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What’s really important? Or why O’Reilly’s trademark argument means nothing to me.

What’s really important? Or why O’Reilly’s trademark argument means nothing to me.

Tim O’Reilly returns from vacation and comments on the Web 2.0 trademark controversy.

Tim’s post is an indepth explanation of the issues involved – and communicates clearly what I’ve always personally held to be the integrity in which he carries himself and operates his business. I’ve no issue with the content of his post.

I do have an issue with the very idea of trademarking Web 2.0 for use in a conferencing environment.

Trademarks are important. BlogMedia holds a few, but each revolves around protecting our brand name in a way that we consider important. The name ‘BlogMedia’ is trademarked as is the name of a few of our blogs.

None of these are common terms that are likely to come up in other transactions. I don’t see someone running out and starting another large blog news site called ‘The Blog Herald’ anymore than I see someone launching another blog network called ‘BlogMedia’.

Nor did we try to trademark the term ‘blog’ or ‘blog network’ or something common like Web 2.0 – even if limited to the conferencing arena.

Dave Winer chimes in with this, over at Scripting News:

The blogs seem to have a knee-jerk opinion that everything involving lawyers is wrong. I don’t agree. There are times when people can’t settle their differences without legal representation. There are also times when all discussion must be handled by lawyers.

And again, this is part of the uproar. Sometimes the blogosphere turns into a mob – and that tends to happen when the subject of either lawyers or advertising comes into play.

Don’t believe me? Look at all of the discussion that went around the blogosphere when Michael Arrington redesigned Techcrunch.

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Bloggers fly into the same pit and start to feast on each other like carrion birds when lawyers come into play – even if it’s just a cease and desist letter.

But in the business world – where we live (or should live anyways) – lawyers are just part of the price of doing business. I’ve written about this before over at Blog Network Watch.

Jason Calacanis posts some similar thoughts.

In the end, my only real bitch is that I think trademarking a term like Web 2.0 is stupid.

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