Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment

Bloomberg are reporting that Taser International Inc. have filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against Linden Labs, alleging that the sale of virtual copies of the corporation’s stun-guns in Second Life is damaging the firm’s reputation.

What’s interesting about this is that it is Linden Labs that is being sued, rather than the creators of the knock-off weaponry. Anyone who has ever shopped in SL will know that there are plenty of fake Gucci bags and other designer merchandise in circulation, but until recently there has been little incentive for trademark owners to go after the counterfeiters, since the chances were that they wouldn’t have enough money to pay any substantial damages.

That’s all changed now that Linden Labs has taken over XStreet, and, as Tateru Nino notes in her coverage of the case over at Massively, effectively become the retailer of the dodgy goods. Suddenly the lawyers have a profitable corporation in their sights instead of some penniless hackers, a corporation that will probably settle out of court to avoid the nuisance of ongoing litigation.

This could open up a whole new career path for SL entrepreneurs; virtual patent troll.

Whatever, here at SLS we’re still happy, happy, happy, all the time.

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