Bye-Bye QR Code Exclusivity
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on April 4th, 2012
I’ve written several posts about the QR Code trademark issue — that while the industry is using QR Codes to refer to all 2d mobile barcodes, in reality, this term is trademarked and refers only to the open-source codes created by DensoWave. The issue is much like the one for PURLs, which is also a trademarked term. We can call these URLs personalized URLs, but PURL is a term trademarked by Nimblefish.
The fact that QR Code is trademarked is annoying because it raises the issue, what do we call these codes? Right now, the clearest way to do this — at least to me — is “QR and other 2d mobile barcodes” because people associate these codes with the term “QR Code,” but yet the category is more inclusive than just this one type.
I’ve successfully relatively ignored the issue for some time, but this morning, I updated my brandable “best practices” white paper for QR and other 2d mobile barcodes (http://bit.ly/HUe1q2) and had to go through the entire thing and adjust the wording from start to finish. You know the end result? I removed half the references to QR Codes and made them simply “mobile barcodes” or “these codes.”
Ironic, isn’t it? DensoWave wants to enforce its trademark to protect its name, but in order to preserve accuracy the way DensoWave desires, I had to actually remove many of the references and water down the reference I did leave in there by adding the additional language.
But . . . isn’t that what DensoWave wants?