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  Coke Gives Up on ‘Second Life’ Trademark Infringement? [Corrected]  
Posted 2007-06-28 by Tony Walsh
Coca-Cola, which recently entered Second Life, has reportedly "released" its trademark to resident merchants. According to Vint Falken, news of the release was delivered in an email from SLExchange, one of Second Life's biggest third-party shopping web sites. The Coca-Cola brand has been bootlegged by Second Life merchants for years--I suppose Coke's decided this actually works for their business.

I'm no lawyer, so I have to wonder what "releasing" a trademark actually means, or what the implications are. I wasn't aware a corporation could issue a blanket release for a proprietary mark while still owning it, but hey, I learn something new every day. Looking forward to Benjamin Duranske's comments on this one.

[Correction: The news source had originally been cited as C.C. Chapman, but is now cited correctly as SLExchange. Sorry, C.C.]
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Comment posted by nerfgun
June 29, 2007 @ 3:03 pm
Soooo... does that mean Coke 'releases' their brand for use within Second Life, or just to certain entities within that virtual space?

One also wonders if you can use it to be critical of the corporation if that 'use' remains within SL.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
June 29, 2007 @ 3:09 pm
Seems clear as mud to me. In my extremely limited--and probably flawed--understanding of these matters, selective enforcement is worse than no enforcement at all. Hoping someone qualified to assess the situation can give their expert opinion...
Comment posted by Ace Albion
July 2, 2007 @ 11:35 am
There was a SecondCast podcast which was basically a continuous plug for the coke in SL stuff, which covered some of this. It was a little while back now.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
July 2, 2007 @ 12:45 pm
Yeah I remember listening to that one, it wasn't one of their best podcasts, that's certain. I recall something about the trademark usage being mentioned, but it didn't sound official enough to investigate.
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