Originally posted by Edward
Traditionally, if you want to follow the Japanese customs, Aikido is a kind of trade mark or property of the Ueshiba family, represented currently bys the third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. Of course they can't sue and keep someone who would like to use the appellation of Aikido to any form of art he desires from doing that. However, morally speaking, prior approval should be taken.
On the hand, some traditional names (such as Daito-ryu) have actually been trademarked in Japan, opening the door for legal recourse.
Also, I'm not entirely sure that M. Ueshiba was the first to use "Aikido" as the name for his art, I've heard similar claims from practitioners of other arts. Certainly many other people have used the word "Aikido", which would strengthen the argument that the term has become generic.
One example is Tohei Sensei, who was specifically requested by Kisshomaru Doshu not to use the name Aikido when they separated. Tohei Sensei being a man of outstanding morality agreed eventhough he could have refused, since his Aikido is not by any means less authentic Aikido than Aikikai.
Last time I looked Tohei was still using "Aikido"...
Was Kenji Tomiki of less "outstanding morality" because he used the name Aikido even when asked not to by M. Ueshiba?