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View Full Version : Spam - the trademark name....


Mr. Anderson
Jul 4, 2003, 10:59 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/07/04/spam.hormel.ap/index.html

Now this is going to be fun to follow - I can totally see both sides of this arguement....

What I specifically love is where the whole thing started :D

which was derived from a skit on Monty Python's Flying Circus.

http://bau2.uibk.ac.at/sg/python/Sounds/spam_song.au

D :D

Veldek
Jul 4, 2003, 12:13 PM
This reminds of the MR member who posted some time ago, that the word spam actually comes from this canned meat, which is simply not true.

Anyway, it will be interesting indeed.

Giaguara
Jul 4, 2003, 12:25 PM
Heh, they should sue Spamassassin and Spamcop too. :D

If they would invent to want 0,01 cent per every spam anyone sends, they'd get rich ;)

MrMacMan
Jul 4, 2003, 12:59 PM
haha, SPAM!

Gotta love that song... :p

edit: if anyone has Quicktime Pro loop backwards and notice it says the same thing backwards as fowards, seriously weird... :eek:

Sun Baked
Jul 4, 2003, 01:10 PM
Darn, that means we're not to use the lunchmeat to point out SPAM.

Veldek
Jul 4, 2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman
edit: if anyone has Quicktime Pro loop backwards and notice it says the same thing backwards as fowards, seriously weird... :eek:

Now, this is cool!

Mr. Anderson
Jul 4, 2003, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman
edit: if anyone has Quicktime Pro loop backwards and notice it says the same thing backwards as fowards, seriously weird... :eek:

OMG that is totally freaky! I love it! Did you know about this or was it something you just happened on....

D

BaghdadBob
Jul 4, 2003, 02:04 PM
I know "SPAM" is supposed to be a combination of "Spiced Ham," but where is the usage/origin of the word if not from Hormel? If they did not begin with a new and unique name for their product then they don't have too much of a case, however, if not, "SPAM" is their product's name, and much like "Kleenex" you can't just go around using someone's trade name in your official products. The only exception to this are instances where the name of the product has parts of common usage, in which circumststances you can't completely protect it.

Like, Clorox can't totally protect "Clean-Up" unless it was being used in such a way as to be confused with their product, like say, "Simple Green Clean-Up." But they can protect "Clorox" even if the term becomes known colloquially to mean weasel nuts and someone makes a weasel nut remover called "Clorox-Cut" because Clorox had no roots in the common language before the company.

Unless someone can show me that the word "SPAM" predates the company's usage of it for their product, I'm afraid I have to root for Hormel here. Individuals can refer to their nasal tissues as "Kleenex" all they want, but you can't just go and use it for your business. It's protected.

Sun Baked
Jul 4, 2003, 02:51 PM
Looks like Spam is headed down the Thomas Crapper.

Veldek
Jul 4, 2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
I know "SPAM" is supposed to be a combination of "Spiced Ham," but where is the usage/origin of the word if not from Hormel? If they did not begin with a new and unique name for their product then they don't have too much of a case, however, if not, "SPAM" is their product's name, and much like "Kleenex" you can't just go around using someone's trade name in your official products. The only exception to this are instances where the name of the product has parts of common usage, in which circumststances you can't completely protect it.

Like, Clorox can't totally protect "Clean-Up" unless it was being used in such a way as to be confused with their product, like say, "Simple Green Clean-Up." But they can protect "Clorox" even if the term becomes known colloquially to mean weasel nuts and someone makes a weasel nut remover called "Clorox-Cut" because Clorox had no roots in the common language before the company.

Unless someone can show me that the word "SPAM" predates the company's usage of it for their product, I'm afraid I have to root for Hormel here. Individuals can refer to their nasal tissues as "Kleenex" all they want, but you can't just go and use it for your business. It's protected.

Yes, the origin is "spiced ham". As Mr. Anderson said before this comes from a sketch of Monty Python where this couple wants to eat breakfast, but no matter what they order, all they get is spam, spiced ham. That's why unwanted mail is called spam. But, it could be, of course, that Monty Python took this from Hormel. One should find out what has been earlier.

BaghdadBob
Jul 4, 2003, 03:09 PM
I am quite sure that SPAM outdates the Monty Python skit, I think what the article was saying is that the colloquial usage of "SPAM" started with that skit. I believe SPAM has been around since the 40s or 50s. But I could be wrong.

What I'm wondering is if anyone used the word "SPAM" before the product was created?

patrick0brien
Jul 4, 2003, 03:45 PM
-Gents

SPAM does outdate the Mony Python sketch by quite a many years. In fact, the Hormel meat is where the Pythons got the name from.

"The endlessly repeated word in the Monty Python sketch allegedly gave Internet users the idea to dub unsolicited advertising e-mail "spam."" -CNN

"Spam sales first boomed during World War II. Spam was great for the military, as it required no refrigeration. And it wasn't rationed, as beef was, so it became a prime staple in American meals. " -CNN

Hormael does have the trademark rights for the name SPAM. What Spam Arrest needs to prove is the difference between the Hormel canned meat, and the junk email. That might be difficult as the name for the junk email came through the Python sketch from the canned meat. The slang is rooted directly to the trademark.

