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Web 2.0 trademark

The attempt to trademark Web 2.0 (in reference to conferences) would be comical if it didn’t provide such a clear contrast between prevailing thoughts on content creation and online connection-forming. Web 2.0 is (in theory) about sharing, building on others’ work, creating connections, openness, etc. Trademarking the concept seems a bit like using extra salt to achieve an effective sodium-free diet.


  1. Tom Hoffman wrote:

    Does that mean its ok if I start a blog named “elearnspace?”

    Friday, May 26, 2006 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Hi Tom – sure, feel free to start a blog titled elearnspace, though I would encourage you to pursue a brand of greater value :) .

    I think the difference with the web 2.0 is that the term has entered popular culture…and many are using it as a means to define the attributes of a community. Those individuals who have created the hype (by linking and commenting) the concept of web 2.0 did so without knowing they were serving a trademarked brand. Had trademark been detailed clearly up front, it wouldn’t have the value it currently does.

    I think it’s fine for someone to trademark and copyright their property…as long as it isn’t a function of co-creation and “end users” being kept in the dark about intentions of ownership. The other issue impacting the discussion is O’Reilly’s long history of supporting and encouraging openness. Many who have followed his “tune” are feeling betrayed.

    Friday, May 26, 2006 at 2:48 pm | Permalink
  3. dave cormier wrote:

    A more equivalent example might be ‘blogging’ or to push the idea further ‘car’.

    If the central issue is that ‘web 2.0 con’ is a proper noun with a specific referent, then, this is something that as Sarah from o’reilly net has now said should have been dealt with by a phone call.

    It was the ‘cease and desist order’ and the corporate structure and mindset that that represents, that i think has people wondering what’s going on over there. That is not to say that i don’t think that cease and desist orders have there place. But in a community that values openness, an openness that you (o’reilly) is one of the leading proponents of, it seems to represent a closed corporate structure.

    Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 7:03 am | Permalink