Is there a trademark lawyer in the house?

I like Pie.

I assumed that in all the Wiki energy and expertise, there must have been some really good reason to dump the name Pie. On investigation (and Sam feeding me the URLs ;), it turns out that any mention of bringing back Pie is met with the URL, claiming that it is a trademark conflict that makes Pie unusable.

Take a close look at that record:

  • Registration Number: (NOT AVAILABLE)
  • Current Status: Opposition period completed, a Notice of Allowance has been issued.
  • The Notice of Allowance Date is: 2002-11-26
  • Registration Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)
  • Current Location: 700 -Intent To Use Section
  • First Use Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)
  • First Use in Commerce Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)

That’s not especially clear, so let’s look at the trademark FAQ.

What is a trademark?
A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.
How long does an Intent-to-Use applicant have to allege actual use of the mark in commerce?
An applicant may file an Amendment to Allege Use any time between the filing date of the application and the date the Examining Attorney approves the mark for publication. If an Amendment to Allege Use is not filed, then applicant has six months from the issuance of the Notice of Allowance to file a Statement of Use, unless the applicant requests and is granted an extension of time. If the applicant fails to file either an Amendment to Allege Use or a Statement of Use within the time limits allowed, then the application will be declared abandoned. No registration will be granted.

Ah, now we’re getting somewhere: you can’t just trademark something to keep other people from using it, you have to actually use it in commerce to identify your good or service, and if you file to register it before you actually use it, then you either start using it and file an Amendment to Allege Use before approval, or you have six months from the date of the Notice of Allowance to file a Statement of Use. If you don’t use it and file or request an extension, then you don’t get the registration.

There’s no evidence in the USPTO record of Alleged or Stated Use (though there’s also no evidence of changing the status to abandoned, either), so lets examine its use ourselves: Eidea Labs, Inc. is bound to be That redirects to Digital Harbor, which sells something (I’m honestly not quite sure what: a sort of restricted browser and server?) under the name PiiE with a double i, a mark for which they have an abandoned registration application.

There’s a reason why trademark lawyers exist. This is it.

Also: NameVoteShouldWaitForLegalReview


Comment by Adam #
2003-08-04 00:07:23

As a name, Pie sucks, IMO. But there’s certainly no legal case against using it, esp. if the mark was PiiE rather than Pie.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-08-04 00:31:27

Things don’t get to suck in a vacuum.

Compared to ”Everybody Gets Laid Tonight”, Pie sucks. (Michael, what’s the name of that movie?) Compared to BarbWire or even Elbo (wasn’t that where Napoleon was exiled?), Pie rocks my world.

Comment by Tomas #
2003-08-04 02:46:40

I’m fine with basically any name but Atom at this point.

Oh, and Napoleon was exiled on Elba.

Comment by Mark #
2003-08-04 07:00:00

”Elbo” is immediately going to be the butt of innumerable ”tickle-me-Elbo” jokes.

This is not unlike naming your first-born child: pick a name that is least likely to get them teased. An impossible task, but as you say, everything’s relative.

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