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IRobot2
09-16-2011, 03:42 PM
When I was reading the morning news, I nearly dropped my coffee when the I glanced at the headlines "Google Propeller promises news revolution". It even had a picture of the little Adroid Bot wearing a Prop beanie. Needless to say it was nothing close to anything thing I had in my head. Funny how the mind jumps to your favorite things just on keywords... It really set my Friday off on the wrong foot. I need some good Prop news now to cheer me up now :) -Alex

http://www.slashgear.com/google-propeller-promises-news-revolution-for-ipad-and-honeycomb-16180384/

Dave Hein
09-16-2011, 03:53 PM
Looks like Parallax might have a new source of revenue -- royalties for the use of the Propeller beanie logo with the Propeller trademark. :)

IRobot2
09-16-2011, 03:58 PM
I hate that now it is even more difficult to get relevant search results on Google containing legitimate searches with "Propeller" in them. Even "propeller robot" seems to be a bit overtaken at the moment.... thats a problem. At least Parallax related entries were the top 5 returned.

Heater.
09-16-2011, 04:46 PM
Hey what?
A Google Android wearing a Propeller hat is the logo I used in my first ever Android app attempt. It's posted somewhere in the Android-android thread.

Humanoido
09-16-2011, 04:51 PM
At the exact time that happened, China completely blocked Google and Slashgear. Was it the hat that spoiled their tea? I just reset all my computers to Yahoo search as the new home page. Google does not exist here at this time.

Loopy Byteloose
09-16-2011, 05:31 PM
Consider it a compliment to Parallax and a bit of embarrassment to Google.

If Google wants to use the beanie with the trademarked name "Propeller" in this close a context, it is likely that they would have to pay a license to Parallax.

Switching to Yahoo is a nice gesture, but Yahoo is having its own problems. It is better for Parallax that Google did this. There is a lawyer that is smiling somewhere - deep pockets and a big blunder.

Heater.
09-16-2011, 05:47 PM
Except Parallax could probably bankrupt themselves paying lawyers to defend the trademark before ever getting near to winning the case.
Anyway these are trademarks under discussion. Similar trademarks are allowed where they are used in different markets and there is no "product confusion". Are Google with search/news in the same market space as Parallax and the Propeller? No case there.

Fxc2hh
09-16-2011, 09:56 PM
Except Parallax could probably bankrupt themselves paying lawyers to defend the trademark before ever getting near to winning the case.
Anyway these are trademarks under discussion. Similar trademarks are allowed where they are used in different markets and there is no "product confusion". Are Google with search/news in the same market space as Parallax and the Propeller? No case there.

I saw the post too but I didn't want to be the first to start a post...

Both Google and Parallax have markets that deal with computers. You never know what baskets the Parallax business will want to put its eggs in the future.

I know a school that let a nursing home build a road and sold the land for $1.00. Now they can't expand because the road is blocking where they would build.

The Prop II is more advanced. When you look at the C1, you never know what the C2 would be like with the Prop II. Should Parallax ever decide to make a CPU then you can't get involved in the search market because letting Google have the trademark/name is giving away the rights. And if it isn't a CPU, there are other CPU like projects with ethernet that the Prop can't attach to without violating the naming rights if you give it up.

It doesn't matter. You can't see that far down the road so you shouldn't give the name up.

Unless you want to choose another name for Parallax, then get the Propeller name back. And you might as well fight for the name and get something for it at least if you want to give it up.

ElectricAye
09-16-2011, 11:09 PM
No Google?

http://www.enriquedans.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/gorra-de-noogler.jpg

GordonMcComb
09-17-2011, 12:58 AM
I think it comes down to the multi-colored propeller beanie, which predates most of us here. It's a hat you wear on your head, had lots of different colors, had a propeller on top, and was called a "propeller beanie." Even Beany Boy, from the old Cevil and Beany cartoon, wore one.

I think there might be confusion in the market for anything "powered by" one technology or the other. Parallax would understandably want to promote anything "Powered by Propeller," and include some variation of the logo, but now that'll easily be confused by anything Google promotes as being "powered" by this new platform of theirs.

Google has more lawyers working in just their Palo Alto HQ than Parallax has employees world over. If it were me, I'd look for some equitable understanding, and avoid litigation.

-- Gordon

Humanoido
09-17-2011, 09:10 AM
Does it really matter? I've seen an apple on Parallax Stamp boards.
http://media.digikey.com/photos/Parallax%20Photos/MFG_28158.jpg

Loopy Byteloose
09-17-2011, 11:14 AM
Regarding that apple on the BasicStamp, it doesn't use the trademarked log and it doesn't use the trademarked term 'Apple'. It has the phrase "Stamps in Class" clearing on the surface of the quite different apple.

