The curtain appears to be closing on a what has been a humorous episode in the annals of "cyberlaw." Ron Coleman and Eric Goldman report that Eric Menhart has amended his application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which previously sought to trademark the term "CyberLaw" in connection with legal services. Menhart is no longer seeking ownership of the (almost certainly generic) term "Cyberlaw" itself, opting instead for registration of his firm's stylized logo:
(The CMLP and this website are in no way affiliated with the CyberLaw firm. You can find the CyberLaw firm's website here. We are using the mark for purposes of news reporting and criticism.)
Limited in this way, Menhart's application is no longer quite so ridiculous and no longer poses a threat to lawyers and scholars specializing in Internet law (not that it was ever much of a credible threat). Not content to swallow his pride and acknowledge his mistake, Menhart went out with this final swipe in a statement to the Baltimore Sun:
"It was very clear that this was not going to be an academic argument, it was going to be more of a shouting match, and I didn't think it was worth my time to get involved in a shouting match with people that were going to shout louder and had more ammunition in their holsters than I had," Menhart said.
Wow. Check out that condescending tone. This self-proclaimed expert still thinks he's right (if only everyone were as "academic" as him!). Eric Goldman's retaliatory quip is elegant in its snarkiness and brevity: "Funny--I would have thought it wasn't worth his time because the application was completely unmeritorious." Ron Coleman's comeback makes for the funniest title of the week -- Wile E. Coyote, Cybergenius.