EFF forces Lockheed to withdraw trademark claim on B-24 bomber

Great news: The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Corynne McSherry arm-twisted Lockheed Martin into giving up on their crazy attempt to stop people from posting 3D models of the WWII bombers that they built at government expense, claiming a trademark in the design:

Last month we told you about Lockheed Martin's effort to use trademark infringement claims to cause the removal of digital images of classic military aircraft from TurboSquid, a stock images site. The central mark at issue was the term “B-24,” which Lockheed managed to register as a trademark for use in connection with scale models of airplanes. We sent an open letter to Lockheed’s licensing agency, demanding that they withdraw their improper objections. We're pleased to report that Lockheed has decided to withdraw its claim, and TurboSquid is putting the images back up forthwith.

This is a good outcome, but the problem remains. Because online communication and commerce often depends on intermediaries like TurboSquid, who may not have the resources or the inclination to investigate trademark infringement claims, it is much too easy for trademark owners like Lockheed to ignore fair use and shut down legitimate content. And not every target of improper claims is going to have the resources to push back.


(Thanks, John!)

See also: WWII Bomber: "Trademark Infringement"