In a press conference on April 1, 2011 the mobile software firm Navel Labs, confirmed that the company successfully trademarked the phrase, “read more”. The company now seeks licensing fees from any website or publication using those words to encourage customers to continue reading.
“It just makes sense”, says Jonathan Penn, President and CEO of Navel Labs. ”I’m concerned that our product’s identity is diluted whenever someone sees the phrase in these contexts. We need to protect our brand.”
The company’s flagship app, ReadMore, has excited readers all over the world by predicting how long it might take to finish reading difficult books. Students, professionals, and casual readers reportedly love using it to help them progress through material they’ve always wanted to read but needed external motivation. Enthusiasm has erupted all over the world as ReadMore user groups share their experiences with each other.
”I’ve been reading through ‘Master Social Media in 30 Days’ and wondering if I would actually finish it in 30 days at my pace.”, said Julius Argmenta of Napa Valley, California. “I now know that I’ll read it in 25 days. That makes me even more of a master of this material, you know?”
Reactions to the trademark have been mixed. Molly from Ohio points out, “It’s a cutthroat world out there. Navel Labs beat everyone to the punch with that trademark. You snooze, you lose.” Darren from Oregon shares a similar sentiment: “Everyone should have known this would happen. You can only blame yourself if you were surprised by this. Look, I’ve read through the works of Shakespeare in 123 days!”
Todd Thorneapple, spokesman for the Society of More Better English disagrees. “We can’t let such a common phrase fall into the hands of intellectual property mongers. What’s next? Is someone going to trademark the phrase ‘press any key to continue’?”
Navel Labs is undergoing it’s third round of fund raising and is currently valued at $3.14 billion.