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Yahoo Serious Fights Yahoo! trademark 350

fsck writes "Australian actor Yahoo Serious is fighting Internet portal Yahoo! for the trademark to the word Yahoo, registered with the Australian Trade Marks Office in August. Yahoo! was founded in 1994, whereas Yahoo Serious changed his name by deed poll in 1980. It sounds as though Mr Serious is, among other things, tired of receiving any more misdirected Yahoo! snail mail." The levels of comedy to this are astounding.
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Yahoo Serious Fights Yahoo! trademark

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  • april fools is still quite a ways off, guys.

    sometimes, it seems, the ridiculous is more real than the fantasy.


    great way to start my morning.... with a cup of coffee snarfed out my nose and into my lap. thanks, slashdot.
  • whatever (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Joshuah ( 82679 )
    where was this smuck back in 1994? why wait until now to say something about it. im sure in the last seven years he has heard of yahoo and should of said something sooner. This is just outright people being stupid. It's like the guy named legally to oxford to keep oxford university from taking his domain.

    there are no supid questions only stupid people!
    • Re:whatever (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dr_Cheeks ( 110261 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:19AM (#2387820) Homepage Journal
      why wait until now to say something about it.[sic]
      The reason he's only just brought this up is because Yahoo! is trying to register their trademark in the field of entertainment - a piece of turf that Mr. Serious has already staked out (well, sort of). When they were just a search engine he could hardly claim there was going to be a lot of confusion, but since they're on his doorstep now he's got a bit more of a case.

      Course, the fact that he's not exactly the best known actor ever may prevent most people from being confused since they're unlikely to have heard of him. But since IANAL, I'm going to leave that discussion to the court to decide.

      And laugh if he wins.

      It's just a shame he didn't change his name to Micro Soft.

      • Re:whatever (Score:2, Funny)

        by jazman_777 ( 44742 )
        It's just a shame he didn't change his name to Micro Soft.

        Speaking of Microsoft, there should be a class action lawsuit by everyone named "Bob" against Microsoft, for trying to appropriate the name, and throw in a defamation suit, too.

      • There is the off chance that the college students who started Yahoo! had heard of and even watched some of Yahoo Serious's comedy films while in school.

        and got the idea for the company name from that.

        very hard to prove, of course. completely speculative. but definitely possible.

        Even I have heard of Young Einstien, for example. and I don't get out enough.

    • It seems, tha Yahoo! registered it's name in australia THIS August. So before this, this guy hadn't to care about Yahoo!
      But now it seems, he thinks to have found a Source of money, so he sues Yahoo!...
  • But I say "First come, first served" Sorry, Yahoo!
    • Re:IANAL (Score:2, Informative)

      by AUSketch ( 469630 )
      You have to remember that trademarks have context, meaning that they're only valid in relation to the primary function of the registrant company. This is why we can have a Delta Airlines, a Delta Electronics, and a Delta Faucets without any of them suing the others. So unless Mr. Serious is a website (not has a website), he doesn't have much legal ground.
  • So now, common words can be registered? I think that "yahoo" was around longer than either of these companies/organizations/people. That's ridiculous. Heck, that's like me registering the number "Nine".
    • Or microsloth trademarking the number '486'. Which they attempted to do.
      • was it microsoft or intel? i just dont understand what micrsofts motivation would be to register a tradmark on a model number for an intel chip.
    • Expect to be served a notice from Wayne Gretzky's lawyers any day now.
  • Yahoo (Score:2, Troll)

    by kob43 ( 513124 )
    Please, people, this is Serious.
  • Yakoff Smirnoff sueing everyone that's every said "I love this country" for copyright infringement? Give me a break...
    • There was a resturaunt in Vancouver called De Niro's. Robert De Niro took them to court saying they were infringing on his copyright by calling the resturaunt by that name. He won and as a result the resturaunt changed it's name to "Section 11" or something, the section of the copyright act he sued them under..... So there are precedents of similar things happening.
  • Maybe he should just copyright [slashdot.org] the concept of naming and be done with it. :-)
  • Ya know, I hope this guy wins! As much as US Companies seem to LOVE copyrights, it would be irony if a person took on a big company like this and won. Not that yahoo is a "big bad company" or anything, but its just the whole little guy vs big busines, should be fun to watch it unfold. *grin*
    • Sorry, but it won't happen, bacause of tha fact that it is a big corp vs a person. In todays world, especially the Internet world, the odds are given. Sorry Yahoo(person)! BTW I loved his movie Young Frankestein, especially the scene where the prison chef is baking pie with live kittens! You could see them under moving under the dough!.. *lol*...
  • Is Yahoo Serious going to make Yahoo! give up the domain Yahoo.com? This reminds me of the Madonna domain dispute.
  • Origins? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Runt-Abu ( 471363 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:08AM (#2387772) Homepage
    What about Jonathan Swift who inveted the word in the first place?

