Well, much to my surprise, this is what I found in my mailbox this morning:
Dear Mr. Simser,
We realised that you are publicizing your product SIMPLORER on your websides.
We as SIMEC GmbH, Germany, have registered SIMPLORER as trademark in the United States.
Therefore, we demand that you stop using our registered and protected name immediately.
Awaiting your reply urgently – until 18.12.2000 at the latest.
With best regards,
Dr. Uwe Knorr
Vice President Marketing & Sales
ACK! SIMPLORER is the name of a sophisticated simulation and design package for power electronics (and at $9500 per copy, it better be sophisticated!). When one develops software, you generally remember that it’s hard to come up with unique names in this topsy, turvy world of ours. Of course blueprint isn’t a trademarkable name, it’s a concept. And with a wacky name like Simplorer, I never thought to go searching for it on the web. Just didn’t seem like a name anyone would have used in the past. Well, I was wrong. Luckily for me (as if I have enough problems to deal with) they’re not outright suing me or something, this is just your typical letter you get saying “Hey, you’re using our name so please stop”. And of course, even though I can’t find their registration in the patent databases, I’m all for fair use and such and don’t want to step on anyones toes. This is the response I sent:
Dear Dr. Knorr
I was unaware of the existance of your product SIMPLORER until your letter this morning. I have been using the name since the creation of my software, a viewing utility for the Maxis’ game The Sims, since October of this year. While I cannot find the registration of your trademark in the patent databases online, it seems your product is fairly mature and has been around for awhile.
In no way was I deliberately infringing on your product name. The name Simplorer was based on the fact that my viewing utility (very similar to Windows Explorer) was for the Maxis game, The Sims, and the name just naturally came from that. I will begin to remove the name from my website and rename the application. Thank you for your notification about this matter and you can consider this issue closed.
So the change begins. I’m changing the website to switch the name over, but to what? My first name that I originally came up with for the program was InsideSims (much like the InsideUO program for Ultima Online). Not a tremendous amount of people liked that so now it’s back to square one. SimView comes to mind (better do a search first) but otherwise, my brain is on creative overload right now and I can’t come up with something new. So can you come up with a new name for the software previously known as…? Please post your suggestions in the suggestion forum. I’ll pick the best ones and create a poll for the rest of us that don’t use the forums and we’ll see what pops up.
Gee, I wonder what I’ll get in my mail tommorow morning?