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Thread: Copyrights trademarks etc

  1. #1
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    Default Copyrights trademarks etc

    I know in short time I have been on this forum that several times members have brought up questions about using old RS terms such as TRS80 or TRSDOS etc.

    I just purchased frehd and when I opened box a label fell out that says.

    Radio Shack
    TRS80
    FREHD

    My question is, is this a RS endorsed product?

    I am just curious.

  2. #2
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    According to the US Trademark office The registrations that contain "TRS-80" are dead. There are, however, still live registrations for "Radio Shack". So, and do not take this even remotely as sound legal advice, my guess would be is you're probably in the clear slapping "TRS-80" on your homebrew product and *maybe* also in the clear if you use a logo styled like the old silver-and-black "two bubble" deal, but you'd probably be better off leaving off the "Radio Shack" text.
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    According to the US Trademark office The registrations that contain "TRS-80" are dead. There are, however, still live registrations for "Radio Shack". So, and do not take this even remotely as sound legal advice, my guess would be is you're probably in the clear slapping "TRS-80" on your homebrew product and *maybe* also in the clear if you use a logo styled like the old silver-and-black "two bubble" deal, but you'd probably be better off leaving off the "Radio Shack" text.
    Interesting investors saw value in RS name as it is still doing business worldwide but investors saw no value in maintaining TRS80 name.

    Well all the rats have jumped and just the tough buggers left. And someone told me it was proper etiquette to put some smile after half jokes here...

  4. #4

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    Don't really get the question. The fact that it says it was made for the "Radio Shack TRS80" does not even indicate that Radio Shack had anything to do with it. Maybe it's just the way it is written on the label. You have to understand "Radio Shack TRS80 FREHD" as the full name of the product and not as three individual parts of information (as in: maker, model, product).

  5. #5
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    “Tandy” as a corporate entity ceased to exist around the year 2000 and simply became “RadioShack”; the “TRS” in TRS-80 was specifically an acronym for “Tandy Radio Shack” and by this point they’d been out of the computer business for a decade anyway, so it’s not exactly surprising they didn’t bother paying to renew it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo W. View Post
    Don't really get the question. The fact that it says it was made for the "Radio Shack TRS80" does not even indicate that Radio Shack had anything to do with it. Maybe it's just the way it is written on the label. You have to understand "Radio Shack TRS80 FREHD" as the full name of the product and not as three individual parts of information (as in: maker, model, product).
    Maybe its is a product for IBM PCs. Try putting IBM logo on label and see what happens. Structure of question is easy to understand. Simple answer is they released claim to this TM.

  7. #7

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    As of last month, Radio Shack's remaining retail chain, web site, and intellectual property were sold to Retail Ecommerce Ventures, a group that buys up defunct retail store brands, like Modell's, Pier 1 Imports, etc. I highly doubt they'll ever know or care about a small group of vintage computer enthusiasts making reproduction 1980s-style Radio Shack logo badges for TRS-80 computers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vwestlife View Post
    I highly doubt they'll ever know or care about a small group of vintage computer enthusiasts making reproduction 1980s-style Radio Shack logo badges for TRS-80 computers.
    I googled up a photo of the FreHD label in question, and, well, personally I would avoid putting "Radio Shack" on it if I were selling a similar thing because the "Radio Shack" name is still a registered mark, and that actually specifically includes the word "Radio Shack" rendered in that funky 70's font. (If you look at the active marks in the USTPO search engine you'll find exactly that still listed as "Live".) "TRS-80", on the other hand, does look like it's fair game as long as someone doesn't convince the office to let them re-register it. (which might be a stretch, there's some issues with trying to salvage expired marks if the argument can be made that the word in question has become a "generic" term, which "TRS-80" almost has for "obsolete old computer".) Seems like there's another version of the logo sticker out there that has "FreHD" in the Radio-Shack style font in the one box and "Hard disk Emulator" in the other box, that seems safer...

    But again, probably exactly no one is going to care.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo W. View Post
    Don't really get the question. The fact that it says it was made for the "Radio Shack TRS80" does not even indicate that Radio Shack had anything to do with it. Maybe it's just the way it is written on the label. You have to understand "Radio Shack TRS80 FREHD" as the full name of the product and not as three individual parts of information (as in: maker, model, product).
    You go into a US court with that argument you will probably lose.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    You go into a US court with that argument you will probably lose.
    It would only ever get to court in the first place if REV could reasonably determine that the financial loss from other people using the Radio Shack name without permission would outweigh the court costs of the case. They probably wouldn't even bother sending out a Cease & Desist letter if they figured it wouldn't be worth the $400 an hour or whatever their law firm charges.

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