The Quantum Pontiff

Kamil sends along a pointer to “Qubit,” according to the website is a new quiz show on the Discovery channel:

Qubit is a quiz show for the 21st century – fast-paced, cut-throat and fun!

Driven by stunning HD visuals, Qubit showcases science, technology and natural history. Not your ordinary quiz show, Qubit challenges convention by including the odd, unique and truly quirky aspects of the world of science.

Sounds like a fun show.

But “Qubit”? Really? I wonder if the PR firm that sold them on that name knew what the word meant and whether Ben Schumacher is offended or ecstatic? And I’m kicking myself for not, thinking of trademarking qubit myself (At the end of the about page: “Qubit is a trademark of Exploration Production Inc.”) Does this mean every talk I give I’m going to have to stick the little TM mark after qubit?


  1. #1 Andrew
    March 18, 2009

    I hear David Mermin is proposing a new gameshow, “Qbit,” to air on Discovery’s main rival, TLC.

  2. #2 Michael Leuchtenburg
    March 18, 2009

    Nope – you don’t have to put a TM mark after it. Trademarks are within a subject area, so since you’re not using the term “qubit” to refer to a TV show or similar, there’s no conflict. There is an exception to this for “famous marks”, such as “Coca-Cola”. I can’t open a Coca-Cola hair salon, even though the mark is used to refer to a drink company, because it’s considered a famous mark. What exactly is a famous mark can only be determined by a court.

    This is all applicable to the US; other countries may have different systems.

  3. #3 Matt Leifer
    March 19, 2009

    Props to the first quantum computing type who gets to be a contestant on the show. Double props if they manage to explain to the host what the title of the show means in a condescending manner. Apparently, auditions are in Toronto so there are one or two potential candidates nearby.

  4. #4 mick
    March 19, 2009

    I reckon that the first quantum computing person should be Toby Cubit…

    Toby is so gonna gonna kill me for making this joke…

  5. #5 Ben
    March 19, 2009

    Amused, actually. I’m waiting for the breakfast cereal. Qubits!

  6. #6 felgi chromowane
    March 19, 2009

    I think this is the best chose. I like it.

  7. #7 mick
    March 20, 2009

    Oh damn, I mispelt Toby’s name. It’s Toby Cubitt…

  8. #8 Jonathan Vos Post
    March 20, 2009

    How many Qubits in a Sound Byte?

  9. #9 Mark Burginger
    June 16, 2009

    David, Thanks for posting this fun information. Qubits® is a registered trademark of the Qubits Toy Company in the USA and we think it is cool that there is now a game show that might help people pronounce the word Qubit – something we hear a lot of is ” Qee bit ” – don’t know how people get that from Qubit. Visit http://www.Qubits next time you want to build something Nano.

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