Gay gamers strike back at "Gaymers" trademark

Chris Vizzini registered the term "Gaymer" as a trademark, then sent a cease-and-decist letter to Reddit over /r/gaymers, the section of the site dedicated to gay gamers and their interests. The righteous backlash sees the targets teaming up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to cancel the trademark. The term has been in use since the mid-1990s, adds Ars Technica's Joe Mullin; Vizzini did not launch his so-named blog until 2005.


    1. Trademarks can coexist, and Gaymer Cider Company has registered trademarks in the relevant areas of booze and boozey stuff. The problem here seems to be that Vizzini’s mark applies to a generic term within its applicable field (online gaming communities) and he’s inappropriately threatened others who use it.


    Here he explains his motives very straightforwardly: “I don’t want someone else opening a site with the word Gaymer in it” — and so registered a trademark on a word that was already in wide use by the community. Looks like a textbook attempt to co-opt a generic term as intellectual property, thereby capturing its social capital.

    He seems not to understand why this is wrong, and mocks the “crusading opposition” to the trademark by those who were already using it.

    It’ll be a tragedy if he finds himself excluded from the process at this point by the expense of defending the mark, but I can’t muster much sympathy given his attitude.

    As always, the root problem is the USPTO’s mindless promiscuity and legislators’ disinterest in fixing it.

    1. In the comments to that post…

      Unlike the egomaniacs I’ve run into at other “nameless” places, Chris at least won’t be lord it around and threaten people with it.

    2. The only legitimate reason I can see in trademarking it is simply to stop someone else trademarking and using that to bully others. If he were going after new site set ups as he claimed then his justification would hold water, whether or not it’s agreeable. But going after prior uses of it makes no sense whatsoever other than trademark trolling.

    3. Ugh. I’ve heard this one before:
      “I don’t want someone else opening a site with the word X in it”
      Easy solution to that issue – don’t use a word in common usage that’s already being used in identical contexts.  But of course, you’re right – he’s co-opting the term for exclusive use in order to cannibalize the existing communities.
      He’s also self-servingly confusing what was obviously a lack of public awareness of his trademark registration with a lack of opposition to it.

  2. I’m curious about the number of identifiable gay gamers world wide. The number of reddit users posting to gaymers vs the number of active members on

    It just seems REALLY FUCKING STUPID to alienate yourself in what may be, no clue, a pretty small niche compared to the number of gamers total. 

  3. that trademark wouldn’t actually cover the action against reddit.
    the gaymer trademark is for the icon with text, not text word alone.

  4. All these other people were using it and having fun, and I want to be the only one allowed to.

    Oh and Christ what an asshole.

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