Welcome to Arbitrary and Fanciful, a blog about Trademarks, Branding, Speech, Law, and Society (and a little bit about me on the side). The name of the blog comes from the trademark “spectrum of distinctiveness” where trademarks are categorized to determine whether they’re immediately protectable, whether the owner has to prove that the word has acquired a special meaning, or “secondary meaning” associated with the word, or whether the mark is protectable at all. Arbitrary marks, like APPLE for computers, are created when someone uses a word already in existence with goods and services that have no relation whatsoever to the word. Fanciful marks, like VERIZON for telephone services, are words that are made up out of thin air and have no common dictionary definition. Arbitrary and fanciful trademarks enjoy the greatest trademark protection–they’re immediately protectable without proof of secondary meaning, and they enjoy a wide scope of protection. But that’s enough trademark law for today.
I hope that this blog only somewhat follows its namesake. Expect thoughtful posts about the law that interests me the most– litigation, evidence, procedure; trademarks, copyrights, advertising; free speech, free press, and religion; constitutional law, jurisprudence, and law in society. There may also be some posts about movies, music, culture, brands and branding, politics, writing and grammar, or the important issues of the day. While this post doesn’t show it, I hope to provide a fresh insight or two, and perhaps a bit of humor.
WordPress automatically created this post, called “Hello World.” Those programmers in the house know that a “hello world” program is generally the first program that a user learns in a new programming language, and therefore I think it’s an appropriate first post title.
You can discover more about me in the about me (in the third person) page, and if this is your first visit to the site, please read the disclaimers on the legalese page. Enjoy links to some of the pages I frequent in my blogroll. Feel free to contact me at kyle at kylekaiser dot com.
Although I have been instrumental in the design and updating of blogs in the past, I am excited to begin this new venture. Of course, with any new venture comes bugs, and please be patient with any redesigns or sketchy features. Hello world!