Tag: trademarks

Crushing a Dream

When I saw the posting for Project Remake on Makezine in early April, I knew that I had to submit Exuro. She’s an excellent project made from mostly recycled materials that just happens to throw fire. What I didn’t do was to read the fine print and that was a rather important oversight.

I was notified toward the end of May that I was a finalist and may have won a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer. Being a finalist, I may also win an all expense trip to New York for the World Maker Faire. Trip to New York would be cool (I’m originally from there) but a Replicator 3D printer, now that’s just awesome!

I really didn’t want to get too excited, but a 3D printer? Most amazing!

There was paperwork included with the notification. Read it. Read the rules. Signed pages and had them notorized. Sent everything back before the deadline.

Checked back on Wednesday when the voting was to start for the trip to New York. The public was being invited to vote on their favorite of the finalists to see who goes to New York. The project organizers (O’Reilly Media and Energizer Personal Care) changed the site to say vote soon. Something was up.

In the mean time, I’m starting to get excited about the printer. I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning with ideas on things to print. Boxes, models, parts, small scale sculpture ideas, and more. Started making plans w/ Nick, the head of the foundry at The Crucible, to make patterns for use in teaching foundry classes.

Check web site again, still says vote soon.

Make more plans, create virtual models of some ideas to print. Get more enthusiastic about having been picked as a finalist. Discover 3D scanning to create models of real world things. More planning, more ideas. Wondering if a motor can be added to the turn table in the wax studio so allow for taking pictures of object to create 3D models.

And then the letter arrives. Yesterday, a FedEx package delivers a letter that states that my project has been disqualified because of the clause in the fine print about trademarks:

“Contest Entries cannot, as determined in Sponsors sole discretion… (d) contain trademarks, logos or trade dress owned by others, or advertise or promote any brand or product other than Sponsors products”

“As such, Sponsors have determined your entry submission containing the mention of a Kinect which is a trademark owned by another brand, violates this clause of the Official Rules.”

Exuro uses a Kinect to sense what’s going on around her and Kinect is a Microsoft trademark. Poof, dream crushed. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. No longer elegible, contest sponser have no further obligation to me, etc.

Yes I should have originally read the rules but even after I did, I didn’t realize that Kinect was trademarked. If I did, I could have changed the submission and use the word sensors or even changed Exuro so that she behaves a little differently without a Kinect. Sigh.

Yes, it sucks to be me.

Still, out of this whole experience what strikes me the most is that I keep thinking about printing objects, parts and patterns. Looks like I just may have the 3D printing bug. Now to adjust my plans to including funding a 3D printer for myself.

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