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IP: Some more on Registered Trademark
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 15:01:56 -0500

From: "Larry Andrew" <LLAndrew () powersurge net>
To: <johnmac () acm org>
Cc: <farber () cis upenn edu>, <declan () well com>, <connie () lsoft com>

I saw your comment about the "listserv" trademark in the IP list and sent my
comment to Connie Newman.  Her response is below.  I examined the web sight,
understand her argument, and find it lacking.  I do not consider it
responsible use of the trademark function as L-soft should have registered
the word years earlier if they had planned on doing so.

Unfortunately, even though something may be legal, it is not necessarily
right, correct, moral, or ethical.  Look at what is happening in the
impeachment hearings these days.  (I am NOT expressing my personal beliefs
at this point, either way.)  Ever hear the quote about "...then the law is
an ass"?

Unfortunately,  the ones who sort all this out in our society are the
<shudder> lawyers!

Anyway, good luck with your LISTSERV (R) articles.

Larry Andrew
Assistant Professor of MIS
Division of Business
Upper Iowa University

AndrewL () uiu edu
LLAndrew () powersurge net

-----Original Message-----
From: Connie Newman <connie () lsoft com>
To: Larry Andrew <LLAndrew () powersurge net>
Date: Friday, December 11, 1998 9:12 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Registered Trademark

If you would like to educate yourself as to how LISTSERV (R)
became our trademark, please feel free to view our company's
history at:


Thank you and best regards,

Connie Newman

Re:  LISTSERV trademark (IP distribution below)

Dear Ms. Newman,

As an information systems professional and college professor of Management
Information Systems, I am greatly offended that your firm would take
action to trademark the term "listserv".  This term has been used
generically in the industry for years and your trademark registration of
1996, while perhaps legal, goes beyond good taste and propriety.  You
should in all good conscience reconsider your action and release the
trademark, and even consider an open appology to the I.S. community at
large.  Be assured that I will advise my clients to avoid the use of
products and services associated with the name L-Soft.

Lawrence L. Andrew
LLAndrew () powersurge net
AndrewL () uiu edu
-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
To: ip-sub-1 () majordomo pobox com <ip-sub-1 () majordomo pobox com>
Date: Thursday, December 10, 1998 4:21 PM
Subject: IP: Registered Trademark

From: "John F. McMullen" <johnmac () acm org>
To: "Dave Farber" <farber () cis upenn edu>, "Declan McCullagh"
<farber () cis upenn edu>

After writing a column for the Westchester Business Journal that
contained the term "listserv", a term that I have used since 1989 in
and in teaching at college and university level, I received the enclosed
message from Connie Newman at L-Soft, chastizing me for using a
Registered TradeMark of her firm. After breiefly discussing the letter
with Dave
I replied to Connie asking when L-Soft had filed the trademark. She
responded "The trademark is U.S. Reg. #2,001,258 for LISTSERV registered
September 17, 1996.".

While L-Soft may have acted within the framework of the law, I find this
situation intellectually insulting - like me attempting to register
or "ftp" as registered trademarks of McMullen & McMullen, Inc.
I did a quick check through books in the extensive McMullen library. "The
Internet Unleashed", Sams, 1994 states "Listservs are one of the most
accessible Internet resources .." (p 320) and then goes on for 46 pages
describing the use. Esther Dyson on page 44 of Release 2.1 uses the term.
"The Internet for Dummies Quick Reference" defines Listserv as "a family
of programs that automatically manages mailing lists .. " .. and I have
number of other references - all but the first since 1996 - and none
refer to it as a Registered TradeMark. What about e-mail addresses like
listserv () american edu? Is that a
I may be making too much of this but I find it galling. This is not a
case of an uninformed public using a term like "Xerox" or "Coke"
incorrectly. This is an outfit that had to know better grabbing a generic
term and
it a brand name (In fact, one of the books that I came across refers to
it as a "generic term"). As far as I'm concerned, this is intellectually
dishonest. Please distribute this for comments to johnmac () acm org or on
Dave Faber's list. I would hope that Jamie Love would be interested in
something like this as well as our various net attorneys. I will write
about it - but
like to see some outrage and, perhaps, action

-----Original Message-----
From: Connie Newman [mailto:connie () lsoft com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 1998 4:21 PM
To: johnmac () acm org
Subject: Registered Trademark

It has come to our attention that you are using the term LISTSERV (r) to
describe electronic mail distribution lists in your article, "Spam and
electronic annoyances"  Unfortunately, that term is a registered
trademark. It is a common mistake to use LISTSERV (r) as a generic term.
It would be helpful if you would replace it in the future with another
phrase, such as "mailing list" or "announcement service". We apologize if
this causes any inconvenience.  Your attention to this matter is greatly
appreciated. Please contact me with any concerns or questions. Sincerely,

Connie Newman

Connie Newman <connie () lsoft com>
L-Soft international, Inc.

"When you come to the fork in the road, take it" - L.P. Berra
John F. McMullen
johnmac () acm org ICQ: 4368412
http://www.westnet.com/~observer/Y2KCOACH.html (Y2K Site)

Connie Newman <connie () lsoft com>
L-Soft international, Inc.

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