Gay gamers who get together on Reddit have lawyered up and filed a petition to cancel a blogger’s trademark on the word “gaymer.”
The same-sex oriented gamers, who are part of Reddit’s /r/gaymers group, enlisted corporate law firm Perkins Coie to argue the word “gaymer” belongs in the public domain, Ars Technica reports.
They’re fighting back against blogger Chris Vizzini, who owns the “gaymer” trademark and blogs at gaymer.org. He sent a cease-and-desist letter to Reddit about the /r/gaymers subreddit, according to Ars Technica.
Pro bono lawyers from Perkins Coie and the Electronic Frontier Foundation helped the gay gamers write and file a petition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeking to cancel Vizzini’s trademark.
Trademark law is meant to protect consumers, who trust that specific goods and services they buy come from sources they expect, the gay gaymers argue. They say Vizzini’s ownership of the word discourages its intended use – to describe a worldwide community.
“This registration should never have been granted,” EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry said in a statement yesterday. “Gaymer is a common term that refers to members of this vibrant gaming community, and we are happy to help them fight back and make sure the term goes back to the public domain where it belongs.”
The /r/gaymers petition explains that gamers have used the term since the mid-1990s, long before Vizzini applied for the trademark in 2005.
Mr. Vizzini, you keep using the word ‘gaymer.’ I do not think it means what you think it means. To the rest of us, it means community. It means pride in our differentness and our small community.
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