Friday, August 15, 2008

Who's Who ?... or Who's On First ?

So you can imagine my delight when I received the following email this afternoon, just a couple of days shy of my birthday:

Subject: Your Selection Into Who's Who - Response needed
Date: August 13, 2008 11:27:33 AM PDT
To: maguir......

Dear Candidate,

Your response is kindly requested. You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent your industry in the Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals, and for inclusion into the upcoming 2008-2009 "Honors Edition" of the registry.

We are pleased to inform you that on July 9th, your candidacy was approved. Your
confirmation for inclusion will be effective within five business days, pending our receipt of the enclosed application.

The Office of the Managing Director appoints individuals based on a candidate's current position, and usually with information obtained from researched executive and professional listings. The director thinks you may make an interesting biographical subject, as individual achievement is what Who's Who is all about. Upon final confirmation you will be listed among thousands of accomplished individuals in the Who's Who Registry. There is no cost to be included.

We do require additional information to complete the selection process and kindly ask that you access this form on our website by Clicking Here

Matthew J..........
Managing Director"

(redacted but not redundant)

My delight disappeared upon seeing the words, "Who's Who", however. I wondered which "Who's Who" this is. I asked a colleague and he said, "Who?". I explained that this was the "Honors Edition" of the Who's Who. He said, well that is quite an honor !

In any case, it got me to thinking WHO owns the trademark WHO'S WHO ? Who do you think ? It's not Simon & Garfunkel, I can tell you that much. Perhaps Simon & Schuster...

Turn's out Who owns Who's Who is a whodunit. For instance, there is one publisher
who owns multiple U.S. trademark registrations for "Who's Who" but who disclaims exclusivity to "Who's Who", e.g., NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "WHO'S WHO" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN. Another publisher claims Sec. 2(f) distinctiveness to "Who's Who". Yet another Registrant owns a Class #16 registration for "Who's Who In Congress" without disclaimer or distinction.

All of which begs the question, "Who's on First ?!" Abbott & Costello notwithstanding, the answer to who owns "Who's Who" may actually be "Who Doesn't!".

Who do you think ? Is it Doctor Who, Moms Who Marathon, Chicks Who Click, The Boy Who, or The Who ? In the end, who cares ! My personal opinion is stated quite succinctly by the Applicant of Ser. No. 78710399.

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