No, We Were Not Trying To Trademark Rumor Sunday! ®

Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 7.06.51 PMYou know, I love Aol. I seriously do. The company has some stellar health and dental benefits, and they brought Mike and MG back, and there are definitely some individuals who work there that go above and beyond what’s necessary in being thoughtful, generous, and helpful (hello Trisha Dearborn, you saint you!).

It is also pretty great to have someone – anyone – pay you to write about technology when you are obsessed with technology, and for that I am forever grateful. Don’t tell Jay Kirsch, but I would probably do this job for free if I could make sure I’d have a roof over my head and ample feta cheese on my plate while doing so. Okay, not really.

BUT (come on, you knew there was a ‘but’ coming …) other times, Aol reminds you that it is still a big-ass bumbling company, like when the HR person in charge of the Aol TechCrunch acquisition “transition” asked if I was MG, and then scurried off (disappointed?) to find him when I said “No.”

Also when all the TechCrunch team has to complete a mandatory 45-slide “Aol Standards of Business Conduct” training annually, even though TechCrunch has way different standards of business conduct, or when, God bless them, the Aol legal department sends us the below email in response to a joke we made in this post about how we tended to write about rumors on Sundays. “Rumor Sunday!®” har har.

Hi Ned,

A colleague in Legal spotted the use of the trademark Rumor Sunday!® in the first paragraph of a recent TechCrunch article.  I can’t quite tell if Rumor Sunday is a mark that TechCrunch intends to use or a third party mark.  There are no registrations for “Rumor Sunday!” in the USPTO records (thus the ® symbol should not be used with the term.)  The term hyperlinks to a page which doesn’t appear to contain any reference to Rumor Sunday or Snapguide (the subject of the first paragraph).

If you intend to use Rumor Sunday as a mark, please provide information re the services and whether it will be used primarily in the US or elsewhere so that we can conduct a trademark search.



Sigh. This, of course, caused A HUMOROUS, MOCKING THREAD amongst writers (sample below). For those of you out of the loop, co-editor Eric Eldon is the funniest person at TechCrunch, which is saying a lot considering TechCrunch is a pretty ridiculous place.

Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 6.50.37 PM

And I don’t know what specifically makes big companies as unfunny as Jay Leno, but I do know that we’re going to add some © and ™ s in future posts to see if Aol continues to not get it ®. And keep you guys in on the joke.

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