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Remember the Pokemon gene? Well, Nintendo's suing...

FabuVinny

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Unfortunately, this article can only be read if you have a subscription, but I did get this from Google News:

A cancer research institute has been threatened with legal action by the US branch of Japanese video-game franchise Pokémon, after one of its researchers ...
 

nYoo

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Um shouldn't this thread be moved so that people can discuss it?
 

FabuVinny

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Um, people can discuss it here.
 

Rayne

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This article seems somewhat familiar, and I think is a bit old.

Basically Nintendo is sueing the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
for use of the term pokemon. A researcher just by chance was
able to come up with an acronymn for a gene that just happened to
spell out pokemon. (POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic). Thing is, this
happened way back in 2001 and only says Nintendo was threatening
for legal action and wasn't specifying if Nintendo has sued or not.

I like how at the end of the article that there have been similar trademark issues before with the names of genes like velcro and sonic hedgehog. lol

Pokémon blocks gene name
Moniker proves too much for games company

by Tom Simonite
A cancer research institute has been threatened with legal action by the US branch of Japanese video-game franchise Pokémon, after one of its researchers borrowed the company's trademark to name an oncogene.

Pier Paolo Pandolfi of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, first called the new member of the POK family of genes Pokemon at a conference in 2001, claiming it was an acronym for POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic. But when Pandolfi and his colleagues described the gene's role in the development of human cancer in Nature last January, the discovery attracted headlines such as 'Pokemon's cancer role revealed' (T. Maeda et al. Nature 433, 278–285; 2005). Message boards and blogs picked up the story, unable to resist using the phrase 'Pokemon causes cancer'.

That led Pokémon USA to exert its legal right to the trademark, Nature has learned. "They threatened to sue us if we did not stop calling the gene Pokemon," says Pandolfi, "but the name and the gene have nothing to do with the cartoon." A spokeswoman for Pokémon USA told Nature that its image was at risk. "We don't want our image undermined by associating Pokémon with cancer," she said.

This is not the first case of trademark law interfering with a researcher's attempt to name a gene. In 1993, Alfonso Martinez Arias of the University of Cambridge, UK, was told to find an alternative name for his new fly gene Velcro, after the Velcro Corporation wrote to the journal that was publishing his paper to say that "such usage invariably dilutes the value of our name and mark".

Perhaps the best-known quirkily titled gene, the fly-development gene Sonic hedgehog, has so far escaped legal threats, despite sharing a name with the spiky electric-blue star owned by that other Japanese video-game giant Sega. Bob Riddle came up with the name in 1993 while working at Harvard University Medical School, but says he doesn't think Sega's image is threatened. "I don't think a development gene harms them," he explains.

Martinez Arias says he has been more careful since his experience with Velcro, but that trademark infringements will continue if geneticists keep looking for catchy names. "They name genes as if they are claiming a new continent," he says. Safe, if boring, systematic names such as those of the Human Genome Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) should be used instead, says Martinez Arias. The Sloan-Kettering centre seems to agree, and is now calling Pandolfi's gene by the HGNC-recognized moniker Zbtb7.
 

FabuVinny

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2001? But this was only discovered in January... wasn't it?

And Google only cached it the other day...

I'm very confused right now.
 

Doctor Oak

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If you look at the url for that news post through "by Tom Simonite" you can see it was on the 12th of this month.

Although the chances of this coming to court are slim. We all know that Nintendo has a fair amount of experience in the lawsuit world and chances are this will be settled out of court and the name will actually continue to be used.
 

FabuVinny

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The name has now been changed... to Zbtb71! :rolleyes:
 

Habunake

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Zbtb...hmmm...sounds like a nOOb spelling of Zubat.^.^
 

toisesquad

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Habunake said:
Zbtb...hmmm...sounds like a nOOb spelling of Zubat.^.^
LOL


I think intellectual property needs to be protected, but not when it means brand promotion in at least the parts of the medical profession. Its basically free advertising and by all means Pokemon needs it.
 
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