EFF, Reddit's 'Gaymer' Community Seek to Invalidate 'Gaymer' Trademark

January 24, 2013 -

The Electronic Freedom Foundation announced that it will fight for Reddit's 'Gaymer community' and against Chris Vizzini, owner of Gaymer.org. Vizzini holds a trademark on the term, but top moderators from the Subreddit /r/gaymers and the EFF believe that the trademark is invalid. The EFF and /r/gaymers have filed a Petition to Cancel with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Essentially it seeks to have the trademark invalidated on the ground that it is a commonly used term.

The fight began when blogger Chris Vizzini – who registered the trademark after creating a website targeting the gaymer community at gaymer.org – sent a cease-and-desist letter to Reddit complaining about the long-running subreddit group called r/gaymers.

The EFF says that the USPTO should have never granted the trademark because it was a term that was already in use.

"This registration should never have been granted," said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. "Gaymer is a common term that refers to members of this vibrant gaming community, and we are happy to help them fight back and make sure the term goes back to the public domain where it belongs."

"Trademarks have one primary purpose: to protect consumers from confusion about the source of goods or services," said EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels. "This registration isn't being used to protect consumers – it's being used to threaten free speech."

We will have more on this story as it develops.


 
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