    Surely the great great great grand nice (twice removed on her mother's side) could have some contention about this?
  • I seem to remember that you could use any name if you didn't compete on same turf.
    Yahoo (the portal) will have to find another name for this part of its activity...
    "Freeman said registration of a celebrity name as a trademark had already been done by names such as Australian cricketing legend Sir Donald Bradman, actress Farrah Fawcett and Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith"

    OK for Farrah, but who the hell is this Sir Bradman, who is Dick (sic) Smith ?

    And who is this "a case brought by actor and director Yahoo Serious "

    He's know to have played in "Young Einstein"...

    After such a feat, I would have changed my name to John Smith and gone into reclusion... What a name !

    • by Anonymous Coward
      OK for Farrah, but who the hell is this Sir Bradman, who is Dick (sic) Smith ?

      Gasp! Having to ask who Sir Bradman is? Why, just Australia's answer to Babe Ruth is all. He's the most famous Australian cricketer there ever was.

      Dick Smith is another (locally) famous Australian. He started a chain of electronics stores much like Tandy and Radio Shack. Later on he branched out into exploring, and seemingly travelling everywhere in a helicopter.

    • Re:Name Copyright... (Score:5, Informative)

      by lord_ashaman ( 180519 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:23AM (#2387837) Homepage
      ..but who the hell is this Sir Bradman..

      Who is Sir Donald Bradman Indeed! Ok It may just be that im australian, but Sir Donald Bradman is one of the Australias most famous cricketers. Born in 1908 in SA (south australia) , with a test average of 99.94, and in all the tests in which he played, in he scored a total of close to 7000 runs.

      Sadly Sir Don passed away in august 2000. he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. one of may great australians. but then I guess most Americans wouldnt know of him, let alone Cricket.

  • Yahoo Serious makes another movie about a dotcom startup named a company called Yahoo, the movie is so bad, and generates so much negative publicity that the Real Yahoo!(tm) goes under (classic case of personal vs corporate confusion).

    Seriously (no pun intended), this has been talked about and been on the books for ages... he was never a tall poppy, or we would have carved him up ages ago.

  • Seriously Amused (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TellarHK ( 159748 ) <tellarhk AT hotmail DOT com> on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:09AM (#2387777) Homepage Journal
    I actually wondered about this one, having seen Serious' magnum-crapus 'Young Einstein' several years ago - early nineties, IIRC. I think the important reason why he's waited this long, is that he's an Australian, and this whole thing started with the August registration in Australia of the Yahoo! brand.

    I know that you supposedly can't trademark a proper name, and since Yahoo had changed his proper name -to- Yahoo ages ago, he's got a very good point. This one'll be fun to see the results of.
    • fun? I don't see anything amusing about this at all.

      In the United States there is a trucking company w/the same name as me. I am quite proud to see their name on the side of the trucks when I go by. I feel special.

      I still think that anyone who does this is looking to make money.
    • I know that you supposedly can't trademark a proper name

      In that case, I need to find me a lawyer, because the Miller Brewing Company has deep pockets.

      Sincerely, Josh Miller

    • by egomaniac ( 105476 )
      I know that you supposedly can't trademark a proper name

      Where do people keep getting this idea from? McDonald's. Wendy's. Samuel Adams. Warner Brothers. Ford. Chef Boyardee (yes, he was a real person, although he spelled his name differently). The list goes on...

