Friday, March 03, 2006

Cornell blog and the lawyer's letter

Cornell blog has received a letter from Thomas W. Bruce, Vice President for University Communications,Cornell University, advising that the blog "remove the name Cornell University from the name of your blog and website at While we appreciate your hosting a forum in which Cornell news and events can be discussed, your use of the words Cornell University on the blog is confusing and can easily be misinterpreted to mean that the blog is maintained and/or sanctioned by the university. In fact, neither is the case.

Cornell University is a trademarked name and can only be used with the permission of the university. More specifically your use of the Cornell University name in this manner is unauthorized, misleading, and in violation of Section 397 of the General Business Law of the State of New York."

Rather strange, since the blog has nothing but positive things to say about the university, until now and it's unlikely to be confused with the official university site. Maybe someone whispered 'trademark dilution' in this vice president's ear? Though I'd need a lawyer to advise on the real chances of that.

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