Open Letter to Leo Stoller, Stealth (tm) Trademark holder
Dear Mr. Stoller,
I was fascinated to read about your courageous efforts to prevent others from infringing on your registered mark, in the NYT and on Language Log, a linguistics blog. I think the post at http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002286.html explains why your letter to the InterActivist Network was both advisable and linguistically frivolous.
After all, if you do not vigorously defend your perceived rights, they might be curtailed and diminished. Stealthy attempts to steal the fruits of your work should be countered with lawyers and a resolve of steel.The thing that makes me a bit sad, though, is that in Microprose's 1987 release "F19 Stealth Fighter," they brazenly used your word - in a context you never used it for, to my knowledge (stealth technology in the sense of radar-defeating military grade airplanes being a bit beyond the realm of air conditioners and insurance what-have-yous) - and made a huge hit. The game I discover was by famed game designer Sid Meier, and was released for the Commodore 64, 128, and later re-released under a different name when the designation of the real USAF stealth fighter became known, the F-117A (Nighthawk). I can't imagine why I grew up playing that game, and not on a Stoller-licensed F19 Stealth (tm) game. Perhaps because stealth is a generic adjective, not a proper trademark at all, in the field of hard-to-detect aircraft?
Still, this all makes me sad, and I wish you nothing but the best. Oh, and have you looked into the portable reference electrodes known as Stelth?
Flippantly yours, &cetera.
I tried sending the above to firstname.lastname@example.org, but I don't think it went through.