Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are among the most contentious pieces of law anywhere, and it's very easy to make enemies by swinging your constitutional protections the wrong way.
The next time Verizon wants to poke fun at AT&T and its 3G coverage, it may want to stay away from clever turns of phrase like "There's a map for that." Otherwise, Apple's lawyers might come knocking with a subpoena. We Fools are less likely to run into legal trouble for twisting those words thanks to Fair Use laws, but the knowledge of this specialized trademark now hangs over my head. Never mind that "There's an app for that" jumped the shark long ago -- lawyers have itchy trigger fingers sometimes. With that in mind, here's a couple of marketing messages that probably won't fly anymore:
- Starbucks Frappucinos: "Droopy? There's a frap for that."
- Sealy mattresses: "Tired? There's a nap for that."
- Death Row Records: "Angry? There's a rap for that."
- Subway: "Hungry? There's a wrap for that."
- Orkin: "Mice? There's a trap for that."
And so it goes -- acres of creativity laid to waste in a single filing. In Apple's defense, the application was filed last December while the phrase still sounded a little bit fresh. As it stands, I don't think this trademark matters much anymore.
Did I miss your favorite "There's an app" joke? Share the mirth in the comments below.