When I was running Silicon Alley Reporter we had the double edge sword of having a buzzword in our brand name. Every time Silicon Alley was mentioned in the news our magazine got a bump. However, other folks would make Silicon Alley branded magazines and take a little of our thunder. We had to defend the Silicon Alley YEARNAME (i.e. Silicon Alley 97, 98, 99, 2000, etc) because some folks would come along and say “we’re doing a ‘silicon alley’ conference too!”
However, we just said don’t call it Silicon Alley YEARNAME. Call it the Silicon Alley SOMETHING. People did, everyone got on with their life.
Tim wants to have it both ways: own the trademark but ride on the backs of everyone using it, and he’s getting called you on it. Really bad execution on his part with this, but he does have rights to the name in the conference vertical.
As such, we should all just start calling Web 2.0 companies Web 3.0 or Web 2.1 or something.