ATTENTION: You are viewing a page formatted for mobile devices; to view the full web page, click HERE.

Main Area and Open Discussion > Living Room

Ice Bucket Challenge...You all got nominated!

<< < (7/10) > >>

Wondering why I bothered posting this now...-Stephen66515 (August 24, 2014, 09:22 PM)
--- End quote ---

Most likely because you felt it was worth sharing ... And many of us liked it.
-Stoic Joker (August 26, 2014, 07:01 PM)
--- End quote ---


At the end of the day, does it really matter how something worthwhile got done so long as it did?

People like me should simply be ignored - or told to "lighten up" when they're being crabby. :)


The best IBC video I have seen so far:

Even among the most noble army of knights in armor, a troll will eventually make its appearance.

This from TechDirt:

ALS Association Tries To Trademark Ice Bucket Challenge, Despite Having Nothing To Do With It Originally
from the trademark-shame dept

The whole Ice Bucket Challenge thing has become quite the story of the month of August, and it's certainly been fascinating to watch how this viral promotion has turned into a massive money raiser for research into ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis -- sometimes called Lou Gehrig's Disease). If you somehow haven't yet heard of this (and I find it nearly impossible to believe you haven't yet), it's when people get challenged to dump a bucket of ice over their heads or give money to charity (though, mostly people do both things). While there's been some ice bucket challenge backlash (often for silly reasons), just from the standpoint of watching something go viral, it's been fascinating. Of course, whenever things get big, sooner or later lawyers are going to step in and things are going to get messy. It appears that the ALS Association -- by far the largest beneficiary of the Ice Bucket Challenge -- is now trying to trademark the term.

That seems problematic for a number of reasons. First off, the ALS Association had nothing to do with the Ice Bucket Challenge originally. It only later became popular in association with ALS. I first heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge back in early July when a friend of the blog, law professor Eric Goldman, did an ice bucket challenge as part of a lung cancer fundraiser. And research into the history of the challenge found that it was used widely for other charities for months before that (often cancer). And other, similar, challenges go back over a century.

The ice bucket challenge really only became associated with ALS much later. The first known connection of the challenge to ALS came on July 14th when a golfer did it for ALS (a bunch of other golfers had been doing ice bucket challenges for other charities for a couple of months before that). Pete Frates, the guy that many have credited as starting the whole "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" thing didn't actually get involved until the end of July.

While the ALS Association has certainly been a massive beneficiary, it had little to nothing to do with anything related to the challenge, other than getting a bunch of checks in the month of August. To now claim a trademark over it seems... kind of disgusting. It's also legally dubious. In the link above, by Erik Pelton, he highlights many of these problems with the trademark claim, but further notes how troubling this is:

    If ALS Association successfully registers the phrase, it could seek to restrict use of it for other charitable causes. That would be the biggest shame in all of this.

Hopefully ALS Association reconsiders or the trademark attempt is rejected. Not everything needs to be "owned," and it's a real shame that people have been so indoctrinated into myths related to "IP" that they immediately rush to lock up everything.

--- End quote ---

Pretty sad.

It would have been fine if they kept it to "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" (which they also filed for under SN 86375305). But it's not fine IMO to try and also claim the more generic phrase: "Ice Bucket Challenge."

From their application over at the USTPO:

Trademark/Service Mark Application, Principal Register
TEAS Plus Application
Serial Number: 86375292
Filing Date: 08/22/2014
To the Commissioner for Trademarks:

MARK: Ice Bucket Challenge (Standard Characters, see mark)
The literal element of the mark consists of Ice Bucket Challenge.
The mark consists of standard characters, without claim to any particular font, style, size, or color.

The applicant, AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS ASSOCIATION, a corporation of Delaware, having an address of
      Suite 250,
      1275 K Street NW
      Washington, District of Columbia 20005
      United States

requests registration of the trademark/service mark identified above in the United States Patent and Trademark Office on the Principal Register established by the Act of July 5, 1946 (15 U.S.C. Section 1051 et seq.), as amended, for the following:

For specific filing basis information for each item, you must view the display within the Input Table.
       International Class 036:  Charitable fundraising

In International Class 036, the mark was first used by the applicant or the applicant's related company or licensee predecessor in interest at least as early as 08/04/2014, and first used in commerce at least as early as 08/04/2014, and is now in use in such commerce. The applicant is submitting one(or more) specimen(s) showing the mark as used in commerce on or in connection with any item in the class of listed goods and/or services, consisting of a(n) Portion of website bearing the mark in connection with identification of participants in the fundraising promotion
--- End quote ---

If granted, this would effectively give the ALS Foundation ownership and control of the use of the phrase "Ice Bucket Challenge."

Note in the application under MARK the following:

The literal element of the mark consists of Ice Bucket Challenge.
The mark consists of standard characters, without claim to any particular font, style, size, or color.
--- End quote ---

They are not requesting a tradmark on any specific graphic representation of the phrase as part of a logo or as a logotype. They are asking for a trademark on the phrase itself...

Did I say sad yet? :-\

For a while, I was worried that I may have been unduly harsh towards the ALS Foundation with my previous comments. So I decided to do a little more research to see if an apology was due.

But now that I've looked at their IRS Form-990 filing and examined the information contained therein a bit more closely, I'm less convinced they're the best non-profit to be contributing to for ALS research.

(Those of you with a financial or accounting background might want to do a little analysis and read between the lines in a few places on that 990. Check out the salary and compensation section (p. 8 & 9); and the note on p.29 regarding the perpetual endowment whose earned income makes up part of the 28% going to research. Interesting huh?)

Their officially published numbers also paint a fairly dismal picture, with less than half of all funds making it to research (28%) or patient services (19%).

Ice Bucket Challenge...You all got nominated!

And while the public and professional education wedge seems to indicate a healthy 32% going, I'm not sure how to interpret that since the government gives registered charities fairly broad leeway as to what to categorize as 'fundraising' or 'marketing' as opposed to 'educational' communications and publications. This is something which has been a source of controversy (in the US) over the years since much of what gets called 'educational' is often little more than a thinly disguised fundraising effort.

So...bottom line?

I think ALS is a serious health issue that needs research and deserves our dollars. the ALS Foundation the best way to contribute to the effort? Maybe. But I'd like to see a little more of what they get actually going to fix the problem. My rule of thumb for charitable giving is a distribution breakdown where 75% or better of all monies received goes directly to the cause, and administration expenses are held at or below 6%.

But that's me. ;)


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version