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Gene Siskel must be rolling over in his grave, and Roger Ebert must be rolling over in his hospital bed for not trademarking the "Thumbs Up" and "Thumbs Down" all those years ago. SmugMug received some nasty correspondence from TiVo asking it to stop using the thumbs up and down icons because TiVo has actually trademarked these two.

We have a feature called PhotoRank that lets anyone (SmugMug customer or not) rank a photo by clicking thumbs up & thumbs down icons.

Apparently, TiVo thinks they own all use of the concept of a thumbs up being positive and a thumbs down being negative. Shaking in my boots (ha!), I went to the USPTO and discovered that they do, indeed, have trademarks on 'Thumbs Up' and 'Thumbs Down'.


Luckily for SmugMug, their trademarks are only for "interactive television and remote controls", so this should soon blow over.

Trademark 1 [USPTO]
Trademark 2 [USPTO]

TiVO owns thumbs [Valleywag]