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Legion of Lawyers - Framework to change chassis design over Lenovo trademark dispute

Summary

In a recent tweet, Framework Laptops stated that they have received a cease and desist from Lenovo's legal team over the design of their 3D printed motherboard chassis. The given reason is brand recognition issues due to similarities between the chassis' power button and the logo for Lenovo's "Legion" brand. In response to the order, Framework is changing the button and, as part of the process, will host a community competition to design the new button, with a Framework laptop motherboard as the grand prize.

 

Orange Framework 3d printed case

 

Lenovo Legion Logo

 

Quotes

 

My thoughts

I guess Lenovo had nothing better to do than go after a single part, not even manufactured by the company itself, used by a minuscule number of people in a completely different market.

 

Sources

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/lenovo-trademark-infringement-framework-case

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8 minutes ago, Middcore said:

The world at large will continue to collectively give zero fucks about Lenovo Legion regardless. 

Yes but they still are a$$holes

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Just now, PDifolco said:

Yes but they still are a$$holes

 

Texas-sized 10-4 on that, I'm saying it's laughable they're saying anybody would look at this and go "That's the Lenovo Legion logo" because nobody knows what the fuck the Lenovo Legion logo looks like. 

Your "PC master race" thing is cringe. 

 

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24 minutes ago, BachChain said:

 

I guess Lenovo had nothing better to do than go after a single part, not even manufactured by the company itself, used by a minuscule number of people in a completely different market.

Due to how copywriter and trademark law works in some regions of the world if they did not go after Framework then someone else could come along and copy them in a way that is damaging and the parson could defend themselves in court saying that Lenovo no longer controls the trademark/copywrite.  

You do not impilcty keep trademark and copywrite over things if you do not enforce it.  And no Lenovo could not have just offered to license it for free to framework as that would set a value in court for the trademark that would also make it hard for them to defend.  

Its one of those things were you really want to avoid documented evidence, if within Lenovo this had just been to people speaking that noted it looked sort of the same they could just ignore it but as soon as someone sends and email to someone else or a slack message etc it becomes documented evaicne and if they then do not pursue framework (who are in the same industry) this becomes somthing that would come out in discovery if they attempted to sue someone else in the future and then would result in them no longer having the writes to the trademark as an un-enforced trademark means nothing.  (the trademark law does not require you to go looking but if you stumble across somthign and someone else can prove this and you did nothing about it you basicly no longer have a trademark). 

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So funny thing when I looked at the comparison above I scratched my head because I used to occasionally watch a Twitch streamer who was sponsored for a while by Lenovo, and I was actually pretty sure that the logo in the document from Lenovo's lawyers looked different from what I remember.

 

And yep. They changed it relatively recently.

 

https://gaming.lenovo.com/uk/explore/news/b/news/posts/lenovo-legion-has-a-new-logo

 

It used to look like this (and wordmarks with this symbol as the "O" in Legion

 uI1nxfWE_eQosU8XrpPZzD6jnwKAFI1OvzkFNIlg

 

So they made it way more generic, for some reason. Maybe Mercedes Benz complained the old one looked like an inverted version of this? 

jw4fv8a1toi3arrkfszi

Your "PC master race" thing is cringe. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Middcore said:

Maybe Mercedes Benz complained the old one looked like an inverted version of this? 

Unless Lenovo is planning on selling products in the automotive space Mercedes would not have any leg to stand on. Trademarks are per industry. 

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55 minutes ago, BachChain said:

As part of this change, Framework is hosting a community competition to design a new button,

The very best way to accommodate a cease and desist as a large company, imo

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I remember the huge case of Harley and Davidson that lost a parent from Indian bike about a complex engine, and it was a big deal.

Now they patent basic shapes...

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1 hour ago, hishnash said:

Due to how copywriter and trademark law works in some regions of the world if they did not go after Framework then someone else could come along and copy them in a way that is damaging and the parson could defend themselves in court saying that Lenovo no longer controls the trademark/copywrite.  

You do not impilcty keep trademark and copywrite over things if you do not enforce it.  And no Lenovo could not have just offered to license it for free to framework as that would set a value in court for the trademark that would also make it hard for them to defend.  

Its one of those things were you really want to avoid documented evidence, if within Lenovo this had just been to people speaking that noted it looked sort of the same they could just ignore it but as soon as someone sends and email to someone else or a slack message etc it becomes documented evaicne and if they then do not pursue framework (who are in the same industry) this becomes somthing that would come out in discovery if they attempted to sue someone else in the future and then would result in them no longer having the writes to the trademark as an un-enforced trademark means nothing.  (the trademark law does not require you to go looking but if you stumble across somthign and someone else can prove this and you did nothing about it you basicly no longer have a trademark). 

I think a key point here is that it does legitimately look alot like the logo and even though we can be pretty certain that it's unintentional that doesn't mean they can ignore it given that they are in the same industry. If they were in different industries then they might not have gone after them over something so small. 

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This seems like trademark trolling, I had no idea what the Lenovo legion looked like, even if it does look similar Lenovo doesn't have to be as*holes about it.

