It seems like bad news spreads fastest of all; Motorola’s heavy-handed tactics have obviously struck a nerve, with plenty of critical comments both here and on other sites reporting our case. I thought I’d take a moment to address some of the questions people have been asking, as well as clear up any confusion about exactly why this is pure bluster and bullying on the part of a big corporation.
First off, there have been some questions about who exactly owns the trademark RAZR. In all the time I’ve been running motorazr.com I’ve never claimed that I own RAZR, and a quick look at the Patent and Trademark Office’s site shows that Motorola doesn’t own it either. In fact, there are only two variants of RAZR registered, both by a tyre manufacturer in Georgia. For the record, motorazr.com has no connection with them, either!
Word Mark RAZR Goods and Services IC 012. US 019 021 023 031 035 044. G & S: TIRES; ATV TIRES. FIRST USE: 19961200. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19961200 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Design Search Code Serial Number 78226395 Filing Date March 17, 2003 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Published for Opposition November 11, 2003 Registration Number 2855961 Registration Date June 22, 2004 Owner (REGISTRANT) CHENG SHIN RUBBER USA, INC. CORPORATION GEORGIA 545 OLD PEACHTREE ROAD SUWANEE GEORGIA 300242935 Attorney of Record Thomas J. Moore Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
This isn’t about publicity and it isn’t about money - it’s about a big company thinking that by virtue of their size they can twist both the law and the truth to however it suits them best. Several people have pointed out that at the end of the day this does most harm to Motorola’s reputation, and I think that’s true. And yet domain hijacking happens all the time, not just by Motorola but by lots of companies that can afford expensive lawyers, and it takes it happening to you to really underscore the injustice of it. Every time we let it happen we’re allow the behaviour to carry on, perhaps because we lack the resources, knowledge and will-power to stand up to them.
I appreciate all the support the rest of the blogosphere has offered me; this is an important fight because, if Motorola simply gets its own way, the message sent out is that bloggers will simply roll over and give up. And then you’ll see it happen more and more.
I’ll keep you all updated on any new developments.