This site has discussed patent trolls a number of times. Now, it is time to give some love to trademark trolls. In the last few months, we have seen a company trademark “candy” and then sue others who used the word “candy” on their sites/products.
Now, we have Amazon suing those with the word “fire” on their site. Over the last few months, Amazon has released a Fire Phone, Fire tablet and Fire TV. So, it makes perfect business sense for Amazon to file for an “Amazon Fire” trademark. Amazon also filed and received the trademark for the word “Fire” by itself.
Amazon lawyers are therefore going through the internet and finding sites that Amazon feels infringe on their trademark. As Ars Technica notes, the owner of fireTVnews.com was told by Amazon that he had seven days to turn over the domain to Amazon because it contains an Amazon trademark.
“I naively thought Amazon was nicer than your average mega corporation and registered the domain anyway. Lesson learned. It would have been nice if they gave me more than 7 days, or at least given me a way to contact them. Instead, I’m supposed to give them the domain release information through their standard ‘Contact Us’ form. I’m just one guy with a small blog and a few loyal readers, so I wont be fighting their request. This website will continue, but under a different name and URL. I will post the new website information shortly. I hope everyone reading this will stick around and not get lost in the move.” - Ars Technica
With just 84 twitter followers, it is good that Amazon acted quickly to squash this huge rival. The owner of fireTVnews has since moved to AFTVnews.com, gave up its Facebook page, and changed its Twitter handle as well.
In January, Amazon made news when it patented taking photos with a white background. Nevermind that people have been doing this for decades. Amazon claimed that they filed this patent to protect what it called its “go-to snapshot” for products on the site.
After the story with fireTVnews, let’s hope Amazon doesn’t enforce their photo patent with the same broad brush.