‘NASDAQ Wore Our Dress!’
and PR Newswire. You think they are a stock market and a press release
distribution company. But they are not. They are two women who are mad
at each other because one copied the other’s dress purchase.
A long time
ago, when I was still a humble business reporter, I showed up for work
one day to discover that two of my colleagues – Lovely Lisa and Amorous
Amber – had shown up for work wearing exactly identical dresses.
nice dresses, too! But this had not been done intentionally, and Lisa
did not feel lovely about it, nor did Amber feel any amour. To make
matters even more perfect – oh, sorry ladies, I mean worse (no I don’t)
– Lovely Lisa and Amorous Amber sat right, smack dab next to each other.
one of the funniest days I can ever recall in that newsroom. If you
don’t think it can be amusing to be around two grumpy people for eight
hours straight – having them constantly tell you “get away and stop
looking over here!” – you didn’t see these two in these dresses.
don’t exactly remember is which woman first saw the dress on the other
and decided to go and buy one for herself. But there was certainly a
copycat involved, and the original dress picker-outer was none too happy
long-ago cat fight leads us to the latest highly intelligent,
well-worth-the-time lawsuit in the world of female frivolity, I mean
out news through a service it called, until recently, Primezone Media
Network. PR Newswire puts out press releases on behalf of its member
public relations firms all across the country. Recently, NASDAQ decided
to rename Primezone Media Network and start calling it Prime Newswire.
No. It is! At least as far as PR Newswire is concerned.
PR Newswire complained in a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York. We were planning on wearing it
to attract dates and media coverage, but now she shows up in the same
exact outfit! That ho!
seeks injunctive relief and wants NASDAQ to change into a halter top.
NASDAQ vows to “vigorously” defend itself and calls PR Newswire a whiny
little, er, female dog.
This is a
lawsuit about so-called intellectual property, which makes sense, sure,
because fighting about such things is about as intellectual as a feud
about a dress. But this is standard fare in the business world.
to listen to intellectual property attorneys, who tell them to jealously
defend their names, their “primary marks” (that’s a logo to you and me)
and anything else that might cause anyone to confuse them, however
theoretically, with anyone else.
I once did
business with a company whose name contained a first syllable that was
also the name of a famous computer company. This first syllable might
also have had a farmer in it. Well hi ho the merry-o, the farmer didn’t
sue, but the computer company did. The company somehow satisfied the
jealous, famous computer company by changing a double consonant in its
name to a single consonant, then the owners of the company got about the
more serious business of suing each other.
claims that the “goodwill” associated with its name is being depleted by
NASDAQ’s use of the name Prime Newswire. Hey! Shouldn’t someone get the
lawyers for Goodwill Industries on this?
which, maybe PR Newswire and NASDAQ should head down to the Goodwill
store, pick out a pair of matching outfits and just call a truce. Lovely
Lisa and Amorous Amber eventually made up. Love and floral patterns can
always overcome litigation and frivolity when the fate of American
commerce hangs in the balance.
feedback on this column,
© 2007 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
Click here to talk to our writers and
editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.
To e-mail feedback about this column,
click here. If you enjoy this writer's
work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry
This is Column # DFK63. Request permission to publish here.