This is a bad trend…..

Posted: January 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

The hobby of amateur radio has many phrases and a unique terminology. Within DXing we have a
unique set of terms that we use regularly. QSO, contact, QSL, QRZ, five-nine, pileup, 73 and many others.

Each year at about this time of the year, we think about the best DXpeditions of the previous year and who might win
the various awards for the best DXpedition. These awards are commonly known as “DXpedition of the Year” and they are
often given at the “DX Dinner”.

A number of clubs and international amateur websites give a DXpedition of the Year award and many clubs and conventions
have a DX Dinner. This is all good so far.

Here is the rub, the Southwest Ohio DX Association (SWODXA) has trademarked the
terms “DXpedition of the Year” and “DX Dinner”.

This essentially makes these terms belong to them for their use and control.
They can file suit and prosecute anyone else who uses these terms without their permission.

Now I’m not a lawyer (obviously) but how can a club trademark terms that we all know and use?
What’s next? Will they trademark the term DX? (too late its already trademarked)

Will they trademark the term DXpedition? How about Contest or DX Contest?

I think trademarking these common terms within our hobby is wrong.
I liken it to the same greedy and “me me me” attitude so prevalent in our hobby these days.

The SWODXA organization is a great club and they are very generous to DXpeditions.
That is why this trend is even more wrong for them to undertake. I think it tarnishes their stellar image.

I liken it to the Contesters creating phony clubs and hoarding all of the available 1X2 call signs for
their phony clubs. This is a bad trend and it concerns me what will be trademarked next?

The Southwest Ohio DX Association needs to rethink their trademarking policy and give these terms
back to the hobby of amateur radio for everyone to use freely.

What do you think?

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Comments
  1. N0UN says:

    I could not believe that a Ham Radio Club FEDERALLY registered the words “DX Dinner” and “DXpedition of the Year”, so I looked them up.

    Well, I’ll be damned, they did.

    United States Patent and Trademark Office Serial Numbers 85803177 and 85803172

    I say everybody continue to use the words as they always have – totally and completely ignoring any claim for infringement or improper use by this Southwest Ohio DX Association. The way I see it is they took something that belonged TO THE HOBBY. By their filing, they’ve claimed it as theirs. Guess what? NOW you have to protect those marks, and that will cost them dearly. Instead of putting their money into furthering the hobby, they’ll now have pay to protect what they have claimed as theirs.

    Attorney fees are not cheap. Let them send out a hundred cease and desist letters. Let them go spend the money on the research, legal fees, court action, depositions, process servers, etc. required to defend their marks. And even if they did win some battle against some organization somewhere, what would they win? Damages for some misuse of “DX Dinner”? hahahaha, that’s funny!

    What in the world did they think they could gain? Do they believe somebody was going to swing by and buy these marks from them? Do they really believe that their money is better spent protecting what wasn’t theirs in the first place? They cannot defend their actions.

    Maybe I should go Trademark the phrases, “LIDs of the Year” or “DA Dinner”. I already know who won.

  2. Col MM0NDX says:

    Hi Paul

    Well, as one who ran the DX World – DXpedition of the Year, I can reveal that someone tied to SWODXA emailed me anonymously (no call given) and threatened that “Dxpedition of the Year” was copyright. I can’t quite recall what I replied with as I’ve since deleted the email, but they were left in no doubt that they could go take a run and jump.

    Dxpedition of the Year can be used by anyone, just so happens I added DX World {hyphen} before it to make it nothing to do with SWODXA, if that’s the way they conduct themselves.

    73 Col, MM0NDX @ DX World.net

  3. WD8NVN says:

    Ha ha, The SouthWest Ohio DX Association does not want to be outdone by Dayton Amateur Radio Association’s. “DAYTON HAMVENTION (R). “

    • Paul N5PG says:

      At least “Hamvention” is a made up word they coined so I don’t have a problem with that. SWODXA’s action is just dumb.

  4. Dwayne KD4POJ says:

    All I can say is WTH, I sure hope they are ready to pay all those attorney fees to protect a something as trivial as this. DX-Dinner DX-Dinner DXpedition-of the year DXpedition-of the Year Too funny but yet so so sad. Maybe this is their idea of how to fund their club…sue everyone. Good luck with that.

  5. Col MM0NDX says:

    What’s going on here, then?