On the other hand, Google's use is both the term Propeller AND the color beanie logo. It is certain to confuse many who see it.

I would try to make the case that Google has a greater burden to respect Parallax's trademark rights for two reasons.

1. It predates their use of it by a significant period.
2. Google is in a position to preempt searches for Parallax Products by putting their promotion first, thus causing real financial damage to a company that depends on Google respecting their trademark in the search context.

In other words, Google has a greater responsibly due to the nature of its dominant position in E-trade. It has no right to bully enterprises out of their trademarks.

If it is a matter of deep pockets always winning, we are doomed to a rather dismal world for small enterprise. I see recently that Windows 8 doesn't support Netflix movies (NTFX has dropped 25% in value in the last few days on this and other hostile corporate action). Does M$ have the right to destroy another companies distribution network when it claims to be installed on 90% of the computers?

I'd like to think that Google just made a mistake with this and it will be resolved amicably. On the other hand, Netflix has made a lot of enemies in 'big media' and may not survive.

From what I understand, Parallax has been a customer of Google's services in order to improve its market position for quite some time. Google can't have it both ways, other companies on the web will become quite wary that their trademarks will be taken over in a hostile fashion. Parallax might even have eventual recourse in a class action suit or for significant punitive damages if this behavior were to continue.

And yet, greed and errors arre swift while justice is slow. But the USA is suppose to be a nation that allows for recourse.

It may be that Google will end up having to provide significantly more visibility for Parallax to not look totally wrong in the public eye.

Heater.
09-17-2011, 12:11 PM
Loopy,
What "public eye"? Let's face it all the Parallax customers in the world are pretty insignificant on the global scale of things, the "public" is unlikely to know or care anything about this.

I started thinking about your post re: Google's position. As one of the "gate keepers" of all human information and knowlege they can be seen to have responsibility to be fair to all and not abuse their positon.

Seems to be all a question of actual circumstances and scale. Does google using a name or mark for one of it's new services directly cut out someone else in search results? Is there a big enough "public" out there that might be misled in their searches and upset? Do you have enough cash to fight the case?

I imagine that if Google had chosen a name like "oracle" for this or any other service all hell would break loose.

In this case I don't see much happening.

Heater.
09-17-2011, 12:26 PM
As it happens when I search for "propeller" in Google a link to a parallax.com page about the prop is the fourth hit in the results after some wiki pages about real propellers an some other junk.
Amazing really considering. Presumably google knows me well and has pumped that up due to my intetests.
If so that starts to be annoying as I find myself living in an information bubble of my own creation that I have to work on to get out of.

Fxc2hh
09-17-2011, 02:11 PM
I think it comes down to the multi-colored propeller beanie, which predates most of us here. It's a hat you wear on your head, had lots of different colors, had a propeller on top, and was called a "propeller beanie." Even Beany Boy, from the old Cevil and Beany cartoon, wore one.

I think there might be confusion in the market for anything "powered by" one technology or the other. Parallax would understandably want to promote anything "Powered by Propeller," and include some variation of the logo, but now that'll easily be confused by anything Google promotes as being "powered" by this new platform of theirs.

Google has more lawyers working in just their Palo Alto HQ than Parallax has employees world over. If it were me, I'd look for some equitable understanding, and avoid litigation.

-- Gordon

I would argue that by saying that unless you can prove someone kept the idea, then they gave it up. Google's name creation is later than Parallax's so therefore it is a problem for Google.

We were just talking about a million dollar home that was abandoned and a squatter came, lived in it and took up residence. The neighbors are annoyed that the man is living in it and is getting the rights to the house. I think it is called squatters rights. It was on ABC News. The neighbors are annoyed.

The problem is searchability.

I remember the 80's with public domain downloads, shareware and freeware. Its now 2011 and if you search on "free" you don't get public domain answers from a search engine. Everything is now "free" as in free download but you have to pay. Why is that? The number of people on the internet trying to sell their programs have stolen the name "free" so that I can't find public domain programs the traditional way rendering the search almost worthless. If you want people searching for Parallax's propeller to be misdirected towards Google then don't do anything.

The other problem is the nature of the courts. You have a trademark and company name. Protect it. Companies like Google have money so its not like trying to get money from a stone. Anything is possible in the courts which means Google could lose.

Fxc2hh
09-17-2011, 02:17 PM
Seems to be all a question of actual circumstances and scale. Does google using a name or mark for one of it's new services directly cut out someone else in search results? Is there a big enough "public" out there that might be misled in their searches and upset? Do you have enough cash to fight the case?


