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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / What to do if another Crafty Business has the same name? I believe mine was 1st! on: June 14, 2009 04:12:09 PM
Please forgive me if this topic has been covered....i actually have been absent from Craftster for awhile (my life got really bust recently). I've done a bunch of searches but can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

Anyway, my question is, what do I do about a company that has the same store name that I do and I believe I was using the name first. My store name is not officially trademarked, but I believe/thought if you could prove you'd been using something like a name/logo publicly that you could claim it as being yours. (Does that make sense?)

I know when I began using my shop's name a number of years ago, that there was no other crafty store online with that name (I researched it to no end), and now there is. I researched how long the site with the same name as mine (http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp) has been in business and it seems it only began about 9 months ago. (Had they Googled the name they would have come upon heaps of hits for my store).

The other issue is that my shop name is PinkBird Creations, where PinkBird is one word, this other company is Pink Bird Creations, where Pink Bird is 2 words. Does that matter? Also, I am in the US, and it appears this shop is in the UK.

Now, do I send them a cease and desist? Do I kindly email and explain that I had the name first and recommend that they change theirs so that our customers aren't confused? (I really don't want to tell people the name of my shop and have them go to that site accidentally--b/c even though we both make crafty things, they are quite different, and vice versa, I'm sure).

Any suggestions or advice would be fantastic!
Thanks, Create a great day!
Smiley
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / HELP! I got a Cease & Desist...what should I do now?!? (EDITED w/ "Resolution") on: January 25, 2007 04:05:59 PM
I just wanted to get some info or advice for my current situation...searched around but didn't find much...so here goes:

I was selling a bottle cap jewelry on my site and received a cease and desist (C & D) order from a company saying that I am violating trademark/copyright by using their bottle caps in my jewelry--part of the C & D demands that I stop selling the item (done, already off my site, no problem, as no one ever bought them, and I as only selling them for $7.00), give them any all of the merchandise I have made with these caps, info on who I sold the items too, AND $5,000!!!!

Here are my issues: the caps I used in my work were used, had I not made jewelry with them they would have gotten thrown away--in my view, since I'd purchased the drink the caps came with, the caps now belonged to me (something like "The First Sale Doctrine"); also, I never claimed the jewelry to be licensed goods, nor did I try to hide the fact that these were just some used caps and I never described them in a way that would "confuse" a buyer into thinking they were somehow "official." I also added beads and such to the caps/jewely to make them pretty and more than just bottle caps.

Something else that seems strange to me is that the Letter I got had a picture of a pair of the earrings that someone from the Company (who sent the letter) had purchased. And, this was the ONLY one of these items I've ever sold! To the person sending the C & D!

What can/should I do? My company (like alot of indie-craft companies) is TINY--just me and my husband in our small one bedroom apartment. I don't even do craft shows, it's all online. I don't make enough money with my craft shop to afford paying the $5,000 they want from me. Nor can we afford a lawyer (I really wish I knew a lawyer!!  Smiley).

I feel horrible about this, I just want to cry or throw up!

So, I would love any advice or help ASAP....and, I also hope this helps anyone else who may be making and selling things like this not realizing this could happen....

Thanks!

Any suggestions?!?!


EDITED (Feb. 4, 2007) Here are some Updates:

Upon Leah's wonderful suggestion, I thought I would put all the important info into this first post so people don't have to read all the pages in this thread.

First, This situation is legit, and, after writing a (very stern) email to the third party company who sent me the cease and desist, they lowered the "damages" amount to $3000.

I also (finally) got a lawyer, I found her through a local Artists Lawyer group (http://www.thewala.org/) and she is willing to do pro-bono work for me to basically send this company a letter stating that this is not right, that it is extortion, etc. She believes this will get them to back off, but can't really guarentee that they still won't take it further...

Finally, the company has set a February 9th deadline for this matter to be resolved, so I am hoping that this will be over by then.


And, since we've had so many great people post a bunch of great, really helpful links, I thought I would post them all here, this way, we won't get tons of people re-posting links that have already been posted, and if someone needs this kind of info in the future, it will all be in one place. Here goes, in no order:

Bottle Cap Art/Artists:
http://www.lorettafontaine.com/Laura%20Beamer%20Article.html
http://www.headquest.com/archive/2005/july2005/popculture.html
http://www.recyclingtoday.com/news/news.asp?ID=7660
Recycling artists: http://www.detritus.net/


