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Trademark Madness

There are not enough names to go around.

This is a fact about our crowded, information-rich world that should be clear enough by now. I spend a certain amount of time exploring it in The Information—not enough names, catchphrases, abbreviations, or for that matter book titles (apologies again to Martin Amis). We’re supposed to be sophisticated about namespaces by now. But our legal system is befuddled.

So the foundation known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has sent its legal team after more than a hundred lesser do-good organizations that use “for the cure” in their names, such as Cupcakes for the Cure and Mush for the Cure. Laura Bassett explains here, and Stephen Colbert here.

Elsewhere, however, the International House of Pancakes has dropped a lawsuit it filed against an apparent abuser of its favorite trademark. So for now, at least, the International House of Prayer, Kansas City, will continue to advertise its bible school and prayer room at ihop.org.

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