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Hypereager Trademark Enforcement: nasty, excessive and stupid
Richard Stallman, 2023-02-06

The business set up by J.R.R. Tolkien's heirs bullied a waste disposal company called "Lord of the Bins", demanding that it change its name and web site name.

One of the two partners in Lord of the Bins responded by shaming the giant enterprise, saying, "If we don’t turn up on time, no one’s going to chuck their Lord of the Rings DVD in the bin. And if they bring out a box office smash, I don’t think more people are going to ring up for waste collection. It’s just bullyboy tactics."

If J.R.R. Tolkien were alive today, I think he would be mortified.

This is typical behavior of trademark lawyers: they threaten small businesses whose names show even a slight resemblance, alleging that this will cause "customer confusion." The executives of the client company usually don't realize how harshly they act in the client's name.

Trademark lawyers will tell their clients, "We are obligated to attack every name that could be seen as infringing the trademark." That is not so. The company has every right to offer Lord of the Bins a gratis trademark license to use the name "Lord of the Bins" to cover a small, local business that provides cleaning services, in exchange for some sign of respect such as stating "We use the name `Lord of the Bins' with the kind permission of Lord of the Rings, Inc,"

Indeed, if the CEO of that company has a lick of sense, perse will immediately apologize and offer such a deal. And find new trademark lawyers who don't take after the fabled paperclip maximizer AI.

If you have a DVD of Lord of the Rings, or any other video, make sure it does not have any DRM that you don't have the means to break! DRM is an injustice and it ought to be a crime.

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