Tuesday, 14 June 2016

"Thanks" Owned By Citigroup

My parents taught me the importance of good manners, namely that it oils the wheels of social discourse. Now that Star Trek's Ferengi have apparently taken over the world, being polite is going to cost you.

Citigroup Inc (C.N) sued AT&T Inc (T.N) on Friday, saying the phone company's use of "thanks" and "AT&T thanks" in a new customer loyalty program infringed its trademark rights to the phrase "thankyou."

The aim of the lawsuit is to stop AT&T from using the words in its literature. That everyday words like "Thanks" or "Thankyou" can be trademarked at all is a cause for concern. It's bad enough to fence off music, books, or films, etc., but now they're turning words into rent-generating real estate. It's not on. If you want to follow the case, it's Citigroup Inc v. AT&T Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-04333.

Read more:  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-at-t-citigroup-lawsuit-idUSKCN0YW1K3

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