    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=85803177&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

    Click documents ^

    Then —

    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn85803177&docId=OOA20130330143357#docIndex=5&page=1

    Attachment 1-4

    Big Brother is watching (or whatever the phrase is).

    Do I feel threatened? Not one bit!!

    • Dwayne KD4POJ says:

      “The DX University is dedicated to heping improve….” You would think their para legal would have found this typo in their documents.

  6. John AE5X says:

    It would be interesting to know which specific (and very petty) individual made this happen.

  7. Dave Heil K8MN says:

    W8OK would be turning over in his grave if he knew anything like this had taken place. I was the second president of SWODXA in those early years nothing like this would or could have been rammed through. Those in Federal government who granted such a request cannot have realized that there have been numerous DXers and DXpeditions of the year and DX dinners for many year prior to the existence of SWODXA. The grant was made erroneously. I believe I’ll have the DXers in my area vote on a DXpeditions of the year and DXer of the year and put the news in the Moundsville (West Virginia) Echo and dare anyone to challenge my right to do so. Enough of this silliness.

  8. Larry NU4B says:

    As I posted on Eham – pathetic and disgusting. And I still wonder why they didn’t specify “SWODXA DX Dinner” and “SWODXA DXpedition of the Year”?
    Hopefully sanity will return to this club and they will reverse or refine these actions. I just don’t see this as a positive move for our hobby or it being received favorably by the DX community.

  9. Tom Horton says:

    I wonder…is Southwest Ohio DX Assn trademarked? If I had the time and money…hehehe
    k5iid

  10. Robert WD8NVN says:

    I am wondering what the members and money contributors of SWODXA think of what has happened ?? I plan to “boycott” their DX Dinner (TM) this year; that’s I can do about SWODXA’s
    ridiculous move….

  11. Win says:

    U.S. application 85803177 certifies that “DX dinner” was redused to be registered as trademark.

    U.S. application 85803172 certifies that “DXPEDITION OF THE YEAR” was refused to be registered as trademark

    Nonetheless there is a note of registration for both applications
    “The mark of the application identified appears to be entitled to registration.”

    What am I missing ?

    73, Win DK9IP

    [quote]
    …The registrability of a mark created by combining only descriptive words depends on whether a new and different commercial impression is created, and/or the mark so created imparts an incongruous meaning as used in connection with the goods and/or services. Where, as in the present case, the combination of the descriptive words creates no incongruity, and no imagination is required to understand the nature of the goods and/or services, the mark is merely descriptive….

    and

    “Conclusion
    For the foregoing reasons, the proposed mark, DX DINNER, is refused under Section 2(e)(1).”

    and

    “Conclusion
    For the foregoing reasons, the proposed mark, DXPEDITION OF THE YEAR, is refused under Section 2(e)(1).”

    • n6pse says:

      Win, I’m not a trademark expert, however a number of us have reviewed the online documentation at the links provided to us. The status of these trademarks shows as active and we do not see where they are refused. Where are you seeing this information?

  12. Gary (WS4T) says:

    Paul, If you look in the status information you see various stages of processing of the trademarks. Go to this page (http://tsdr.uspto.gov/) and enter the application number 85803172. Then click on the Documents tab. The doc Offc Action Outgoing” has the initial rejection details.

    Caution: You can waste a lot of time there!

  13. Bryan says:

    I doubt any litigation would hold up when many people can show the terms were in prior widespread use before their application.

    I’m not in USA but someone should trademark the term “SWODXA” when the so and so’s are not looking

    . Bryan / G3GVB ,

  14. Rob says:

    A friend of mine thought the hooplah would blow over quickly and I thought not. But I see that in only 6 days the thread is dead. It looks like I was wrong.

    • n6pse says:

      It seems that the SWODXA leadership handled this by not handling it. Kind of a head in the sand approach. It would have been admirable for SWODXA to announce that there would be no efforts to enforce their trademarks by the ham radio community but they have not done that.

      I believe that this controversy will return when and if they attempt to enforce their trademarks.

      • Dave Heil K8MN says:

        I no longer live in the area though I return several times each year and keep in contact with a number of fellows who are members. The consensus seems to be that most members are not DXers but are now Daytona Amateur Radio Association members who packed SWODXA in order to gain control. There was never any requirement for the voting members to hold DXCC.
        SWODXA does not have deep pockets so I don’t expect them to defend their registrations.

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