So after Makerspacegate part 1, I made contact with a few different IP specialists and today I had an interesting phone call discussing how the Maker community might protect the terms Makerspace and Hackspace… For what it’s worth here are the take away notes I took from todays call...
My take away notes are;
- If we attempted to protect Makerspace or Hackspace it would be a collective mark we would be applying for as an ordinary trademark distinguishes goods and services of a single trader/entity. (more info about collective trademarks here)
- To do this we would need a legal entity (could be a company, an individual or a charity etc)
- The entity would need to have a set of rules that dictate what needs to be in place to allow usage of the terms,
- User of the term would then need to be members of the collective
- The actual applications would take around an couple of ours of work and cost up to £800 for UK and Europe (possibly around 200 for UK only and it is not completely clear atm how brexit will effect european trademarking)
- Defending collective trademarks if needed would be costly.
- Gratnells application (as they say they instructed their legal team last week) should reasonably be removed in around a months time... we need to be vigilant that they follow through.
- If Gratnells had succeeded and not agreed to withdraw the TM's then we could have argued (in court) that they had been registered in bad faith..... however costs++++++++ :(
Finally... its almost a shame that we didn't get to challenge the application as we could have argued that these terms were not distinctive and in common parlance which if successful would have sorted the problem out once and for all!