Monday, August 07, 2006

Achtung! Der Yellow Pages for All

Just like in the US, the German courts have ruled that the trademark "Yellow Pages" and the German translation "der valking finkers" are generic terms and can be used by anyone.

Oh joy!

Now our friends in Germany can enjoy the confusion that we do. Multiple directories sharing a common name and trademark. (Hopefully the Germans will use better sense.)

Well, I have to give their online advertising credit. For, their commercial featured the amazingly talented Paris Hilton rolling around in her underwear waiting for a delivery boy.

It's hella more interesting than the lame ads we see stateside for online directories.

Deutsche Telekom loses "Yellow Pages" brand

After some two years of consultation, the the German Office of Patents and Trademarks (DPMA) has ruled that "Gelbe Seiten" and "Yellow Pages" does not deserve protection. Rather, as the DPMA told German news weekly Der Spiegel, these terms are merely general descriptions of services that are not protected. In other words, all providers of industry listings can call their registries of addresses "Gelbe Seiten."

This decision is a major setback for Deutsche Telekom: its subsidiary DeTeMedien was attempting to have these common terms registered as trademarks and had filed a large number of claims against competitors who also called their industry listings and Internet directories "Gelbe Seiten." Indeed, Telekom has filed more than a dozen suits for alleged violation of trademarks against just one company, Internet service provider GoYellow Media AG, in the past two years. "This is a real breakthrough," GoYellow's general manager Klaus Harisch stated. According to the upcoming issue of Der Spiegel, this decision does not surprise legal experts.

At the same time, GoYellow is not finished with the courts. While the struggling provider of online industry directories and Internet information services no longer has any unfinished business with Deutsche Telekom, it recently lost a legal dispute concerning its name with power provider Yellow. The ruling is not, however, legally effective because GoYellow has appealed. (Craig Morris) / (jk/c't)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classy post there, Dick. Want to try for some more sophomoronic schtik?

8:11 PM  

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