Morning. Newly registered Concreted0g here… I’m the one who spotted Gratnells manouvers… I’m still getting a lot of contact about this on Twitter and passions are still running high. I did a blogpost about it… If you haven’t seen it you might want to read as there are a few things things mentioned that happened behind the scenes.


Thank you for taking the lead in addressing this :slight_smile: as you can see from the thread this incident has reawoken the ongoing discussion about whether the foundation should trademark the term hackspace (and more recently makerspace) in order to protect them for the community. I don’t know that we’ll ever get a right answer here but if they have to be trademarked (and increasingly its seeming that they may have to be) the foundation owning them means they’d belong to the community.

Would love to know your thoughts on this :slight_smile: and those of @chickengrylls actually.


To be honest the feeling I get from the community messaging me is that they would be wary of anyone holding the trademark! A challenge for you lot as HSF is that you have some control over the branding of Hackspace in the UK (which not everyone agrees with) so I am not sure you are perceived as neutral. I am not making any claim that the HSF would be nefarious etc in owning the trademarks but that it would probably kick off community wise!

via @concreted0g’s post… this one by Marc: mentions the lack of alert system for trademark requests. Perhasp this is something we could organise - at least within the UK and for the “hackspace” and “makerspace” terms?

Surely can’t be that hard to schedule a search/scrape type thing

I interpreted it in the same way; that they’re keeping it but promise to be nice!

Here’s their EU trademark:

Do you think endlessly defending Makerspace and Hackspace would be preferable to registering it into a trust organisation owned by all the existing users, and those spaces get to vote on new uses and then become a voting member?

This can include you too?

Indeed maybe. As part of this I initiated some contact with an IP firm to see what they think is the best option for all the UK maker community.

I think endless defending sounds expensive and not fun. I am wary of the workload and the massive diversity of meanings of terms within maker culture which would be involved in a vote for new uses scenario. I think (fwiw) held by an independent group with a public contract that it won’t be defended and anyone can use for any purpose. This then covers all use from commercial edu (like the new Salford £500k ‘makerspace’ through Newcastle’s use and even Gratnells trays… But nobody can sue each other.

The IPO seems to have a weekly journal which they release as an XML file (Intellectual Property Office - Trade Marks Journal).

I’ve started a little app to search the XML, and then… well nothing yet! I’m thinking that it could send a message to a topic on here - what do people think?

The only potential issue with this is that I can’t find the Gratnells application in any previous journals - I have emailed the IPO to see if I am interpreting the information correctly - according to the application, it was published in journal 2017-004.

Code is here if anyone wants a laugh: GitHub - geeksareforlife/trademark-alert
The current journal is in the repo, but it has been editing slightly - I have removed the image binary information as the file was just unmanageable with it in.



wonder if it’s not showing up in the journals because it’s an EU trademark application…

The EU search may be a better option, it’s a json-based interface behind the scenes - trademark queries are POSTed to:

these are the POSTed variables:

here’s a basic nodejs file that fetches the query and dumps it into a file:

var http = require(‘http’)
var fs = require(‘fs’);
var querystring = require(‘querystring’);
var request= require(‘request’);

var query_data = {
start: 0,
rows: 50,
searchMode: ‘basic’,
term_1: ‘makerspace’,
operator_1: ‘OR’,
term_2: ‘makerspace’,
operator_2: ‘OR’,
term_3: ‘makerspace’,
operator_3: ‘OR’,
sortField: ‘ApplicationNumber’,
sortOrder: ‘asc’
url: “”,
form: query_data
}, function(err, httpResponse, body) {
var path = ‘res.json’;
if (fs.existsSync(path)) {
fs.appendFileSync(path, JSON.stringify( JSON.parse(body), null, ‘\t’ ) );

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That could be it. Although the journals do say that they also advertise
international applications that apply in the UK.

If it doesn’t, we can always search both and return a full list as a post
into a topic here.


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I too am strongly of the opinion that nobody should hold the trademark of “hackspace”.
What can best be done to protect that level of openness?
I think it would be wrong for the HSF to own the trade mark, and would try to prevent that. The HSF recognises and represents only a part of the places and organisations which are fully entitled to use the term “hackspace” to describe themselves. Therefore, ownership by HSF would I think be extremely divisive.

These are my personal opinions and do not represent Reading Hackspace, of which I am a member.

Could you give examples because having talked to them a fair bit now I am of the distinct impression anyone will be able to join.

I don’t believe there is any mechanism, my impression in law is that someone has to own it for it to be fought for its protection unless the term ends up meeting the certain criteria that it is considered too common of a word to be trademarked.

I really am not sure how helpful that is, and likely offers the trademark of the word into the hands of the highest bidder whom resources are greater than yours at being able to fight it, so it is somewhat confusing to me as to why not join in and help to protect it instead, unless you want it for yourself or you yourself came up with the word.

turns out the EU IPO site has configurable alerts - so no need to re-implement :slight_smile:


Can an individual object on personal beliefs anyway?

It would surely need to be the organisations using the name?

Disclaimer: IANAL…

My understanding is that objections have to specifically be on commercial grounds.