not to mention Apple Records is older...
 
2014-09-02 12:53:51 PM  
Sounds like the ALSA had a lot of nerve to try that stunt

/I'll show myself out
 
2014-09-02 01:02:40 PM  
It's cool that the (zany) Ice Bucket Challenge  - example here with a garbage can - has raised awareness/funds for a good cause ... but a bit of a reach by the ALS organization to trademark it IMHO.
 
2014-09-02 01:03:24 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: Sounds like the ALSA had a lot of nerve to try that stunt

/I'll show myself out


They don't have a leg to stand on.

/I'm right behind you.
 
2014-09-02 01:05:17 PM  

hulkster: It's cool that the (zany) Ice Bucket Challenge  - example here with a garbage can - has raised awareness/funds for a good cause ... but a bit of a reach by the ALS organization to trademark it IMHO.


Not really... There's currently a strong association between ALSA and the Ice Bucket Challenge - more so than with any other organization, I'd say. And the trademark doesn't stop people from doing it, and arguably wouldn't even stop some other charity organization from doing it either. All it would do is stop vendors from commercially selling T-shirts and bumper stickers that said "I did the Ice Bucket Challenge!" and then pocketing the money without ever sending any to ALSA.
 
2014-09-02 01:14:57 PM  

MooseBayou: traylor: [richpoi.com image 580x385]

Anybody thinking about a trademark should note first that it's been an Eastern tradition in Hungary for hundreds of years.

/I also need to add that the woman on the picture is consenting

I thought it was "Wet Monday", the day after Easter(n).

Heard it was a pretty fun day.


Sorry for the typo. Yes it is the Monday after Easter but we don't call it Wet Monday. It's a national holiday when boys from all ages go and see the nicest girls they know and sprinkle them with water or a special Eau de Cologne made for this occasion. Traditionally a bucket of water was used for this purpose, and it's still common in rural areas. The girls in return offer painted eggs, ham sandwiches, drinks, and handjobs.
 
2014-09-02 01:19:00 PM  
Well, if I remember correctly, Susan Komen has the trademark to the pink ribbon and the phrase "for the cure." They like to sue other charities to remind people of that too.
 
2014-09-02 01:20:15 PM  

Theaetetus: Last week, ALSA filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to trademark the term for use in charity fundraising. That move quickly sparked an outcry, since ALSA didn't invent the phrase "ice bucket challenge" and the concept has been used to raise money for other charities before. One commentator stated, "I'm outraged that [ALSA] could try to trademark something that previously existed. Similarly, I'm also outraged at 'Apple' computers and 'Ivory' soap. They didn't invent apples or elephants!"


Classes of goods, how do they work?
 
2014-09-02 01:31:37 PM  
I'm glad the TM attempt is over, but I am now aware:

"The group has the highest four-star rating from  charity navigator, a non-profit watchdog group. In 2013, the ALS Association used 79 percent of donated funds on research grants, education efforts, and patient services, according to the association's website. The rest of the funds went toward fund-raising efforts and administrative costs.

(The American Cancer Society, by comparison, has a two-star rating with 59 percent of donations going to programs and research, while the rest goes toward fund-raising and staff expenses.)"

From:  Will $94 million raised from Ice bucket challenge yield cure for ALS?
 
2014-09-02 01:34:59 PM  

ukexpat: Theaetetus: Last week, ALSA filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to trademark the term for use in charity fundraising. That move quickly sparked an outcry, since ALSA didn't invent the phrase "ice bucket challenge" and the concept has been used to raise money for other charities before. One commentator stated, "I'm outraged that [ALSA] could try to trademark something that previously existed. Similarly, I'm also outraged at 'Apple' computers and 'Ivory' soap. They didn't invent apples or elephants!"

Classes of goods, how do they work?


Not by requiring you to have invented them.
 
2014-09-02 01:55:01 PM  
dpoisn.com
They had no business trying to trademark something they did not invent.  Just because it became popular, and they got LOTS of attention for it, does not mean that they can suddenly claim it for themselves.

Did they actually expect that if someone decides to do an ice bucket challenge for Parkinson's Disease, they could stand up and go, "Wait! We own that.  You need to pay us a royalty to use it!!"??

So screw them.  They only have something like 23% of the proceeds they got from the whole thing going to actual research.  Don't piss more of it away trying to get greedy.
 
2014-09-02 02:00:34 PM  
You know what?
Fark them.
 
2014-09-02 02:02:17 PM  
Good. That was the moment when it jumped the shark.
 
2014-09-02 02:04:41 PM  

durbnpoisn: They had no business trying to trademark something they did not invent.


Trademarks do not require that you invented something.
 
2014-09-02 02:11:42 PM  

AnotherBluesStringer: Well, if I remember correctly, Susan Komen has the trademark to the pink ribbon and the phrase "for the cure." They like to sue other charities to remind people of that too.


That alone should have made it clear to them that it wasn't a good idea.  That charity has gone from loved to reviled by many in just a few short years.
 
2014-09-02 02:16:47 PM  
Hey ALSA.  Do you know what else?

Lou Gherig called and wants his farking disease back, assholes.
 
