How do you say “blunder” in other languages?

Sarah O'Keefe / Conferences1 Comment

At STC, MadCap Software announced Lingo, their new “help authoring tool and translation memory system.”

Unfortunately, the MadCap booth was in the same row as these guys.

With my limited understanding of trademark law, I don’t think this is going to work. You cannot have two companies using the same term to describe two different things in the same industry.

How did this happen? A cursory Google search on lingo translation immediately reveals Lingo Systems. And once you find that, a search of the (free) trademark database will show you that Lingo Systems is already registered as a word mark in “language translation and localization services.

One interesting note, though. Although first used in 1997, the application wasn’t made until 2006 and granted on May 1, 2007.

Exquisite timing.

About the Author

Sarah O'Keefe


Content strategy consultant and founder of Scriptorium Publishing. Bilingual English-German, voracious reader, water sports, knitting, and college basketball (go Blue Devils!). Aversions to raw tomatoes, eggplant, and checked baggage.

One Comment on “How do you say “blunder” in other languages?”

  1. I just finished quite a bit of research work regarding Intellectual Property (IP) and rights management in software for a game concept I’m collaborating on – if you’re interested. So this issue comes on the heels of my recent IP research.
    Not to be offensive, and just to clarify the referred ‘Blunder’ question you brought up about the appropriateness of the naming for Madcap’s Lingo product…
    After reviewing the offered blog link and the ‘blunder’ products found in the google search for ‘Lingo translation’ I found primarily four companies and checked each one. They are services companies, not software companies. They are not selling a software product that does the same thing as Lingo offers, therefore there is no conflict.
    The term ‘Lingo’ is too common of usage. It’s not Xerox, or Kleenex, or as you used, Google (to define your search) and having Yahoo advertise ‘googling’ by using Yahoo. To think otherwise would be akin to restricting the use of ‘Language Translation’ with a copyright. If there’s other Lingo branded software doing the same purpose, I could be wrong. I couldn’t find it though.
    So, no blunder found. At least not one enforceable in American or most international courts. Maybe it’s something that could be brought up in Tunisia, or Luxembourg, or Malta.

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