Finger Graffiti

Jay Vaughan jay at
Mon Jul 30 16:12:26 CEST 2007

> Jay Vaughan wrote:
>> it just happens that Graffiti is what people know "finger painting on
>> your PDA" to be .. its common enough to warrant usage as a word
>> referring to the activity of finger-painting symbols for recognition
>> on a devices surface.
> No, sorry, this is incorrect, and precisely _why_ I have to point out
> that Graffiti is a registered trademark: it is _not_ a generic term  
> for
> "finger painting on your PDA", "Graffiti" refers to a specific writing
> system and implementation of that system, and no other.

Among this group of hackers and individuals willing to bleed on the  
edge of gadget land, the common-realm use of the term "Graffiti" is,  
most definitely, applicable.  Nobody here in openmoko listville is,  
yet, a casual nor commercial, nor even consumptive, user.  The  
OpenMOKO device is itself establishing its first stage of activity  
strictly in -developer- land.  "Graffiti" is as good as saying  
"Hypercard Stack" in such company.

I might be wrong about that shortly, or in your specific case, but I  
feel the need to point out among the legalese that if we say  
"Graffiti" here, it is probably triggering at least 37 or so  
different individual subscribers internal "state machine mechanics",  
in a variety of programming languages, who have implemented such call- 
lists and search trees required to implement 'a graffiti', commonly  
and for some various uses, regardless of mark.  Tho' quite  
definitively, in trade.

Language is not a product.

> The reason for mentioning trademark status is specifically to keep it
> from _becoming_ a generic term (like "zipper", "kleenex" and, to an
> extent, "xerox", have become generic terms), and is something  
> which, as
> I've said, holding a trademark obligates the owner to do. Sean and  
> team
> will be obliged to do precisely the same sort of thing if they become
> aware of someone (mis)using the "OpenMoko" trademark in some way that
> they didn't intend.
> This is basic trademark law, I'm afraid.

Well, hand-scrawl defeats law, I'm afraid.


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