Cease and Desist/Copyright/Trademark:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cease_and_desist
http://www.chillingeffects.org/
http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/trademarks.html or just www.tabberone.com
http://www.sugarbuzzmagazine.com/Uncensored/bandbeer.html
http://www.negativland.com/intprop.html
http://www.negativland.com/lawyers.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_minimis
http://www.brandnamebullies.com/
http://www.sourpeas.org/page7/page7.html
http://www.sourpeas.org/page10/page10.html
US patent and trademark office: http://www.uspto.gov/
resist (sending) cease and desist: http://www.abanet.org/buslaw/blt/2006-05-06/wilcox.shtml
http://whipup.net/
http://www.chillingeffects.org/protest/notice.cgi?NoticeID=399
http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/trademark/
http://girlfromauntie.com/copyright/index.php/category/the-knitters-guide-to-copyright/copyright-basics/
Very interesting article:
http://inpress.lib.uiowa.edu/poroi/papers/mcleod031101.html

Volunteer lawyers for the arts: http://www.vlany.org/resources/index.php

Scams:
http://www.scambusters.org/
http://www.bbb.org/
http://www.referenceusa.com/

Please let me know if I've missed any, and I'll add them.

More edits to come as this unfolds!
Thanks again for all the great advice and support that I have gotten here!



EDITED (February 11, 2007) The Resolution:
HOORAY!
So, after my lawyer sent the third party company a "very stern" letter, which was also faxed to the Major Corporation (whom my lawyer believes had no idea this firm was doing this on their behalf), someone from the company called my lawyer and said that "as long as I don't do it again, the matter is dropped" to which the lawyer replied, "she told you that from day one!"
 hmmm....it's still all very strange, but I did learn alot and I hope that this also helps other people. I will also be asking my lawyer about posting the C&D at www.chillingeffects.org (with personal info/names/etc left out) as there is one on there already that was sent from the same company, which helped my lawyer alot. So, maybe if they send another demand letter to another craftster, it can help them.


So, I will say it again, THANKS SO MUCH for all of your wonderful help, advice, opinions, etc. It means so much, and really did help me get through all of this!

And, if you're reading this for the first time, please do take time to skim all the pages of this thread, there is some great advice and opinions here.

EDITED 24 March 2007: ANOTHER LETTER: So much for "Resolution!" (you will also find this post on page 17 of this thread).

OK, so it's been about 2 months since this first C&D thing started and I just thought I'd share this, b/c i can't believe the people at this "third party company" sent me ANOTHER LETTER! This one is about another pair of earrings they bought (when the bought the first pair that started this whole thing, and I'm not sure that I mentioned, but it's a different brand). Basically they were like, "we see that you took down the 'Brand Blah-blah' earrings and stopped selling them, but we need in writing that you won't sell this brand anymore" WHAT!? so, of course my awesome awesome lawyer is on it, b/c legally, since i have representation, they can't contact me, and they did, but still, what the hell?!? now it's just harassment i think.

Just wanted to share, b/c i am just like, "huh?!?!"

p.s. since this seems to be coming back, and perhaps now i am under their "watch list" I'm glad i haven't mentioned any names!

p.p.s. even though i haven't mentioned names, i would like to warn any crafters out there using bottle caps (or bottles or cans), be they vintage or soda or beer, to be careful and prepared, i did a quick etsy, google, and ebay search & found quite a few people using the same brands that i did. it can be quite scary to get letters like this, and you should know your legal rights and be prepared to contact legal assistance. (please PM if you do get a letter maybe I can help).


EDITED 19 APRIL 2007:
see page 18 for more, as this post exceeded the allowed character limit
3  UNITED STATES / Maryland / buy, sell, trade clothing stores in the area??? on: October 29, 2006 04:34:30 PM
i'm not sure this is really the place to ask, though i have searched the web and can't seem to find anything....

anyway, i'm relatively new to the baltimore/dc area and am looking for a "buy, sell, trade" clothing store in the area. i have tons of cool clotehs that i can't just give away, and would prefer to sell/trade.
any suggestions?

(i'm looking for something like http://www.buffaloexhange.com where they'll buy your old but still i good shape clothing).
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Spirograph Hat and Patches (picture heavy) on: March 14, 2006 07:00:50 PM
A long while back I bought a brown fatigue hat to replace the camo hat I usually wear.
My problem was that I wanted to embellish itwith embroidery--a bit, but wasnt sure how. So, I came up with some ideas and emailed a bunch of friends to get their input. My friend Christine suggested I do something with Spriographs. So, I busted out the trusty Spirograph maker (my little Hasbro drawing toy) and got to work making designs. Eventually I came up with this:
(please ignore the cat hairs on the hat! Smiley ).


Front: Its not totally complete, as I want to put a smaller design in the center of this larger one, but havent had time.