After watching the courtcase of Hyperion and Amiga Inc. in the news for a year and a half, I would say that Parallax would wrap the case up quicker and has rights to damages. The principle here is that you can't afford not to. You can't afford to give up a name. You spent years on advertising. You spent years on making it a household name. Then someone comes along and steals the idea and you think it is easy just to give up years of advertising and start over? You can't afford not to fight it. Tell Google they can buy the name for a billion dollars.

Loopy Byteloose
09-17-2011, 02:27 PM
This isn't about merely using the same trademarked name or a very similar trademarked logo. It is about using BOTH and it a related business.

@Heater
If nobody cares and nobody has a responsibility to respect other's property, we have bigger problems than this. But keep in mind that Penrose and his copyright over his tiles did win out again a major tissue corporation.

This is not a complex technology patent issue, this is a trademark.

And much as Google might say that Parallax is an entirely different industry, that is highly debatable as Parallax is expanding into Parallax Semiconductor and has bet its future on a whole series of Propellers that could end up doing things in iPad apps. Don't forget that the Propeller has an IDE and it might want to one day explore having an iPad application that interfaces and programs a Propeller (the chip of course) on an iPad.

Other advertisers on Google certainly would care if they were subject to the same treatment. And Google cares about its advertising revenue.

Fxc2hh
09-17-2011, 04:06 PM
As it happens when I search for "propeller" in Google a link to a parallax.com page about the prop is the fourth hit in the results after some wiki pages about real propellers an some other junk.
Amazing really considering. Presumably google knows me well and has pumped that up due to my intetests.
If so that starts to be annoying as I find myself living in an information bubble of my own creation that I have to work on to get out of.

It can be unfair for businesses to be ranked lower than people who pay and there have already been lawsuits over this issue. The fact that Parallax could be ranked lower due to manipulated searches means that they can take random search results away from Parallax. Its like stealing customers.

GordonMcComb
09-17-2011, 04:20 PM
@Chuckz, I'm not saying Parallax shouldn't seek to protect their trademarks, but that there are more ways to do it than just litigation. It's easy to say "sue the bums" unless you're the one writing a check to a team of outside counsel specializing in trademarks who collectively bill at $1500+/hour! And their rate goes up if the case goes to court.

Half the time Google ends up abandoning these projects anyway, so problem solved right there.

Obviously Parallax still has to write C&D letters to Google protesting the infringement, as part of its due diligence in protecting its marks. I wouldn't doubt they've already done that, or are preparing to.

-- Gordon

Fxc2hh
09-17-2011, 06:22 PM
I don't think you need one of those $1000 an hour lawyers. A manager at work went to court and he told the judge "who needs a lawyer?" and he won. Parallax might want the best but a cheap lawyer could probably do the job.

Google is into Android and I've seen the daughterboards for microcontrollers and the phones. The conflict of interest is right there.

If you don't fight for your rights then you lose them.

rod1963
09-17-2011, 06:31 PM
You folks realize the Propeller beanie and associated logos based on it has been around before Chip was even born. It's been in the public domain so long it's part of the culture. it's certainly not Parallax's invention by a long shot.

Heater.
09-17-2011, 07:26 PM
Rod,
Yes the beanie has been around for a long time. Invention has nothing to do with it we are talking trademarks here. That is the names and logos under which you do trade to distinquish yourself from similar traders. The main point of which is that you do not mis represent yourself as some other bussiness.
Think of Apple Computers. Nothing original or invented about that apple. In fact it is taken from the famous story of the apple that is said to have inspired Newton when it fell from a tree. Part of the culture, just like the propeller beanie.

Fxc2hh
09-17-2011, 08:31 PM
You folks realize the Propeller beanie and associated logos based on it has been around before Chip was even born. It's been in the public domain so long it's part of the culture. it's certainly not Parallax's invention by a long shot.

Its public domain until you register it. If I abandon my house, a squatter just has to get a magazine subscription to prove he is living in my house and he can claim it through a process.

Once Google uses it for a year and decides their product is worth something then it will be harder to get it back.

Loopy Byteloose
09-19-2011, 05:39 AM
I tried to post a protest in the Comments section at the site linked to #1 above. It seems that the moderator refused to post it. So the site appears to be all hype for Google and disallows input that runs contrary to their interest. Nothing new here, another phony group of users providing accolades.

njsantana
09-19-2011, 12:57 PM
At the exact time that happened, China completely blocked Google and Slashgear. Was it the hat that spoiled their tea? I just reset all my computers to Yahoo search as the new home page. Google does not exist here at this time. Humanoido, you in Beijing where you saw the drop off?

Fxc2hh
09-19-2011, 01:41 PM
I tried to post a protest in the Comments section at the site linked to #1 above. It seems that the moderator refused to post it. So the site appears to be all hype for Google and disallows input that runs contrary to their interest. Nothing new here, another phony group of users providing accolades.

That is everywhere and it even exists in the Microcontroller market.