Great coverage Seth!
Clear, concise, and succinct, with just enough treatment to impart the gist of Lua syntax, simplicity, and whett the appetite.
I'mma post a link to this article in the #Fediverse, it should be well received so expect some visitors from there!
You wrote, "..a type of goods, not a particular manufacturer's brand", and wrt Thermos, the word eventually entered (or was allowed to enter) the generic term category.
"Whoa dude! He must have written that program in Lua Brand Lua!" LOL!
"I wrote this in ANSI C" - hm... okay, er... that's not going to make a great point now is it? Unless the American National Standards Institute decides to Trademark their spec on the C language....
But, "You wrote that crappy app in Borland C" or "All apps written in Microsoft(r) VisualBasic(r) are total junk!" - yeah, these might illustrate your argument here Pam :)
Another case in point of how avoiding loss of trade/servicemarks can sound ridiculous: "I am stuck on Band-Aid [Brand] coz Band-Aid's stuck on me!".
Back in the seventies or sixties, I don't think the word, "Brand" would have been needed, but since there are now Curad and a host of other makers of "Band-Aids" (sic, okay so they're, 'bandages'), Calling your product, "A Band-Aid", instead of, "Band-Aid brand bandages" ensures that not only will the consumer continue to call all bandages dispensed from little cans, "Band-Aids", but also, that you ain't gonna lose your trademark.
Also, "Kleenex Brand tissues", instead of "Kleenex's".
Hey folks! We're still going to call Kleenex tissues Kleenex's, but we're never going to ask for a paper towel by saying, "Hey can you tear me off a Brawny?"
There is one major issue w/the trademark lobby, however. A few years back a change in IP law took place, and if you don't "zealously defend" your trademark, you may lose it. Hm...
Okay that brings me to the title of this talk-back: the "Flattening".
When you talk about domain names, let's say, for example, that you are Volkswagon... No, let's say you are the ISP, Virtual Works.
According to the Internet RFCs, you should register VW.NET, since you are primarily a network, right? Right!
Yes, that is what they did.
So, if you were Volkswagen, you should attempt, on an FCFS basis, to register VW.COM - makes sense, or maybe vw.de.
So one day, the Atty's for Volkswagen say to the upper brass, "If we don't zealously defend our trademark, we can lose it.".
So Volkswagon (or is it wagen) approaches the ISP, Virtual Works, about purchasing their VW.NET domain. Not Interested was the response from my good friends at Virtual Works.
Then, Volkswagen comes back and says something to the effect of, "We'll give you a zillion bucks to transfer that domain to us, and with that money you can re-brand your company and have plenty of money to spare!"
"A Zillion Dollars? Heck yeah! We'll do it" (You would too unless you know where this is going).
Volkswagen rescinds the offer, with a much more modest number of, oh, I don't know let's say, a hundred bucks for the domain.
Virtual Works says, "Huh? are you nuts? NO!!!"
Volkswagen picks up the phone, calls the newly created ICANN and invokes the UDRP with the support of WIPO and the trademark lobby, now that those two special interest groups have successfully lobbied for an incorrect definition of just what "cybersquatting" really is...
Voila - Virtual Works, and all their customers, have disappeared from the Internet forever.
Well my friends out there in intellectual property land - the DNS protocol is desgined to be a taxonomical, distributed tree of insignificant characters (to a machine) that are interpreted mnemonically by humans, and translitterate those hierarchies of strings into an address system of numbers.
And guess what, you've just effectively FLATTENED the DNS name space - with that sort of legal opinion running rampant in th IP world, mixing it with domain names means that either:
1.) you go bankrupt because you have to usurp and/or register your trademarked string in each of the hundreds of extant gTLDs and ccTLDs
2.) You realize that this is futile and juvenile, and opt instead to just eliminate all ISO-3166-2 ccTLDs for the various sovereign nations of the world along with .NET/ORG/MIL/GOV/US/INFO, etc..., and only have .COM
Yup. so... is trademark law and the intellectual property special interest group going to flatten the English Language as well?
=== What actually happened to Virtual Works: ===
When Volkswagen invoked UDRP under the fledgling ICANN's procudures, the domain was stolen from Virtual Works through a process we call, "Reverse Domain Hi-Jacking" - meaning, that ICANN received a complaint from Volkswagen alleging their Intellectual property was being held as a hostage - for a ransom (of a zillion dollars, mind you - remember the initial offer? Volkswagen didn't have to disclose that it was THEY, who initiated the offer, and by an act of omission, implied that Virtual Works was ransoming Volkswagen's trademark).
All without Due process.
Trademark law allows for very severe penalties for infringement, yet ICANN and the Intellectual Property interests have effectively done away with due process in favor of an arbitrary system of favortism toward those who fund ICANN.
Great article Pam!