      Everybody named Wendy does not get to sue the fast food chain just because they happen to share the name. An unrelated Mr. Sam Adams does not get to put the beer company out of business. Trademarks are only infringed when there is the potential for 'consumer confusion', and trust me that Mr. Serious is the only one confused about this. He's probably doing this just for the publicity, unless he has a very stupid lawyer.
      • Trademarks are only infringed when there is the potential for 'consumer confusion', and trust me that Mr. Serious is the only one confused about this.

        Actor's get jobs because people recognize their name. I don't know about Australia, but in the USA, the actor's guild ensures that stage names are unique. That is, if your real name is Paul Newman and you become a professional actor, you've got to adopt a different stage name. So an actor's name is his trademark. And I don't think it is necessary to register it.

        You are right that legally trademarks are only infringed when there is potential for confusion. Java the computer compiler and The Java Shop restaurant would not be infringing ... but if some posterior orifice at Sun decided to sue, the restauranter might well be driven into bankruptcy by legal fees. Even though his business was named that back when "Sun" meant a big ball of fire in the sky.

        So I can well understand why Mr. Serious wants to make sure it's understood from the start that he was there first.
  • Yahoo should just register Yahoo! with the exlamation mark... that way mr. serious can lighten up a bit... bah...
  • No way! (Score:1, Troll)

    by richie2000 ( 159732 )
    He can't be serious!
  • by .sig ( 180877 )
    Was he waiting until Yahoo! got so big that he could actually make some money from the lawsuit? He's had plenty of time, I really doubt he just heard of Yahoo last month. Does anyone even know if there's a time limit for making such claims? Or even if a patent held in Australia is a valid claim against an international company.

    Besides, everyone know's that the company appends an exclamation mark ('!') at the end of Yahoo, so it's a completely different name!

  • If it's involving Yahoo Serious, the comedy levels will be astoundingly low.
  • All we need now is Jonathan Swift to come back from beyond the grave and instigate a class action on behalf of some little lilliputians...
    • It was the Horses not Lilliputians whose island was shared with the Yahoos.

      In any event I believe you are correct that it would be Swift who has the ultimate claim to the word Yahoo. If it were coined in the last 70 years,that is. I think Swift and his heirs are just out of luck today.

  • by ers81239 ( 94163 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:15AM (#2387809) Homepage
    If you read the link, it finds in favor of Yahoo.com. Pertinent info below:

    From the Australian Trade Marks Office:

    Yahoo Serious v Yahoo! Inc [2001] ATMO 74 (13 August 2001)

    The evidence shows that Mr Serious does not use his name, Yahoo Serious, or his forename, to distinguish goods or services. It is true that he writes, directs and produces motion picture films in which he stars; however, it is not apparent in the evidence that either of the words `Yahoo Serious', or the word `Yahoo' are used as a trade mark in relation to the films. The closest that I can find in the evidence to use of any sign that might be as a trade mark is the repeated use of the words, a `Serious Production' or `Serious Entertainment' on promotional material associated with the motion pictures. However, this use is obviously of no assistance to Mr Serious as the opposed trade mark is the word YAHOO! and I therefore do not have to decide whether this use of the word SERIOUS is as a trade mark.

    • Does that mean that SERIOUS Sam might be in breach of Yahoo Serious trademark.

      I don't want to play as 'Slightly Serious Sam' or 'Mostly Harmless Sam'

      Dammit I wanna be Serious Sam and I want some serious fragging now.....
    • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @11:36AM (#2388360)

      First, the story is that Yahoo Serious is appealing the August decision.

      Secondly, Yahoo! the company has registered a trademark in Australia for use in, amongst other things, "Entertainment services including television programmes". On the face of it, he may have a case that using "Yahoo!" as a trademark in the entertainment industry would be "confusingly similar" to his name, even though he has not trademarked his name.

    • It is true that he writes, directs and produces motion picture films in which he stars

      Which is enough. Dunno about the USA, but here in Oz you can use your own name (all or a subset) as if it were the name of a company or a registered business name. This makes your name IP, kind of, no trademark required. If your name were also Yahoo, say, Mr Yahoo Eight One Two Three Ninc, you would also have a claim if Yahoo tried to register a name in any of your fields of endeavour. However, neither you nor Mr Serious could claim against each other. This prevents a million Johns from suing each other.

