Is the second coming of Silicon Alley Reporter about to get squashed? We hear that Rupert Murdoch’s Dow Jones isn’t thrilled that New Yorker Gaurav “Gary” Sharma is using the brand it acquired in 2003 — and will ask him to stop using it.
Last summer, Gary registered the Web domain alleyreporter.com and filed for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Since last month, he’s been using the site — along with the old Silicon Alley Reporter logo — to publish local tech events and a list of companies and service providers. (Good idea!)
In an email to the New York Tech Meetup list last month, Gary said he wasn’t worried about copyright problems: “The original Silicon Alley Reporter trademark was owned by Dow Jones and they let it expire a few years ago. I have since re-acquired the trademark.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office does indeed list the original trademark — once held by Rising Tide Studios, the Alley Reporter parent company that Dow Jones acquired — as “dead” and “abandoned.” Dow Jones is still listed as the owner of siliconalleyreporter.com. But their registration ended yesterday, and we don’t know if they’ve renewed it or not.
If Dow Jones is miffed at Gary, it’s news to him, he says. “This is the first I’ve heard of it,” he said in an email today. “So no, its not true. News Corp / Dow Jones have better things to do but if they do decide to make a move on us we’ll be sure to let you know.”
We’ve put in a call to Dow Jones for comment — we’ll update if we hear back.