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Just because some people don't know what the original is,  doesn't mean it's not an infringement. 

When I first saw it, I thought,  "huh looks like the legion logo."

 

Also calling them assholes is a bit of a strange take, their letter is maybe the nicest cease and desist I've ever read from a tech company. It's literally the minimum you do to legally protect your trademark. This is basically them just asking to change it formally, there's no threats in that letter. If there was do you not think framework would post it and have their fans drag lenovo over the coals? Which for some reason people already are despite framework not being upset over it...

 

As has been mentioned here and in many other threads, if you don't actively protect your trademark you are liable to lose the power to protect it in the future. 

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Bruh, Lenovo, it's just a circle.

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I guess I'll keep an eye out for my ender 3 control knob, or old school racing wheel nuts.

A circle with 3 prongs isn't a logo as much as you can't copyright a circle or square.

And if a multi-million dollar competing company is so petty as to go after the power button of a 3d printed part? They're just a pathetic whiny loser. Guess my recommendations will go to framework over lenovo for any family and clients.

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6 hours ago, Middcore said:

The world at large will continue to collectively give zero fucks about Lenovo Legion regardless. 

Ehh, they make decent laptops, or at the very least my legion laptop is pretty well rated and I never had any major issues with it.


 

 

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2 hours ago, Shreyas1 said:

Ehh, they make decent laptops, or at the very least my legion laptop is pretty well rated and I never had any major issues with it.


 

Think its more meant about the brand.

 

Legion laptops the past 3 years have been rock solid options to get.

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9 hours ago, BachChain said:

Summary

In a recent tweet, Framework Laptops stated that they have received a cease and desist from Lenovo's legal team over the design of their 3D printed motherboard chassis. The given reason is brand recognition issues due to similarities between the chassis' power button and the logo for Lenovo's "Legion" brand. In response to the order, Framework is changing the button and, as part of the process, will host a community competition to design the new button, with a Framework laptop motherboard as the grand prize.

 

Orange Framework 3d printed case

 

Lenovo Legion Logo

 

Quotes

 

My thoughts

I guess Lenovo had nothing better to do than go after a single part, not even manufactured by the company itself, used by a minuscule number of people in a completely different market.

 

Sources

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/lenovo-trademark-infringement-framework-case

My sentiment is:

a) That's a power button?

b) That's a logo?

 

I would have thought it was a damn fan exhaust, because that's what they look like.

 

As for why... well you are legally required to protect your trademarks, no matter how stupid or asinine the claim is.

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7 hours ago, Brooksie359 said:

I think a key point here is that it does legitimately look alot like the logo and even though we can be pretty certain that it's unintentional that doesn't mean they can ignore it given that they are in the same industry. If they were in different industries then they might not have gone after them over something so small. 

I think a general issue is how weird trademarking really is at the heart of things.  If framework brought this to court I could easily see this being struck down, where Framework would be able to use it...but that would be costly and use funds that frankly framework likely doesn't have.

 

Had it been a more complex design, I would understand it...but I mean it's a circle in a circle.  To an extent it was likely designed like that out of utility, where 3 points is likely enough rigidity/flexibility without compromising on breaking and at the same time clearly has a "click me" sort of look to it.  Actually if anything I thought it looked a lot like the chrome logo.

 

Overall I would say since it's there for an utility purpose I don't think it would necessarily infringe on the trademark (as with trademarks you have to prove that it has an effect/misrepresentation to the target audience).  In this case, I doubt that people would see it and think, of this is a lenovo product; which would mean Framework would be allowed to use it [but again, it would need to be battled out in courts...which would be costly compared to what they are doing]

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10 hours ago, Middcore said:

The world at large will continue to collectively give zero fucks about Lenovo Legion regardless. 

Legion machines are better priced than Alienware or Razer gaming machines tbh.

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I mean, they kinda have too protect their brand. Its a practically identical logo on an otherwise unbranded thing in a similar market. Makes sense to me that they would go after it

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11 hours ago, Middcore said:

because nobody knows what the fuck the Lenovo Legion logo looks like

I didnt even knew about it up until now.... 😄

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10 hours ago, GhostRoadieBL said:

A circle with 3 prongs isn't a logo as much as you can't copyright a circle or square.

Microsoft would disagree, after all the windows logo is just a square with 2 lines through it and is one of the most recognisable logos on the planet.

 

 

Windows 11 Icon Logo PNG Vector (AI, CDR, EPS, SVG) Free Download

 

good luck putting that on any computer product and not having legal issues.

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2 hours ago, wanderingfool2 said:

I think a general issue is how weird trademarking really is at the heart of things.  If framework brought this to court I could easily see this being struck down, where Framework would be able to use it...but that would be costly and use funds that frankly framework likely doesn't have.

 

while its possible that framework might win such a case if Lenovo did not flag it after having noticed it they would be on the road to loosing controle over there trademark, and the next time someone breaches the trademark that company could point at this and say Lenovo is not defending there trademark. 

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