Questions for the University of Guelph on its trademark of OpenEd

Brian Lamb, Abject, Jun 05, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Why oh why would the University of Guelph feel the need to trademark the term 'OpenEd'? Why would any trademark office give it to them? This especially when the 'OpenEd' conferences have been held for years in various locations, last in Canada in 2009. Ironically, when I spoke at it in 2004, this was exactly the sort of thing I warned about. And as Brian Lamb notes, that the University of Guelph doesn't even seem to know anything about the concept. "Looking at the University of Guelph’s Open Learning and Educational Support website, I could find no mention of open educational resources, open textbooks, open pedagogies, open source, open access, open licensing, etc… So perhaps you were unaware of the existence of an “open education” community, one that frequently uses “open ed” as an abbreviation, or for functions such as URLs, or as a Twitter hashtag. Were you indeed unaware that “open ed” was a thing? If so, when did you become aware of it?" Of course, since I spoke in Guelph in 2005, some people there should be aware. See also Clint Lalonde, who gives a detailed account of the dispute.

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