Saturday, September 11, 2021

Bad Calls

Today's topic is "Bad Calls" around the World: by an Australian Troll, by Apple in going after an allegedly notorious international trademark troll, by a Tobagoan mimic in the early morning hours, a breathtakingly daft reTweet, and more.

"Hello?" I said at 6:00 am when a call interrupted my early morning quiet writing time.
"Hello?" my almost inimitable voice replied.

I would have been creeped out, but my daughter has Mynah bird mimicry skills and it amuses her to take the mickey over the phone, although, not usually before noon.

"Deborah?" I did not say, because that is not my daughter's name.
"Deborah?" My exact intonation echoed the name I actually used.

I fell silent. If my Mynah-like daughter had been messing with me, she would have said something original in exasperation that I had stopped playing. The caller from Trinidad and Tobago waited for several minutes to see (I assume) whether I would say something a sight more useful to an identity thief, but I did not and the caller eventually gave up.

At that point, I looked at Caller ID, which showed "PORT SPAIN TR", and I did some research.

Area Codes you never want to call back, if you receive a curiosity-arousing call:

A lot of banks and brokerage houses are pushing clients to agree to use Voice Recognition to validate telephone access to account information. Don't do it. 

Legal bloggers too numerous to link to (but whose names should show up) for Troutman Pepper have published a very thorough and extensive article --"More Privacy Please"-- on what the USA is doing about Robocallers, hackers, ransomeware, Zoombombing, the Solar Winds hack, for profit dossiers on private citizens,  Macy allegedly scraping faces, Ancestry's use of yearbook photos, and other outrages, scams and  scammers.

Kim Kommando blogs about privacy hacks (in the tip sense of the word) to do with irrevocable bad calls in chosing your free and convenient email provider.

Cari Sheehan, of counsel at Barnes and Thornton is holding a webinar (one has to register to attend, but anyone can read the blurb) about the special need for lawyers to refrain from wildly liking comments or pages on social media.

When a lawyer likes something, the legal ramifications can be damaging.

The same, apparently, might apply to politicians and their staffers. Liberal law professor Turley recently described a retweet as "breathtakingly daft".  One could probably search for the phrase.

Representing the law firm of Walder Wyss Ltd., Markus Frick and Manuel Bigler discuss  Swiss law and the case of the Patent troll

With trademarks, one has to use the mark or risk losing it. In Switzerland, anyone can apply to the authorities to cancel someone else's trademark if the trademark owner does not actively use their TM.
That's why I always put my TM below my name when blogging, and dear reader, if you have a TM, you should do so, too.

Trying to cancel someone else's trademark can be considered abusive. Do it often, and one may be called a troll, or even a notorious troll as is reported in this case, which Apple appears to have lost.  The Walder Wyss commentary is very interesting.

Meanwhile, down in Australia, Mhairi Stewart and Nikki Randall report with great nasal-mutilaton-wit for Bennet + Co on the case of an apparently scorned, would-be plastic surgery recipient who was not very good at concealing her identity, and her bad call in trolling the reputation of the unwilling surgeon cost her a very large judgement and her anonymity (not necessarily in that order).

It is a very good story. It's also quite teachable. One is never as anonymous as one supposes one is, especially give the points that Kim Kommando and others make about privacy.  Better not to hide behind an illusion, perhaps.

All the best,


  1. "One is never as anonymous as one supposes one is" woderful line. Very touching story worth a read.

    Now you can name your intergalactic character with Cool Alien Names. Feel free to give it a read and share your thoughts.

  2. Wow!There's nothing safe or sacred anymore.