Politico vs Tory-Politico

February 4th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Tory Politico has received a Nasty-O-Gram from an organisation calling themselves Politico

(click to enlarge)

The letter then goes on to explain how people are going to get confused between an American “media company covering national politics and Washington governance” and a British blogger that talks about British politics from a Conservative angle.

Oh, they also want Tory Politicos’ domain name.

First of all, who the fuck uses Alexia to gauge a website? No fucker I’ve heard of.
Secondly, 57.3% of TPs’ visitors are from the UK, according to Alexia. So, the vast majority then, and even more so for visitors of TPs’ site that get routed through a foreign country for some reason, like AOL. As TP points out…

While I can understand why they are saying only 57% of visitors are from the UK this is a wholly false claim. According to Google Analytics, which has been tracking traffic since the site launched, 85% of readers are from the UK with only 5% coming from within the United States.

Thirdly, what sort of fucking lawyer uses the word ‘presumably’? This smells like a fishing expedition to me.
Fourthly, the word ‘politico‘ is a word that is in common usage, as opposed to a word made up especially for a product or brand, and so is not copyrightable.

This isn’t the first time Politicos’ lawyers have surprised someone

The College Politico has received a cease-and-desist letter from lawyers for Politico, demanding that he stop using the word “Politico” in his name — and that he give them control of his domain.

It doesn’t look like Politico have won that one (yet) as The College Politico is still going.

But there’s more. And it’s quite shitty too…

Dear Reader:

Faced with a trademark legal challenge and protracted litigation by the publishers of the newspaper and website ¨Politico,¨we have reluctantly chosen to change the name of our publication, from“La Política” to “CandidatoUSA.”

Politico won that one. The letter continues with how it happened…

The publishers of Politico – launched in January by Washington D.C.-based Allbritton Communications, also owners of seven ABC television affiliates and three other news channel outlets – claim La Politica infringes on their trademark.

The name change odyssey began,without our knowledge, on July 11when Jim VanderHei, Politico’s co-founder and editor, called me.

He had heard of our plans to launch La Política and wanted to know more. I gave him details of
our preparations to launch an electronic trade newsletter on the business of reaching Hispanic voters.

At his suggestion, we agreed to talk again after the launch of La Política on November 5 to explore avenues of collaboration between Politico and our publication.

It sounds promising for La Politica. Not even launched yet and already someone backed by a big news company is interested in working with them.

We did launch on November 5. But next day, instead of a call from VanderHei, we received a two-page aggressive and threatening letter from Politico’s attorney demanding that we “cease and desist” from the use of the La Política name because they hold a registered trade mark in the term “The Politico.”

This is Jim VandeHei. I would post a picture of him but, well, given his history…

The chap behind La Politica wrote to Jim and even offered to go to Washington to talk about how they might resolve this nicely, but no. That didn’t work.
Anyway, because of the money behind Politico, La Politica capitulated and La Politica now points to Politico.com.

I have no idea how this is going to play out, whether TP being British based is going to work in his favour or he will just end up being extradited, or if Politico are gonna leave it and are just trying their luck, but what ever happens, I wish you the best of luck with it, Tory Politico.

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