      This raises an interesting legal question: could a Yahoo representative change his name by deed poll (to, say, Mr Yahoo Representative) and peppercorn-employ Yahoo!-the-company to present a website in his own name? Offhand (and BTW, IANAL), I can't think of an argument against it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:16AM (#2387810)
    Today's show has been brought to you by.. the letter A, the letter D... shit, someone copyrighted the letter D.. ok ok, the number 3... fuck not again
    • Children's Television Workshop is currently squatting on all domains of "TheLetterA" through "TheLetterZ" .com, and have been since 1998!

      Obligatory Simpsons refernces.
      Marquee: "Yahoo Serious Film Festival"
      Lisa: I know those words, but that sign makes no sense
  • Missing the point. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Welpa ( 320496 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:17AM (#2387816)
    I think most of you guys are missing the point.

    Yahoo is moving to register the trademark now, they applied for it in August. Being an actor, it means that if Yahoo Serious was to release merchandise etc. under the name Yahoo, Yahoo! inc. would probably sue him.
    This wasn't a problem before they applied for the trademark.

    How would you guys feel if I tried to register the trademark "Linus Torvalds" tomorrow?
    I think that Mr. Serious has a serious point.

    (pardon the pun :)

    • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:36AM (#2387895)
      Apple Computer and Apple Vacations. They both use the same identifier, there's a potential trademark violation. Except there isn't, because one is "Computer" and is associated with hardware and software, while the other is "Vacations" and is associated with the travel industry. Easy to tell them apart. This is how trademark disputes using common words are dealt with.

      Yahoo! (with the exclamation mark, which they have always used even if their users don't) is associated with a Web portal, and has been for years, while Yahoo Serious (with the last name) has always been associated with comedy (well, loosely). "Yahoo" is a common word, but they're used differently in each case, so there's no confusion.

      If you ask me, this is just a cheap publicity ploy by Yahoo Serious to get his name back in the public eye, since his acting ability is incapable of doing so. The dispute is a non-issue, and will be treated as such by the courts.
      • Hmmm... I remember a similar trademark suit that was successfully negotiated between Digital Corp. and a British vacuum cleaner company. Both companies had products named "VAX". The agreement was that Digital wouldn't make vacuum cleaners and the vacuum cleaner company wouldn't make computers.

        Of course, making computers that suck is another matter :-)

        (Actually (IMHO), the VAX computers of the time were damn good machines. Sears sold the VAX vacuum cleaners here and they really sucked, which is a good thing for a vacuum cleaner)

    • by xyzzy ( 10685 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @10:10AM (#2388030) Homepage
      First, we should all keep in mind that this is Australian law, so YMMV.

      However, it is not axiomatic that you have a (trademark) right to your own name. Ever heard of "Taylor Wine", a fairly large upstate-NY winery that markets inexpensive table wine? It was a family-owned business. In the late 70s, two brothers that ran the business had a falling out. One brother decided to run his own business, and incorporated "Taylor" into the name.

      Much sueing occurred -- and the court ruled that the original Taylor could prevent the new Taylor from using the FAMILY NAME in his business (and, presumably, anyone else who wanted to use "Taylor" in relationship to a winery). The fact that it was his name didn't carry any weight. I believe there have been several other similar cases, but I can't remember them off the top of my head.

      FYI, if you want to know the outcome -- Taylor #2 renamed his winery "Bully Hill" (I believe the original winery was on a hill...), and continued to do business. I left upstate NY in '90, so I don't know how much success they've achieved. Neither wines were particularly good :-)

      Now, I believe Linus holds the trademark for "Linux". Could you open a company called "Linus Torvalds Operating Systems, Inc" ? Maybe.
      • Must be something with wineries. The same thing happened to the fairly famous Gallo family a number of years back. The modern winery was founded by two brothers, Ernest and Julio Gallo, while the third brother Joseph became a dairy farmer.

        The Gallo winery, as most wine drinkers know, expanded rapidly and is now the largest winery in the U.S., and one of the largest in the world. Well, in the early 80's the third brother, Joseph Gallo, began selling his dairy products directly to consumers in grocery stores. There was cheeses, milk, butter, and cremes (but no wine), and all were marketed under the name "Gallo Farms". When the Gallo Winery heard of this, they quickly demanded the name be changed. Cheese, they reasoned, is commonly consumed with wine...therefore creating the possibility of confusion.

