Monday, July 11, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate UPS

I was recently sent a notice from my good friends at UPS that they were sending me a shipment from a merchant I had wisely chosen to do business with, and no it was not the Milwaukee Brewers. Scrolling down to the bottom of the notice I found a peculiar legal attachment. "© 2010 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. UPS, the UPS brandmark, and the color brown are trademarks of United Parcel Service of America, Inc. All rights reserved."

Seriously? You can trademark the color brown? Can I go out and trademark "triangle"? "I'm sorry Sir, but I am going to have to hit you with a cease and desist. I appreciate the fact that you seem to be enjoying that slice of pizza, but from now on that food item will have to be cut exclusively into squares. Oh, and if you will please note this eviction notice, I am afraid that I am going to have to insist that we demolish your A-frame house. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I have trademarked the word and very idea of the triangle."

It doesn't seem possible that you can claim the rights to "brown", does it? Wouldn't that infer that you created the color? Perhaps those black and white film clips you see from the 1920s where people are moving rapidly in herky-jerk fashion are actually accurate. Maybe it wasn't until just recently that brown was invented by those folks over at UPS. I think I remember having a brown crayon when I was a kid, but it just might be that the mists of time have clouded my memories.

If brown did exist prior to UPS working their legal magic, wouldn't it also mean that someone would have had the rights prior to this? "In a major sponsorship deal, UPS has announced that it has purchased the color brown from General Electric for $200 billion dollars. A clearly excited UPS CEO Scott Davis said, "We look forward to generating billions of dollars in future revenue anytime anyone utters the word "brown" or attempts to describe any of our shipping materials in our trademarked terminology. This acquisition really made sense for the UPS brand." Many investors believe this is only the beginning for UPS, as they speculate the shipping giant may also make a play for The Sun and the idea of the Wheel."

I am now mortified about even uttering "brown" in my home for fear of litigation from the United Parcel Service of America. My "brown dress shoes" have become my "mahogany dress shoes". My brown belt is now my "sandalwood belt". I have a pair of boots which are now known only as "The Boots That Shall Not Be Named". I am not taking any chances here. These people must have deep pockets and an army of lawyers that would like nothing better to sue me into submission. It's UPS. They probably have a goon squad of short muscular men in homoerotic oddly short brown shorts and work boots that are just looking for an excuse to bust down my "dark tan" front door and pummel me with billy clubs.

I don't know what Brown can do for me. I am afraid to even ask.


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