The world needs more lawyers like this:
I often explain to businesses that the main reward for a great, original product is a succesful business based on that product, and that intellectual property notwithstanding, the best way to protect most great ideas is by consistently excellent execution, high quality, responsive customer service, continued innovation and overall staying ahead of the competition by delivering more value.
Fender, according to the record in this opinion, understood this well for decades… Only in the feverish IP-crazy atmosphere of our current century did the company deem it “necessary” to spend a fortune that could have been used on product development, marketing or any darned thing on a quixotic quest for a trademark it never believed in itself. That is more than in impossible dream — it’s a crying shame.
I remember telling a room full of execs in 2002 (in the context of a discussion of Lego’s threatened use of trademark to restrict legOS) that the correct response to criticism of their product of the internet was to build better products. They looked at me like I was a naive child. And I suppose it was in part naive; there are going to be crazy people who criticize no matter what, which I’m not sure I understood at the time. But overall I’m glad to see that others (even lawyers!) still think I’m not completely nuts.
(See also Matt Haughey recently on a basically related topic.)