I wanted to bring something to everyone’s attention that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued trademark protection for “π.” That means that if you ever want to end a sentence with “π”, and you want it to be a statement, you would have to obtain licensing rights before you could do so. Sure, most of us won’t be affected by this (directly), but text book publishers, particularly in the mathematical fields, would likely need to pay that licensing fee. You might have noticed the qualifier “directly” in the previous sentence. That’s there because we can expect the cost to be pasted onto us by publishers, especially if they overlook the use of “π.” in a book for which they did not obtain a license. We need to speak out against governing bodies from issuing excusive protection for common images, words, and phrases. Write to your senators and representives to reform the law so atrocities like this are unlikely to happen. And speak out publicly. Doing something as simple as tweeting, “You can’t have π. #SavePi” can help spread the word about the trademark trolls. A simple message like that not only raises awareness to the problem, but that we want common images, words, and phrases back for public use.
I have included a simple image you can use. Feel free to use it, or create your own. All I did to make it was opened Paint.NET and created a square image that I typed “You can’t have π.” in Times New Roman. You can use my image or you can create your own custom image.