The tech law sphere is a-buzz about a company, Moot.it, receiving a cease and desist letter from Christopher Poole, the founder of 4Chan, who goes by the username “moot”. It may be despicable to some that an individual can go after a business for using a fairly common word as a business name, when the person fighting it only uses the word as a username and nickname. The special case here is that Mr. Poole was named as Time magazine’s 2009 World’s Most Influential Person. And Time magazine even refers to Mr. Poole by his nickname, “moot”. Conducting a search on Mr. Poole provides all sorts of references to his nickname “moot” and his reputation in the technology world. The fact that 4chan and Moot.it both involve commenting and forum realms of the internet field is where it gets confusing and is probably why Mr. Poole is trying to prevent Moot.it from using the word for its business. If Moot.it was a lingerie store, Mr. Poole may not have as much as a bra strap to stand on.
If you want to protect and control your brand associated with the mark, you need to be able and willing to fight the instances of infringement. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of money, patience and a thick skin to do so.