August 12, 2003

Invisible Adjunct™

Inspired by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Network, which claims to have trademarked "Unfair and Unbalanced" "Fair and Balanced" to describe its coverage of the news, I hereby claim that Invisible Adjunct™ has been trademarked to describe coverage of the academy, and further declare my intention of duly registering Invisible Adjunct™ with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (at which point I would be entitled to use the ® symbol). In the unlikely event that another citizen of the blogosphere tries to use Invisible Adjunct™ to designate either a blog or a blogger, please be advised that I will immediately file suit.

NOTE: Edited 14 August 2003 (edited material is in italics) as per suggestion by MF in the comments to this entry.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at August 12, 2003 08:34 PM

See that's the trouble with folks like you always thinking too small! The proper course of action would be for you to trademark the term "Academy" and require all institutions referring to themselves with this term, to pay you royalties. (They may try to weasel out by calling themselves "academe" but I think a skilled lawyer could circumvent this tactic.) This I think is the ultimate solution to your troubles getting money out of the academy via more conventional routes. Other good candidates for Invisible Adjunct trademarks: "Adjunct Faculty", "Job Market", "Higher Education". (Though IIRC that last may already have been registered by the educational supplement to High Times magazine.)

Posted by: Jeremy Osner at August 13, 2003 08:26 AM

Well IA, I've done you one better and trademarked the phrase "Grad Student." Anyone else who refers to themselves or others as "Grad Student" I will sue. I promise. :)

Posted by: Rebecca at August 13, 2003 08:44 AM

"The proper course of action would be for you to trademark the term "Academy" and require all institutions referring to themselves with this term, to pay you royalties."

Brilliant! I guess you'll want a share of the royalties?

Rebecca, I think I may have used your term one or two times on this blog. But before you sue: can we reach an amicable agreement?

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at August 13, 2003 09:01 AM

Well, I was looking over my pathetically meager grad student budget for the fall, and it turns out I can't actually afford a lawyer. So I guess you can use my term. :) Maybe this is why the academy keeps us in perpetual peonage?

Posted by: Rebecca at August 13, 2003 11:00 AM

Tom Tommorow has suggested on his blog that bloggers unite in subtitling their blogs "Fair and Balanced" to make light of the absurdity of this lawsuit.

Posted by: chuck at August 13, 2003 11:27 AM

Okay, um, wait a minute, am I in dutch if I use I-------- A------ to refer to *this* blog?


Posted by: Dorothea Salo at August 13, 2003 12:20 PM

Can I trademark the term "loser" as a singular reference to myself?

If I can, then I say Viva Captalism!"

Posted by: Chris at August 13, 2003 12:53 PM

I'm sure you meant this as humor, but in fact you *might* someday want to file for a trademark on "Invisible Adjunct", and indeed even if you don't you have common law rights in the name just by virtue of use. Thus, you might want to look at, which says:

"Under U.S. trademark law, the R-in-a-circle symbol () may only be used in connection with a mark if that mark is a federally registered trademark. By "federally registered" we mean that the trademark owner has not only filed a trademark registration application with the US Patent & Trademark Office, but has been granted a registration. In contrast, the TM and SM symbols may be used freely without respect to whether or not there is a federal trademark registration. If you are offering goods or services, you may freely use the TM or SM symbol to denote trademarks or service marks that you use to indicate the origin of your goods or services"

and then reconsider the use or the R-in-a-circle () in this post above....

Ok, a bit pedantic maybe, but why look for trouble...misuse of the () can undermine your rights even if you don't file...

Posted by: MF at August 14, 2003 03:21 PM

Thanks. Yes, I was definitely joking, and at this point don't envision filing for a registered trademark. But who knows? I will remove the symbol.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at August 14, 2003 03:26 PM