Hutchison Whampoa

No payoff in trading on a name

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 July, 2000, 12:00am

Lai See recently set up an online account and did some e-trading.

Oops. We shouldn't have said that.

The folks at E*Trade Securities don't like it.

This is an online investing services provider that harkens from the United States, home of the free and land of the litigious.

Their lawyers just sent a letter to this newspaper.

'E*Trade has become aware of an article in the July 10 edition of the South China Morning Post,' it says. 'Although our client is not mentioned by name, e-trading is used as a generic term in the article.'

Oh, the horror.

Apparently e-commerce and e-tailing are fine and dandy.

But the word 'e-trading' is not to be used to describe the act of online broking because 'such use could result in damage to our client's proprietary rights in its trademarks and service marks'.

We hear there have been similar problems plaguing phone firm Orange. Their trademark is constantly being violated by unscrupulous fruit vendors.

Anyway, E*Trade's lawyers have generously offered a selection of 'appropriate terms' that the site's owners are willing to allow.

How thoughtful.

Lai See is writing back to inform them that South China Morning Post is the newspaper's trademark, and ask them to refrain from using it in letters without permission.

Return to sender: Lai See recently described the various countries Hong Kong has ended up in.

In recent weeks, we've seen mail from foreign firms addressed to 'Hong Kong, Japan', 'Hong Kong, Singapore' and 'Hong Kong, India'.

But it seems local firms are not above inflicting similar geographic shifts on other nations.

A Hutchison Whampoa company just sent their company magazine to reader Sutta Harutai Paradee's British address.

His home's location was recorded as: Bishop Walk, Brighton, England, Outlying Island.

In fairness, Europeans might not see anything wrong with that.

Down in the dumps: We've been reading a story that's full of rubbish.

It's about someone named Keith Quick.

The 28-year-old was asleep in a dumpster when the city rubbish truck came by early one morning. Said dumpster was then emptied into the truck, and the driver continued on his route unaware that anything was amiss.

It was not until several stops and several loads later that a rubbish-choked voice was heard shouting for help.

It took firemen about an hour to dig Mr Quick from the tightly compressed refuse packed into the hopper of the truck.

No word on how Mr Quick came to be unconscious in a dumpster. But we're guessing alcohol was involved.

It sounds as though he was completely trashed.

Graphic: whee27gbz