lOO Book Challenge

I don't understand trademarks. From what I know, a trademark is applied to product or service with some exclusivity and can't be used by a different product or service which conflicts with the original trademark. Conversely, if I own the trademark for Bean Shoes, "the shoe made entirely from beans," I can't keep you from selling Bean Caps, "the cap to cover your bean." Or at least, that how it seems to me.

So it seems odd that the American Reading Company sent a cease and desist letter to LibraryThing because they proposed a 100 Book Challenge for 2010 whereby everyone would strive to read 100 books. Apparently the American Reading Company sells products under the brand, "100 Book Challenge" and they don't want to share their ownership of those three (or four; does "100" count as one word or two words hyphenated?) words.

My only response is that the American Reading Company misread the LibraryThing name. It's not the 100 Book Challenge, but the lOO Book Challenge.

Forgive the spelling, but the word is "loo" as in the slang term for lavatory in Britain. The real LibraryThing challenge for 2010 is for everyone to read books in the loo.

I understand that the American Reading Company is concerned about their trademark, but really, these are two entirely different things. I realize that lOO looks similar to 100 to the naked eye, but a computer can see the difference.

It was a harmless mistake. And no, LibraryThing is not changing the capitalization to reduce the confusion. Because it's funnier that way.

p.s. I Am Not a Lawyer.

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