        Joseph Gallo tried to comply at first, changing the company name to "Joseph Gallo Farms" to add some differentiation, but that wasn't good enough. The winery wanted him to desist from using his last name altogether. Joseph Gallo refused and his brothers dragged him to court for trademark infringement (Gallo Winery is still a privately held corporation entirely controlled by the Gallo family). Joseph Gallo had a serious problem with this, and claimed that the law shouldn't be able to prevent him from using his last name. After all, Gallo in Italian was like MacDonald in Scotland...a very common name.

        Joseph Gallo ended up losing his shirt. Not only did the judge order him not to use his own name, but he was also slapped with a large compensatory and punitive fine because of his belligerance. Of course, the judgement could have had something to do with the fact that the Gallo winery helped to finance the elections of nearly every local official before the early 90's, and the fact that the Gallo's power over the local economy was greatly feared by most of Stanislaus Counties government workers. NOBODY was going to risk pissing the Gallo's off, so poor Joseph really didn't stand a chance.
  • The appeals-court will most surely turn it down, and thats the end of the story.

    I'm not a lawyer, but makes this interesting at all is the sheer absurdity of his claims.
    If Yahoo! had been named "Yahoo Serious!" then he'd have a case, it happens plenty of actors have strange sounding first names.

    I for one, has never heard about the actor Yahoo Serious, and if he is worried that people might mistake Yahoo! for himself, then he is seriously deluded and overrates his own fame.Besides, yahoo is a very old and common outburst, and they are not even in the same business.
    • by Katravax ( 21568 )
      I'm surprised you haven't heard of him. He's pretty well known. His movies are fun to watch. Sort of a cross between Ed Wood and Paul Hogan.
    • The appeals-court will most surely turn it down, and thats the end of the story.

      If this occurs, Yahoo (Serious) could change his name to

      1. Weepee Hooray
      and then copyright that before some 31337 dude starts a new portal service.
  • Yahoo! is a trademark of an internet portal. Yahoo Serious' "business" has nothing in common with Yahoo!'s, so what does it even have to do with him? I think the schmuk just wants to get in the news because it has eluded him for quite a few years. Either that or he's looking for a quick buck (settlement).

  • He can't understand how a name that he has used, has been identified with him, been exposed worldwide, how someone can come along and simply take that," he said. "We're wanting to preserve his right to use the name Yahoo."

    Chrysiliou said his client, who changed his name by deed poll in 1980, was widely known and had been extensively publicised as Yahoo.

    What this article isn't mentioning is that, now that Serious has gotten Yahoo! involved in litigation as a publicity stunt, he IS violating their copyright by using Yahoo!'s fame to get his own name in the newspaper.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Yahoo! seized royalties from this guy's sales of previous and future work.

    Don't poke the lion, boy.

  • by neo ( 4625 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:20AM (#2387826)
    A: So I'm starting this internet company.
    C: Oh yeah, well you better have a really good name for it. Something to stick in people heads.
    A: Oh I do, I'm really excited about it.
    C: What is it?
    A: Yahoo!
    C: So you're excited, so what's the name.
    A: No, that's the name.
    C: What's the name?
    A: Yahoo!
    C: I can't tell it's exciting, what's the name!
    A: I just told you the name.
    C: Why can't you just tell me the name.
    A: Yahoo!
    C: You can't be serious.
    A: I'm not, that's someone else.
    C: That's not what I'm asking!

  • Its tough to decide who to ally yourself with in this case...

    Keep in mind, this is the same man who has been bringing us fine cinema such as "Young Einstein" for many many years.

    On the other hand, Yahoo! provides an outstanding method of locating pr0n.

    I guess the courts will just have to decide this one.

  • apology (Score:4, Funny)

    by bowb ( 209411 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:21AM (#2387832)
    On behalf of my fellow Australians I would like to apologize for the crimes committed against comedy by Yahoo Serious.
    • Okay, the comment was funny. But when I noticed the moderation, insightful, my ribs began to hurt.

    • On behalf of my fellow Australians I would like to apologize for the crimes committed against comedy by Yahoo Serious.

      Now can you apologize for Mel Gibson's Hamlet and Paul Hogan's... um... everything?

      • Paul Hogan's... um... everything?

