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Trademark on 'Area 51' now pending?

From: campbell@ufomind.com (Glenn Campbell, Las Vegas)
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 1997 07:55:51 -0800
Subject: Trademark on 'Area 51' now pending?

>I am E-mailing you to inform you of various companies who are interested
>in Tradmarking the name "AREA 51". At present only one company presently
>owns the name for production of video games. However, many companies are
>presently awaiting verification of their trademarks which would keep
>others (i.e. you & me) from producing any kind of product for profits of
>any kind. Presently, I see many others producing things like stickers,
>T-shirts, Caps, Videos, etc. on Area 51. Since the present applications
>being reviewed by the Trademark office are only now being processed, I
>would like to move forward to keep anyone from actually owning the name
>Area 51. I think everyone should be allowed to use it. Wondered what
>your opinion was?
>
>If u agree, I think the first action would be to gather letters from
>various people who participate in Area 51 type stuff, who feel they
>would be done harm if the name were to be assigned to one private party.
>I have experience with trademarking and I know there is still time to
>challenge the applications. However, that time has to be within the next
>few months. Please resppond if you feel you can help, or would like to
>participate in any way. thank you for your time, and i look forward to
>hearing from you.
>
>billya@cyaonline.com

I am interested in this issue and have previously done some research
on it.

When a trademark application is pending, a notice is eventually
published by the trademark office in its official newsletter.  Opposing
parties then have an opportunity to protest.

If you can find this notice, then we can probably do something about
it.

The trademark claim has no strong basis, since Area 51 is a geographical
location, which is exempted from general trademark.  It would be like
trademarking "Las Vegas" on a T-Shirt.  (The video game is different,
because that indentifies a specific product.  A similar analogy is
"Las Vegas Chips", which is a brand of potato chips that is probably
trademarked.)

I'm not too worried about it, but I would like to keep track of the
process, and a few well placed letters might make a difference.
Earlier, I contacted one of the applicants, 800-TREKKER, about their
Area 51 trademark claim.  These guys are pure profiteers without the
slightest clue about the real Area 51.  (On top of that, their "Area
51" merchandise--T-shirts, coffee mugs, signs, etc--displays no
creativity whatsoever.)  I'd like to see them crash.

Since Time Warner is in the game, I expect them and TREKKER to
butt heads and do our work for us.  "Area 51" will be free!

You might find information on the net under the Patent and Trademark
Office.  I haven't had time to look.

Glenn



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