It’s been a while since the Lab went near the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a fresh trademark registration, but it went back again in March, and I tossed it into my slush pile, where it has sat for some time now, waiting for me to get to it.
There’s not really a whole lot to go on here, anyway. Not much more than a name.
The trademark (serial number 85559233, which was filed on behalf of the Lab by James Cady at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, as usual) is DIO – which I imagine probably stands for something. If you’d like to amuse yourself in the comments suggesting options, feel free.
The scope for the trademark is:
IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer game software
IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment services, namely, providing an online computer game; entertainment services, namely, providing virtual environments in which users can interact through social games for recreational, leisure or entertainment purposes
The trademark basis is 1B, so it doesn’t involve something that has seen commercial use yet.
Education time. If you don’t care to have a lesson on the difference between the 1A and the 1B trademark basis, skip down to the next horizontal line.
A trademark can have a basis of 1A or 1B (it can actually be 44D or 44E instead, if it is a foreign trademark – but those need not concern us, today).
So, what’s the difference between a 1A trademark and a 1B trademark? Well, trademark protection becomes automatic when you first use a trademark in commerce. You don’t quite get the full gamut of legal protections until it is registered, but you get most of the benefits as soon as you’ve got a receipt that shows that money changed hands for some goods/services branded by and within the scope of the trademark.
The USPTO, therefore, traditionally deals with trademarks that have already been used. Those trademarks are 1A.
This is what it has to say in the filing guidance about the 1A basis:
Choose this basis if you are actually already using the mark in commerce that the U.S. Congress may regulate (e.g., interstate commerce; territorial commerce [with Guam or American Samoa, e.g.]; or commerce between the United States and a foreign country) in connection with ALL the goods and/or services identified in the application. You must be able to provide the date of first use anywhere and the date of use in commerce that the U.S. Congress may regulate, and a specimen (sample) of said use. Use may be by the applicant, the applicant’s related company, or a licensee of the applicant (or, earlier use by a predecessor in interest; however, current use must be being made at the time of the application by the applicant, the applicant’s related company, or a licensee of applicant).
The 1B trademark is quite a bit newer, and originally the USPTO didn’t deal with them. That was added rather later. The 1B basis allows you to essentially reserve a trademark that you haven’t used commercially yet. It’s supposed to be in good faith, so it predicates on you not just filing an application for something to be a dick about it by blocking someone else.
Here’s what the USPTO says about 1B:
Choose this basis if you have not yet made actual use of the mark in commerce that the U.S. Congress may regulate (i.e., interstate commerce; territorial commerce [with Guam or American Samoa, e.g.]; or commerce between the United States and a foreign country) in connection with ALL the goods and/or services identified in the application, but instead simply have a bona fide (good faith) intention to use the mark in commerce at a later time after filing of this application. The intention to use may be by the applicant, the applicant’s related company, or the licensee of the applicant.
The odds are that the DIO trademark is for an upcoming, non-Second-Life product, but I don’t expect to get a “no additional information at this time/no-comment” back from the Lab any earlier than tomorrow, so you can all start speculating, if you like. When I get something, I’ll post an update.
UPDATE: Miro Collas has employed Google to find a password-protected signup page for what looks like the staging server for DIO. Thanks, Miro!
UPDATE: Only the password protection doesn’t work if you’re using (say) Linux. So here’s a couple photos.
UPDATE: The Dio staging/test server has now been closed off, and Linden Lab expresses thanks for the notice of the security issue. Linden Lab also adds that yes, it is not ready to talk about it in any detail other than that it will be something new and completely separate from and unrelated to Second Life and that it is not yet ready for public consumption.