        Actually, the first Crocodile Dundee movie was pretty damn funny. If only he had stopped with the first one... it's been so beaten into the ground that everyone has forgotten that the first movie was good.

      • Mel Gibson is American, not Australian. He was born in America, then moved to Australia at a young age, and has moved back to America again.
    • Thank you.

      And in reciprocation, we Americans would like to apologize for Carrot Top.

      Well, actually not so much apologize as fire him from a cannon into a low earth orbit without a space suit.
  • then maybe I should sue Pause Technologies for infringing on my name. I wonder if TiVo would pay my legal costs? :) Stefan Pause
  • Shouldn't Yahoo Serious get the trademark on "Yahoo Serious," while Yahoo! gets a trademark on "Yahoo!"?

    It seems to me that a trademark on a name doesn't tradmark everything remotely similar. Yahoo! has punctuation, Yahoo Serious is a weird Australian violin-playing genius. I don't expect to see too much confusion...

  • I'm in favour of this lawsuit. Even if it loses, it will be interesting enough to offer insight into the way the courts favour corporate muscle over the little guy. Indeed, this lawsuit is a parable for the growing corporate domination of the USA (if it loses).

    If Yahoo Serious wins, it will prove that, despite all that has happened to take our rights away, and all that has been done to make copyright law the tool of corporate evil, the underdog can still use copyright law to defend himself from evil corporations. It may, in fact, prove that copyright law is the tool of the common man (if it wins), despite corruption by corporate interests.

    If it loses, this case will provide further evidence that copyright laws are unjust, and should be ignored at will. If it wins, this case will prove that copyright laws are just, and can still be used by ordinary people to defend themselves against corporate titans.

    The fact that this case is even being fought is proof that copyright laws are able to be turned to the hands of the fading middle classes who are the heart and soul of the American Dream. The fact that it has come to the point that a man must defend his name against corporate intrusions is proof that corporations have twisted copyright law to their own ends, so that it no longer serves the purpose of good.
  • John Boy (Score:2, Funny)

    by Voidhobo ( 219337 )
    If only I had been there before the Waltons. Then it would be Good Night, John-Boy forever!
  • When this guy loses his case, is there any chance that the Judge can force him to change his name to Iyama Twat? It seems so much more appropriate.
  • jeez, I hope nobody goes out and copyright's "Eggplant". The ECA would be screwed!

    Eggplants! [eggforge.net]

    [President] The Eggplant Coders Association
  • Names (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:39AM (#2387906)
    My name is Scott. Does that mean I can sue the owner of scott.com? Nope.

    Did Yahoo Serios pull his current name out of thin air, i.e. was is completely originaly and never been said before? Nope, that word has been around a lot longer than he's been using it.

    He's been in more recent movies than Young Einstein but when was the last time you heard his name mentioned? During promos for Young Einstein.

    Does he have a chance in hell of winning? Nope.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2001 @10:28AM (#2388108)
      My name is Scott. Does that mean I can sue the owner of scott.com? Nope.

      No, you can't steal scott.com. But they can't TRADEMARK "scott" either. Yahoo! applied for a trademark in the ENTERTAINMENT FIELD in Australia in August. That trademark would prohibit Mr. Serious (who changed his name in 1980) from being able to market himself or his production company, his films or any other products /services he offers.

      Mr. Serious is NOT attempting to hijack yahoo.com, and he could probably care less about domains, so long as he is able to continue to use his own domain yahooserious.com, and whatever the australian one is.

    • Re:Names (Score:2, Informative)

      Actually, Scott.com is a great example - it is NOT owned by the paper products company - it is owned by Scott Software Systems, Inc which is a one-man show run by a guy named Gregory Scott. In fact, the paper products company with the same name DID try to sue him, but because his last name was Scott and he was using the site for legitimate business (not trying to rip off the trademark) he got to keep it.

      (I knew wbout this because of the old "friend of a friend")
  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @09:50AM (#2387945) Homepage
    their stock price and business model, Yahoo! should probably change their name to OhShit!

    • Yahoo! should probably change their name to OhShit!

      Agree, but ``OhNo!'' or ``Oops!'' or ``Aaaaaaargh!'' would probably fit through more filters. OTOH, Microsoft might then sue ``the new Yahoo!'' for that on behalf of their users, who frequently employ all of the proposed replacement names in earnest...