Frankly, I'm on Hormel's side here.

Mr. Anderson
Jul 4, 2003, 03:58 PM
I know that Spam out dates the MontyPython skit. They were actually talking about the product in the skit...:rolleyes:

What Python did was change the reference to what we think of it now....or at least get it going in that direction.....

D :D

BaghdadBob
Jul 4, 2003, 04:39 PM
Yeah we figured that...or I hope we all did? I never assumed the Monty Python skit was referring to anything but the Hormel product.

Veldek is the one who questioned the lineage of the word, and to the best of my knowledge it does originate from "the canned meat" and no where else, although the current usage of it arguably originates from the Monty Python sketch.

That does not change, however, that the word "SPAM" has a copyright attached to it that's older than most of us here, and that Hormel's SPAM product is what internet "spam" is named after, even if it took a coulple of decades for the association to unwanted product that was made to it in the sketch to gain a usage in internet terms.

Veldek
Jul 4, 2003, 04:54 PM
I understand your point and you maybe right here. I think that the current usage of the word spam has its origin in Monty Python, but I agree that the word itself comes most probably from Hormel.

rainman::|:|
Jul 4, 2003, 10:54 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with hormel on this one. Normally something is a word first, then taken up as a trademark. This way, it's the other way around-- trademark, then common word. Brand name association (kind of applies here) happens all the time, and you never hear the companies themselves complaining then... I don't think anyone is truely refusing to buy spam because of the email connotations, considering Spam has been part of our vocabulary in everyday life for a decade.

pnw

P-Worm
Jul 5, 2003, 12:46 AM
I really can't see how Hormel can't win this case. I mean, take Vasaline for instance. Every other knock off brand has to say "Petrolium Jelly" and can't use the word Vasaline. If Spam Arrest want to keep with that name, they should pay Hormel royalties.

P-Worm

BaghdadBob
Jul 5, 2003, 02:33 AM
Usually a copyrighted trade name that becomes part of the common language, such as "kleenex," "vasoline," "vise grips," etc, are referring to products in a similar class, and are never legally used by any company -- only casually, and in these cases, the use of the copyright is a symbol of said company's recognition in their line of products, so no, no one complains (as long as no one uses it officially).

In this instance you don't have a canned meat company trying to call their product "SPAM," but you do have a widespread egative connotaiton associated with your trade name, and some companies are starting to ignore the real copyrights that are associated with the name.

OK, this is like my fifth post on this, and since I don't have anything new to say I'll just shut up now. :)

wdlove
Jul 5, 2003, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
Darn, that means we're not to use the lunchmeat to point out SPAM.

I remember "Spam" fondly from my youth. "Spam" made a delicious sandwich. It was before I learned how unhealthy a product that the meat was! So now we have 2 unhealthy SPAM products! :p

BaghdadBob
Jul 5, 2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by wdlove
I remember "Spam" fondly from my youth. "Spam" made a delicious sandwich. It was before I learned how unhealthy a product that the meat was! So now we have 2 unhealthy SPAM products! :p
Is it still bad? I've never had the stuff myself, but I'm kinda curious...

Rower_CPU
Jul 5, 2003, 05:07 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
Is it still bad? I've never had the stuff myself, but I'm kinda curious...

It's definitely bad for you in large quantities, but is pretty popular in Hawai'i and some parts of Asia.

BaghdadBob
Jul 5, 2003, 05:33 PM
You know, I never encountered it during my time in Hawaii, but if it's an Asian taste that would explain it.

They also like poi in Hawaii, so go figure.

:eek: Poi! BLECH!

Doctor Q
Jul 5, 2003, 06:14 PM
I've tried both Spam™®© and poi. I don't care for either.

And I'm still mad that the word hacker acquired a negative connotation. It was originally applied to computer users who had lots of technical knowledge and spent long hours at the keyboard learning and programming.

Mr. Anderson
Jul 5, 2003, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by Doctor Q
And I'm still mad that the word hacker acquired a negative connotation. It was originally applied to computer users who had lots of technical knowledge and spent long hours at the keyboard learning and programming.

Ha, well, most hackers, new term, usually are on the computer long hours and know lots of technical stuff....;)

Spam has changed a bit over the years. I've had it once or twice, not recently - but I remember reading somewhere that they've changed the process a bit so that the cans don't have a layer of gelatin - for some people that was a travesty :D So now you get all Spam, no dessert in the can....

D

Rower_CPU
Jul 5, 2003, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by BaghdadBob
You know, I never encountered it during my time in Hawaii, but if it's an Asian taste that would explain it.

They also like poi in Hawaii, so go figure.

:eek: Poi! BLECH!

Two words: spam musubi. A slice of spam packed in sticky rice, wrapped up in nori (seaweed wrapper like on sushi). Mighty "ono". ;)

Poi is an acquired taste, but freshness and amount of fermentation make a big difference...and liberal use of sugar. :D