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We all love & benefit from SO, and want to help keeping it profitable. How can we help?

What counts as trademark infringement: Trademark guidelines
What is an illegal SO clone: Copyright guidelines

BTW: I want to report stackoverflow.mobi. I think it follows the trademark guidelines, but obviously steals the trademark.

  • I'm pretty sure they are attributing correctly. And I don't think they are using the name incorrectly. If you look at the footer they are explicitly stating their purpose. – jjnguy Feb 23 '11 at 16:07
  • Also, since the team has yet to create an official mobile site or app, I think they are fine with clones of this nature. – jjnguy Feb 23 '11 at 16:09
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    @jjnguy, it looks like they follow the attribution guidelines but they do break the trademark guideline about using only one of the terms in the product name. – Brandon Feb 23 '11 at 16:09
  • @Brandon, I see what you mean. – jjnguy Feb 23 '11 at 16:14
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    Is the name "Stack Overflow" a registered trademark, though? The logo is. But is the name? – Pëkka Feb 23 '11 at 16:17
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    They just lack of creativity. The obvious name would be MobileOverflow. – HuBeZa Feb 23 '11 at 16:18
  • @Pekka: dude, check the trademark guidelines link posted above. – HuBeZa Feb 23 '11 at 16:19
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    @HuBeZa that's exactly the document I am reading, and it's not definite on the question. Our logo images and site names are copyrighted. Images: not referring to the name. Site names: the big question is, what does that mean - StackOverflow sans .com, or with? Is "Stack Overflow" in itself a copyrightable trademark, preventing the use of the "Stack Overflow" name on any other TLD? I doubt it. The rest - naming guidelines - is what SO, inc. would like other sites to do. That is far from everything in there actually being enforceable in court. – Pëkka Feb 23 '11 at 16:22
  • @Pekka, I'd tend to agree. You couldn't trademark 'StackOverflow' since it is a programming term. Sorry Java, you will have to rename your exception to OverflowOfTheLIFODataStructureException. – jjnguy Feb 23 '11 at 16:30
  • @jjnguy yup. I know for a fact that's how it works in Germany - you can't easily trademark vocabulary that is in everyday use. I expect it is at least similar in the US – Pëkka Feb 23 '11 at 16:31
  • @Pekka: you right. It is a tricky one. They could not sue a guy for using the term "stack overflow" in general. Although, Apple filed a lawsuit for using an apple logo - more than once, and for using the letter i. Oh the humanity. I'm glad that IANAL. – HuBeZa Feb 23 '11 at 16:36
  • @HuBeZa interesting links! – Pëkka Feb 23 '11 at 16:37
  • Movie companies tell us every time we watch a DVD that the FBI IS WATCHING YOU WATCH so I guess we should just call the FBI if someone is stealing stack overflow. – Adam Davis Feb 23 '11 at 17:26
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You can contact them at team@stackoverflow.com, but they should already know of it's existence.

If they were going to do anything about it, I'm surprised they haven't already.

  • +1, I was just about to say that – The Unhandled Exception Feb 23 '11 at 16:09
  • They (Jeff) didn't seem to care or notice that the site was breaking the guidelines of use. – jjnguy Feb 23 '11 at 16:16
  • I would guess that SO guys would create a list, because otherwise they'll suffer from multiple email duplication. – HuBeZa Feb 23 '11 at 16:21
  • @jjnguy, that was my thought as well. They seem okay with it, but that post was made around a year before that Do's and Don'ts list was created. So I don't know if their feelings towards it may have changed since then. – Brandon Feb 23 '11 at 16:24
  • @Brandon: I've try to search "mobi" & ".mobi" before I posted this Q. Well, StackOverflow is, yet, not Google :) – HuBeZa Feb 23 '11 at 16:46
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    @Hubeza, to be honest, that is actually how I found that question. I always just use Google and add on the site: :P – Brandon Feb 23 '11 at 16:50

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