  • Here in Sweden, we had a similar case when H&M, the international clothing company, launched it's label LOGG a couple of years ago.
    The Logg family sued, and won. H&M had to change the name of the label to "L.O.G.G. (Label Of Graded Goods)".
    So really, this is no joke - it's serious (no pun intended).
  • fsck writes "Australian actor Yahoo Serious is fighting Internet portal Yahoo! for the trademark to the word Yahoo, registered with the Australian Trade Marks Office in August.

    fsck, actually, according to the webpage, the LAWSUIT between Yahoo Serious and Yahoo! was filed in August, not the trademark by Yahoo! which was originally filed in 1996. Yahoo Serious may lose since he is supposed to (under trademark law) oppose any filing well before the 4 year period. At least, that's the way it works in the U.S... im sure australia has a similar case.

    • If you read the part of the article about the lawsuit itself, you might note that he's been filing "notices of opposition" with the Australian trademark office in a timely manner over the last 4 years. This qualifies him to bring suit.
  • .. these stupid april fool's day articles. Nobody believes them, why do they keep getting posted? Get a life people!
  • by mystery_bowler ( 472698 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @10:20AM (#2388072) Homepage
    (I just know I'm going to get flamed for this statement) Just from reading the posts so far, I think a lot of people are missing the point.

    Yahoo!'s trademark gives them the necessary leverage needed to keep others from associating their name with products/services/activities/etc that have nothing to do with Yahoo!. As a result, Yahoo Serious (who apparently still has a career in Australia) runs the risk of legal troubles if he uses his legal first name to promote his movies. Imagine him making a movie that has a corresponding movie poster with wording like "Yahoo Presents...[movie title]" or a title like (in class Earnest fashion) "Yahoo Goes To The Outback." Yahoo! could, if they so desired, sue Yahoo Serious (or, more likely, whatever production company made the film) for trademark violations, since their trademarked name was used in the promotion of a product they had nothing to do with.

    To put a spin on an anology someone else used on this subject, having the name Scott does not, indeed, give you the right to own scott.com. But if Scott Tissue got a trademark on the name "Scott", they could possibly sue you for making a homepage titled "Scott's Web Site", simply on the implication that Scott Tissue might be associated with the site due to the use of a trademarked name.

    I still think Yahoo Serious will lose this legal battle, but it still kind of stinks that companies can trademark such phrases (instead of something a bit more obvious, like a logo).

  • I must be psychic, in a random and sloppy way, since I was just thinking about Yahoo Serious and what he's been up to, just a couple days ago.

    Young Einstein was, as anyone who recalls when it made the brief tour of U.S. theaters, a major non-event, the proverbial lead balloon. Plugged as a huge success in Australia and the next really mindboggling thing to make your eyes spin and brain explode, it was advertised strongly. The reviews were humbling and the attentance moreso. I did see it and though it was, "OK".

    Interesting to see he's still up to his odd perspective and doing things, but expect little enthusiasm for his work in the U.S.

    As for copyright infringement, IMHO & IANAL, he's waited a pretty darn long time. Usually to be victorious in such cases, one must react quickly.

  • What about the chocolate drink?
  • by Tyrannosaurus ( 203173 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @12:44PM (#2388412)
    On a movie theatre facade: "Yahoo Serious is Young Einstein"

    Lisa Simpson: "I know those words, but that sentance makes no sense to me!"
  • by Hector73 ( 463708 ) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @01:14PM (#2388561)
    According to IMDB, his birth name is Greg Pead ... must have been a rough childhood.
  • I wonder if the estate of Jonathan Swift can sue both their asses, as Gulliver's Travels came out more than a century before the filming of Reckless Kelly.

    Incidentally, great film.
    Kelly: "Dog, go get dan. GO GET DAN!"
    Dog: "Cornflakes."
    Kelly: "Stupid Dog!"
  • "Yahoo!" should change their name to "Oh well..."

  • Still he doesn't seem to mind being listed on www.yahoo.com. (I assume)
    http://dir.yahoo.com/Entertainment/Actors_and_Actr esses/Serious__Yahoo/ [yahoo.com]
    In other words, "I need money". Just because he was outdated when long before the internet got cool.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian