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12-23-2011 @ 11:19PM
Want to know something neat? Gene Roddenberry has in his contract the clause that if anyone were able to invent a technology from Star Trek, they would be able to use the name. So if you were able to invent a Phaser, or a Tricorder, you could legally use the name, and he had no problem with it.This has already been used once. A Canadian company invented a sensor device that measured light, temperature, EMF fields, color and more. They decided to market this as a Tricorder, called the Mark I (the Mark VII was the one currently in use on TNG at the time) but they went the whole hog, and got a license for Star Trek, and did it up with LCARS-style graphics. It wasn't quite as advanced as a "real" Tricorder, but the company basically said it was a "starting step". At $300 a pop, they didn't make many, and they closed a few years later, but even without the license, they would have been able to use the name.Even after his death, this clause still keeps the option open. If you can create something from Star Trek, you can use the name.Compare this to Lucas, who has gone after people for using "Droid" (the Droid phone actually has a license to use the name, from Lucas) and a medical company who marketed a laser scalpel as a "light saber".This isn't an anti-Lucas rant, I like Star Wars, too, but Gene Roddenberry was far more leinent in his IP.
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