Back:




The back has a random design b/c I liked it too much to un-do it.

Side:




This is an early version, but as you can see I ended up pulling these out, because it seemed to be too much and I didnt like the colors. But, since I was experimenting it was no big deal:




Then, for my friend who inspired this whole thing, I made some simple spirograph patches, which she apparently has the perfect purse to sew them to:



 and some close ups:







Basically all I did was make the design with my Spirograph (the toy) and then trace it onto the hat and fabric with colored seamstress/embroidery tracing paper. Then, went to work. I love how it turned out, and think everything I own will now have an embroidered spirograph design on it!!

(for more about spirographs (and more complex designs) go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirograph)

   ~~BEkki (@ www.pinkbird.net)

p.s.
feel free to move this to a different section, I wasn't sure if it should go here, or with clothing/accessories.

5  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / AUSTRALIA / bead shops in sydney? on: November 27, 2005 08:54:58 PM
i'm visiting sydney for the first time (from hawaii) and am hoping to find some cool beads or charms (preferably ones that are different from things i've seen before, or can't get here in the states).

can anyone help?


thanks in advance, lovlies, Bekki
6  UNITED STATES / Hawaii / Bead shops on oahu? on: November 07, 2005 10:27:09 PM
anyone know any good bead stores on oahu?

i was at the mapunapuna ben franklin the other day and this older woman told me about a bead store in pearl city, (was it bead mania? or something, i don't really remember).

anyway, i have yet to make it out to bead-it....any suggestions?  the ben franklin seems so pricey.
usually i just get stuff online, but it's just not the same as going into an actual bead store and rushing home to make something new......
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / What to put on my Front/Home Page??? on: August 07, 2005 01:20:27 PM
So, i have an intro page w/ my logo and a "click to enter" thing, then, once you do that....what should be there? I don't know what to put on my opening/front/home page. there is plenty of room for something. the categories and such are all in columns along the left side...
I have all my jewely in sections, and i have an "about" page.
should the home page feature news? new products? funny stories (well...maybe not).

any suggestions?

(sorry that you can't view this part of the site yet, it's not fully uploaded yet.)
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Clock Hand Earrings on: March 04, 2005 09:08:50 PM
So, i came across these really pretty, ornate clock hands, and decided to make them into fancy dangle-y earrings:



i really like them because there seems to be something so unexpected about them.
but, at the same time, i don't really wear gold, so i may just end up selling them.
perhaps i can find pretty silver clock hands.

create a great day!!!
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Felt Bird Luggage Tags--and a Horseshoe one, too.... on: March 02, 2005 10:12:22 AM
i wasn't sure what category to put this in, but i think it fits here, as it is similar to the felt bird pins i posted.

anyway, i'm going on a roadtrip w/ 2 of my best friends, we're flying from here (honolulu) to LA, then driving to austin, tx.
to celebrate/commemorate this trip, which i'm soooo exicted for, i made us all matching luggage tags:

(the 3 bird ones are for us, and the horseshoe one is for my sisiter who is going to vegas for spring break. the horseshoe one was inspired by something similar at urban outfitters).

front:



back:



i just cut out pieces of felt and stitched it together with beads, & sequins, using embroidery floss. easy as pie--though kinda time consuming, b/c i really didn't know what i was doing, and didn't really start w/ a plan.

the netting over the address part on the back (which might be hard to see since i blurred out my address) was a bit of an after thought, because when i finished it i realized that the cardstock i had in there could easily just fall out. I also sewed in  a snap, which you can't see, that holds the card in and keeps the tag from opening.

the only real problem is that they are really pretty and nice, and kinda fragile. i don't know if i really want to put them on my luggage that goes through who-knows-what once it leaves my hands. maybe we can put them on our carry-on's. hee.hee.
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Felt Bird Pin--urban outfitters inspired on: January 01, 2005 09:03:50 PM
perhaps i should have posted this under the other "felt pins" topic, but i was afraid it'd get lost in there....anyway....

so, i was browsing urban outfitters website today and saw the cutest bird pin....
you can see it here:  http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=6863&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=77&iSubCat=87&iProductID=6863
well, as cute as it is, there's no way i was going to pay $16 for it, so, i made my own, which i think turned out even cuter!

Front:



Back:




it was pretty easy too, i just drew the pieces onto different felt, cut them out,  stitched on some sequins and beads, and the pin back, and stitched up the whole thing together. i was going to use a real twig for him to stand on, but i kinda like him without it. i used brown embroidery floss to sort-of give him some legs instead.

i love it and can't wait to wear it!
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