2014-09-02 02:25:49 PM  

durbnpoisn: [dpoisn.com image 640x535]
They had no business trying to trademark something they did not invent.  Just because it became popular, and they got LOTS of attention for it, does not mean that they can suddenly claim it for themselves.

Did they actually expect that if someone decides to do an ice bucket challenge for Parkinson's Disease, they could stand up and go, "Wait! We own that.  You need to pay us a royalty to use it!!"??

So screw them.  They only have something like 23% of the proceeds they got from the whole thing going to actual research.  Don't piss more of it away trying to get greedy.


23%? That's a very highball estimate. Who did you hear that from? The people that work ALSA? Maybe they were just being told that; unless it's coming from a very blunt person working from their accounting; usually it's 20% or less. I know someone who was accounting from a non-profit org.

On an off note, it's funny how non-profit organizations are run like a corporation, but you see almost virtually none of the contributions from one; except the huge ones like Red Cross, etc. Why do they need to hire all these professionals; which I never clearly understood. And why do these professionals need to be paid respectively like their top of their fields? Yeah, because their PR department; and initiative of their CEO's plan had something to do with this recent success (*sarcasm*). Yet, if anything that CEO will claim credit for this.
 
2014-09-02 02:48:29 PM  

AnotherBluesStringer: Well, if I remember correctly, Susan Komen has the trademark to the pink ribbon and the phrase "for the cure." They like to sue other charities to remind people of that too.


If you get a trademark you are obligated to defend it. If another organization is using your trademark, and you don't defend it, you lose it.

Whether they should of applied for the trademark is a different story. But if they have it they must defend it. And the other organizations should know better than to use someone else's trademark.
 
2014-09-02 03:00:39 PM  

Schwhat: On an off note, it's funny how non-profit organizations are run like a corporation, but you see almost virtually none of the contributions from one; except the huge ones like Red Cross, etc. Why do they need to hire all these professionals; which I never clearly understood. And why do these professionals need to be paid respectively like their top of their fields? Yeah, because their PR department; and initiative of their CEO's plan had something to do with this recent success (*sarcasm*). Yet, if anything that CEO will claim credit for this.


First off, a 501 (c)(3) can be a corporation, trust, LLC, or other. I know by corporation, you probably mean for-profit, but it's wrong to make that assumption.

Secondly, the huge ones, especially the Red Cross, are known for their really high overhead.  A lot of times your money is put to more efficient use with the smaller orgs.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/
 
2014-09-02 03:09:11 PM  
You know what...Now would be the perfect time for an organization that's ANTI-ALS to go and try doing this "ice bucket" thing.
 
2014-09-02 03:31:08 PM  

Theaetetus: hulkster: It's cool that the (zany) Ice Bucket Challenge  - example here with a garbage can - has raised awareness/funds for a good cause ... but a bit of a reach by the ALS organization to trademark it IMHO.

Not really... There's currently a strong association between ALSA and the Ice Bucket Challenge - more so than with any other organization, I'd say. And the trademark doesn't stop people from doing it, and arguably wouldn't even stop some other charity organization from doing it either. All it would do is stop vendors from commercially selling T-shirts and bumper stickers that said "I did the Ice Bucket Challenge!" and then pocketing the money without ever sending any to ALSA.


That helps me understand  better why they would do it.  Without that tidbit, it just sounds greedy for a charity.

Makes sense thinking that might be the reason.

/don't usually think like a criminal
 
2014-09-02 04:19:28 PM  

durbnpoisn: They only have something like 23% of the proceeds they got from the whole thing going to actual research.


They claim 28%, but that doesn't mean that 72% is going to overhead. They're primarily an advocacy and support organization: they put more of their budget to "education" and "patient services"

www.alsa.org
That's still 21% going into administration and fundraising, so you can decide whether that's too much. But it's reasonable that only a quarter goes to research, since they're doing other charitable works with most of the money.
 
2014-09-02 05:53:49 PM  
WhoGAS
Theaetetus: hulkster:
It's cool that the (zany) Ice Bucket Challenge - example here with a garbage can - has raised awareness/funds for a good cause ... but a bit of a reach by the ALS organization to trademark it IMHO.

Not really... There's currently a strong association between ALSA and the Ice Bucket Challenge - more so than with any other organization, I'd say. And the trademark doesn't stop people from doing it, and arguably wouldn't even stop some other charity organization from doing it either. All it would do is stop vendors from commercially selling T-shirts and bumper stickers that said "I did the Ice Bucket Challenge!" and then pocketing the money without ever sending any to ALSA.


That helps me understand better why they would do it. Without that tidbit, it just sounds greedy for a charity.

Makes sense thinking that might be the reason.


Dunno, but except for the "so that nobody else can do it" bit, this still sounds greedy to me.
What dos it matter to them if someone else starts selling shirts like that (and basically do some free advertising)?
The only thing they would lose is an opportunity to additionally and exclusively cash in on a fad they didn't create.
Nobody is stopping them from selling "original ALSA(tm)", charity-supporting "I did the ALSA(tm) ice bucket challenge!" shirts - only, with competition selling similar shirts, they would potentially make less money from it.
 
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