In-Depth

Thank You, Hormel

The first meaning of spam.

Of course, long before it referred to unsolicited commercial e-mail, SPAM™ was the name of a spicy, canned ham product. Hormel established the brand name and started selling the cans in 1937, so it has an understandable interest in protecting its trademark. Fortunately for Internet users and anti-spam vendors everywhere, it’s being very reasonable about this protection.

Relying on Federal court decisions that the slang use of such terms as “star wars” and “mickey mouse” did not pollute the corresponding trademarks, Hormel is happy to allow the use of spam as a slang term. You can find its official statement on the SPAM™ Web site (www.spam.com/ci/ci_in.htm):

“We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE, although we do object to the use of the word ‘spam’ as a trademark and to the use of our product image in association with that term. Also, if the term is to be used, it should be used in all lower-case letters to distinguish it from our trademark SPAM, which should be used with all uppercase letters.”

Additional Information on Spam

Outrun the Avalanche
http://mcpmag.com/features/article.asp?editorialsid=362

What's New in Exchange 2003
http://mcpmag.com/features/article.asp?editorialsid=363

Understanding Bayesian Analysis
http://mcpmag.com/features/article.asp?editorialsid=364

Two Services for the Enterprise
http://mcpmag.com/features/article.asp?editorialsid=365

Using DNSBLs
http://mcpmag.com/features/article.asp?editorialsid=366

Spam-Fighting Terminology
http://mcpmag.com/features/article.asp?editorialsid=368

 

So, thanks, Hormel. You could have made life very difficult, but instead you’re being a good Internet citizen. Besides, it probably drives lots of traffic to the corporate Web site.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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