[access-uk] Re: Fw: [blind_geek_zone] Fw: [BCT] Some thoughts on FreedomScientific verses Seroteck

  • From: "Steve Nutt" <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 06:48:04 +0100

Hi Barry,

Course, he hasn't addressed the fact that Freedombox was there first, in
1998, and Freedom Scientific got the name in 2001.  At one time, =
used to be objective, but he is losing credibility by the day in my =

All the best


-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf =
Dj Paddy
Sent: 23 May 2007 03:00
To: bcab@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Fw: [blind_geek_zone] Fw: [BCT] Some thoughts on
FreedomScientific verses Seroteck

I really had respect for Jonothon, untill i read this.

However, it seems he's been blinded by the almighty dollar and the =


It's sickening that he's trying to write by pleading the role of the =
journalist, whilst admitting his position within the company.

I feel Freedom Scientific regardless of the out come have dealt =
themselves a

blow in the eyes of their customers and potential customers.
Dj Paddy
----- Original Message -----=20
From: "Rick Harmon" <rickharmon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blind_geek_zone@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 1:31 AM
Subject: [blind_geek_zone] Fw: [BCT] Some thoughts on FreedomScientific=20
verses Seroteck

> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
> Visit my webpage and podcast feed at www.blind-geek-zone.net
> ----- Original Message -----=20
> From: "Larry Gassman" <lgsinger@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: "Blind Cool Tech" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 7:36 PM
> Subject: [BCT] Some thoughts on FreedomScientific verses Seroteck
>>>Jonathan Mosen wrote the following on his Exploders list.
>>>Last week, Freedom Scientific, Inc. filed suit against Serotek=20
>>>for trademark infringement with respect to the FreedomBox range of
>>>Since then, the matter has been discussed at length on some
>>>blindness-related blogs and e-mail lists. I'd like by way of this =
>>>clarify what I view as some of the objectives of the suit. I am a =
>>>President at Freedom Scientific, and am extremely proud to work =
>>>However writing this message is my own initiative as a former =
>>>journalist. My aim in doing this is that people at least get a chance =
>>>consider facts over rhetoric.
>>>Firstly, let me talk a little about trademark law. A trademark's =
>>>to exclusively identify a source and origin of products. Importantly, =
>>>trademark only applies to a certain range of goods or services. One =
>>>questions I have seen on e-mail lists is, "how can Freedom Scientific
>>>to own the word Freedom." By taking this action, Freedom Scientific =
>>>seeking to do this. Rather, Freedom Scientific is simply enforcing =
>>>Freedom Scientific trademark, which it owns for certain goods. =
>>>Scientific has invested to establish its trademarks and is only =
>>>enforce these valuable rights. Freedom Scientific has the legal =
>>>the obligation to its customers and shareholders, to protect the use =
>>>trademark in the context of assistive technology. The concept of =
>>>common words in trademarks is common - for example the use of the =
>>>to describe a computer company. As is well known through recent news
>>>stories, Apple is quite entitled to own this name in the context of
>>>hardware and software products. It does not, of course, mean that =
>>>any rights to the name when you eat a piece of fruit. Trademarks can
>>>co-exist where there is no similarity between the businesses. For=20
>>>Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets are trademarks, but there is no =
>>>because the businesses' purposes are totally different and there is =
>>>for confusion. Freedom Scientific is confident that its trademark =
>>>will be upheld. The broadening of scope of the FreedomBox products to
>>>include products like FreedomBox System Access (FBSA) offering access =
>>>mainstream applications only exacerbates the infringement.
>>>Trademarks are not some abstract thing. They are a company's =
>>>They are legal property, and you can't simply take someone's property
>>>without their consent.
>>>Secondly, I'd like to turn to the question, "why now." All sorts of
>>>speculation have been put forward as to the timing of this suit. =
>>>Scientific made Serotek well aware of its position on this matter, =
>>>unfortunately Serotek was unwilling to negotiate a settlement to this
>>>matter. No one likes having to go to court, but if you genuinely =
>>>your property rights are being trampled upon, in the end there is no
>>>but to do so if you are unable to get a resolution any other way.
>>>Thirdly, it has been said that Freedom Scientific is giving the blind
>>>community no credit by taking this action, and that everyone knows =
>>>difference between the two product lines. Rest assured, this is most
>>>certainly not the case. I can tell you that Freedom Scientific has =
>>>contacted by Serotek customers seeking technical support, or even =
>>>buy a Serotek product. Thus, there is a likelihood of confusion.
>>>Fourthly, a petition has been established by the hosts of ACB Radio's =

>>>Menu, calling itself the Save Serotek petition. The grossly =
>>>of this petition implies that somehow Freedom Scientific's objective =
>>>put Serotek out of business. As a result of the sensationalist name, =
>>>commenters to the Petition have made comments to this effect. All =
>>>Scientific is seeking to do is protect its property and to seek
>>>compensation for the unlawful use of it.
>>>The objective here is not to put Serotek out of business. 2007 has=20
>>>seen great innovation from Freedom Scientific and there's plenty more =
>>>come. Honest competition inspires excellence and is good news for the
>>>customer. But I stress the word "honest." Yes, many people in =
>>>technology are motivated by a strong sense of purpose and commitment =
>>>making a difference. But these companies are still commercial =
>>>have every right to use the legal system to protect their property if =

>>>think they need to, just as you have a right to use the legal system =
>>>someone breaks into your house and takes something belonging to you
>>>In closing, I hope that those genuinely interested in the facts of =
>>>matter will take the time to read up on trademark case law, but most
>>>importantly, will let the judicial process take its course. It occurs =
>>>that if Freedom Scientific has got it as wrong as a few people claim, =

>>>what do they have to fear? A jury will dismiss the case. I doubt that =

>>>happen though. If the law has been broken as I believe it has, then
>>>Scientific is quite entitled to redress.
>>>My hope is that sanity prevails and that Serotek has both the courage =
>>>the decency to brand its products in a fashion that wasn't already =
>>>used in this industry. I think they would gain a lot of respect from =
>>>blind community for acting honourably. Fair competition is not too =
>>>ask for, and it most certainly is worth fighting for.
>>>Those interested in the subject of trademarks may like to take a look =
>>>Wikipedia entry on the subject, found at:
>>>Jonathan Mosen
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