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Tech Company Sued After It Trademarked the Word 'BigLaw'

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on March 25, 2011 6:45 AM

Everyone uses the terms BigLaw and SmallLaw. Hell, even law school career services--who often doesn't know anything about the current legal market--uses the popular terms to delineate between the AmLaw 100 and the 20 person firm down the block.

But PeerViews, Inc., owner of legal blog TechnoLawyer, doesn't want you, me, or your mother to be able to the use the terms without prior permission.

So, in a diabolical plan to corner the market on legal blog fodder, the company trademarked both of the words.

Now Lawyerist.com is defending our honor.

Apparently, when Above the Law decided to get into the SmallLaw business (this blogger will use these terms and freely, thank you very much) last month, Lawyerist posted a write up about the expansion. It received a take-down notice from PeerViews' attorneys stating that the term was trademarked and its use was diminishing its client's goodwill.

Not exactly sure what goodwill that would be given the fact that everyone uses the term.

Legal bloggers took to the Internet (how expected) decrying PeerViews' attempted monopoly on the words. Apparently BigLaw and SmallLaw are such important terms in the world of legal blogging and amongst techno-savvy attorneys, PeerViews' actions warrant a fight.

Now Lawyerist has filed suit challenging the validity of the trademarks under the Lanham Act. Seriously, did you know that the New York Times used BigLaw back in 2000?

Talk about prestigious.

While the ridiculous lawsuit makes its way through the courts, perhaps we can come up with new words to shove together?

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