Bully Beatdown: Automattic Loses Trademark Cancellation Case

Remember when WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg used his company, Automattic, to purchase thesis.com for $100,000 just to spite me?

Apparently, Mullenweg was unsatisfied by a questionable ruling that saw Automattic retain ownership of the domain. He wanted more.

In an attempt to twist the knife, Mullenweg directed Automattic to open a Federal Trademark Cancellation case to try and strip me of the following trademarks: THESIS, THESIS THEME, and DIYTHEMES.

After nearly two years, the trademark cancellation case is finally over, and I “won.”

What did I win? It would appear Automattic no longer has legal ammunition to bully me into submission, debt, or whatever other horrible outcome Mullenweg no doubt wishes upon my head.

Quite the prize, I know.

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The Truth About Thesis.com

On July 8, 2015, I lost a legal battle against Automattic over thesis.com, despite owning the trademarks for Thesis and Thesis Theme in the website software space.

Many of you have probably read the initial account of what happened on WP Tavern along with all of the comments. Unfortunately, as is customary with legal disputes involving WordPress that receive widespread criticism, Jeffr0 closed the comments on that post, effectively shutting down the conversation.

However, there is a lot to talk about on this issue. I’d like to walk you through how Automattic and I ended up in a legal battle for a domain, why this was connected—in a very personal way—to a public disagreement that happened years ago, and finally, what this could mean for business owners who operate in the WordPress ecosystem.

I think the most important place to start is by asking: Why would Automattic—a website software company with over $300 million in funding—buy thesis.com when I owned the trademark for Thesis in the website software space?

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How to Tune Typography Based on Characters Per Line

In my research into Golden Ratio Typography, I focused primarily on the core geometric properties of text—font size, line height, and line width.

But there’s another facet of text that nearly all of the existing research on typography deals with: It’s called characters per line (CPL).

If you’ve ever read a study on typography, you’ve no doubt encountered CPL. Many of these studies recommend “optimal” CPL ranges that include anything from 55 to 100 CPL.

With an “optimal” range that large, the CPL you use on your site ultimately comes down to personal preference. This raises one huge question:

How can you tune your typography to an exact (or, at least approximate) CPL?

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Secret Symphony: The Ultimate Guide to Readable Web Typography

This is the original introductory article to Golden Ratio Typography (GRT). The basic concepts you’ll find on this page are important for understanding GRT, but much of the math is now outdated.

For a more current and comprehensive look at all things GRT—as well as a free, basic CSS loadout you can apply to your own projects—check out the Golden Ratio Typography Calculator.

Right now, there’s a mathematical symphony happening on your website.

Every single one of your readers is subconsciously aware of this symphony, and more important, they are all pre-programmed to respond to it in a particular way.

The question is this:

Is your site’s symphony pleasing and inviting to your readers, or does it turn them off and make it harder to communicate with them?

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Supercharge Your WordPress Category Page SEO with This Simple Tip

If you’ve followed my advice over the last few years, then you already know how to use WordPress categories effectively.

But now that you’re using categories in a meaningful way, do you know how to get your category pages to rank well and dominate in the search engines?

Using the tip I’ll share with you today, you’ll be able to do just that.

However, before we begin, I need to let you in on a little secret:

By default, WordPress does not provide you with the controls necessary to create category pages that have maximum SEO juice.

Fortunately, this is where I come in :D

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How to Add the Google +1 Button to Your Website

This tutorial is deprecated because Google+ is no longer a thing.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve almost certainly heard the latest news that has the social media universe in a frenzy:

Google +1 buttonThis week, Google released its Google +1 (“plus one”) button to compete with Twitter’s Tweet button and Facebook’s Like button.

In order to capitalize on the potential traffic and exposure that this new button can generate, you’ll need to incorporate it into your site as soon as possible.

There’s one little problem, though.

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Interview: With SEO, Less is More (and Where to Eat in Austin, Texas)

What’s the latest and greatest on SEO, WordPress plugins, web hosting, and—my personal favorite—the best food in Austin?

I’ll keep you up to speed with that and maybe even drop a hint about Thesis 2 in this 9-minute video interview from PubCon South 2011.

After you check out the video, be sure to take a look at the new DIYthemes Facebook page, where you can interact with other Thesis users and see hundreds of awesome Thesis customizations!

Cutline and PressRow Removed from WordPress.com

Sadly, the crew at WordPress.com have chosen to retire two of my old themes, Cutline and PressRow.

If you loved these themes and are sorry to see them go, don’t sweat it! Soon, I’ll be re-releasing both of these classic theme designs for free to everyone who uses the Thesis Theme Framework.

And thanks to the power of Thesis, these new versions of Cutline and PressRow will be more optimized, more flexible, and faster than their predecessors.

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Mid-century Modern, Pearsonified Style

Architecture is endlessly appealing to me. Houses, in particular, capture my imagination because they are so primal in their utility: They provide us with a safe place to sleep, eat, store food, and raise young’uns.

For the last 90 years in America, home architecture has been dominated by profiteering companies looking to churn out cheaper products for higher margins. Market demand and time constraints are generally at odds with innovation and creativity, and this is precisely why qualified architects are only responsible for a small fraction of American homes.

On one hand, this sucks because it means that most houses in America were conceived and built by people who truly don’t know a damn thing about the art of designing a home.

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What Do Solutions Have to Do with Ideology? NOTHING!

As an important player in the Web software space, WordPress wields a powerful influence in the marketplace. When you’re in a position of such importance, it is your responsibility to purvey accurate information and to refrain from projecting ideologies and agendas on a market that is likely to take anything you say at face value.

My work with Thesis has placed me in a similar position, and I understand how much you can affect the psyche of your customers/users with just a few choice words. It’s powerful; it’s amazing; but most of all, it’s humbling.

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