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MAME Trademark Update !


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I know a bunch of folks have been itching to know what's going on with the whole MAME trademark issue. Well, with the help of several prominent friends, we consulted a trademark attorney and decided to see if David Foley was up to his word.


Last week, Nicola's application (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=...=Request+Status) began showing up in the USPTO database. Once that happened, I contacted Mr. Foley and asked him to abandon his claim to the trademark, which you can see he did. (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=...=Request+Status)


So, what does this all mean? First, it means that the MAME trademark is in the hands of the people who really ought to own it.


Second, it means you can all end your hate mail campaigns against Ultracade and David Foley. Comments here which attack either will be deleted and users will be banned. There's really no sense in yelling and screaming; let's just all be adults about the matter (I realize that it's hard for some in this crowd, but please try).


Third, however, it means that some responsibility comes along with owning the trademark. In order to use the trademark, we are going to have to set up some rules under which it can be used. This is likely going to come in the form of, simply, "You must request explicit permission to use the MAME trademark."


Of course, permission will be given to many legitimate uses (still have to ask, though!) But there is indeed a growing commercial sector that is abusing the MAME name to make claims that aren't true without violating the law ("Play 1000s of arcade games!" -- yeah right, show me your license for that), and quite frankly, many of the MAME team members are as against that as Mr. Foley is.


We'll be announcing more details shortly, but the most likely end result is going to be: if you want to use the MAME name, you've got to get rid of your illegal ROM links, your information on how to buy/download illegal ROMs, and your claims that anything you sell will let you play 100s or 1000s of games (unless you've legitimately licensed them).

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Is the word MAME trademarked, or the stylised symbol, or both?


If the symbol, every site that displays it will need to obtain permission.


If the word, this will cause a lot of problems.


1. Every site and that uses the word will need permission to do so

2. Every site will not be able to host illegal roms (which will need definition)

3. All emulators that have the word MAME in it will need permission, and must not emulate anything illegal

4. Any site with the word in its url will need permission


etc etc.


A very large can of worms is being opened.


In most cases I expect "MAME" could be substituted with "ARCADE", and yes the whole thing will be a giant pain in the ass.


What is legal and illegal may need to be properly defined once for all.... what a mess.

Edited by robbbert
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Well I don't think EVERY use of the word MAME has to be given permission. I mean, I can Coca-Cola right now but I didn't have to ask them to use it. Unless the sites have ROMs to download or to sell, it won't really affect much else.

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as long as foley doesn't have it I am happy. and I don't even use mame. but from what I have read Foley needs a really hard KANCHO POKE!

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