The wording we used here was not perfect. We’re sorry for creating any impression that this was anything more than a polite request to use the Kik package name on NPM for an open source project we have been working on that fits the name. Thanks.
our trademark lawyers are going to be banging on your door and taking down your accounts and stuff like that
I think this is what my grandmother, rest her soul, would call “unmitigated gall”.
if you actually release an open source project called kik
This line says it was an actual empty legal threat, meaning it was extortion. Bob had known that the kik name was taken, therefore Bob had known that kik was already released on npm.
Azer should sue, and take Kik’s $0.50 emoji revenue stream.
The wording’s not great, but they’re correct in saying that trademarks can’t be selectively enforced. The reality is that if no agreement could be reached sans-lawyers, that their lawyers would have to get involved to preserve the trademark.
So no, this was not a polite request, but it never could have been a polite request. It could at most have been a veneer of politeness with the implication of legal action, because Kik really doesn’t want to weaken their trademark by engaging in selective enforcement.
Frankly, even without lawyers involved, I think Kik-the-company should get priority just based on the relative sizes of the respective userbases. It’s like how in Debian the git package for several years pointed to the GNU Interactive Tools, until git’s popularity got precedence in the global Debian package namespace. Kik-the-company has 200 million users, whereas most of us didn’t know about kik-the-CLI until now.
And this is exactly what trademarks are for: making sure consumers don’t get confused. It was so frustrating to see Azer respond to how “patent lawyers” were out to get him. I wish people at least attempted to understand laws instead of feeling powerless and indignant in the face of any sort of legal trouble.
Absolutely. There’s also the fact that Kik-the-company has been around for years, whereas kik-the-CLI was a fairly new package.
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