When a single dot doesn’t do the trick: Legal trouble ensues for izakaya over name

We live in a world of innovation and inspiration. Every day, we see new products riffing on older ones, and apps that are purporting to be the next Instagram for Snapchat inspired by Vine.

But when does something cease to innovate and become a simple knock-off? Would you consider “Word・Press” a different web service from “WordPress”? How about if someone opened up a hamburger joint called “McDonalds” instead of “McDonald’s”? Well one izakaya in Hiroshima, Japan tested out this first example for us, and found that simply slipping a dot into its name didn’t allow it to get around copyright and trademark laws.

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