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  • Am I being Petty?

    I think that I am normally a very generous person, I try to help anyone and everyone. Yesterday I was called petty and I don't agree.

    Here is the situation:
    When I began Faux Paws, I decided to trade mark and service mark the name Faux Paws and registered it as well. Now, all of this cost money and time. My main reason was: I wanted to be able to freely invest my money into my logo and branding and not worry about someone coming along and trying to put me out of business.

    Well, a grooming business opened and is using the name Faux Paws and my exact slogan "Great grooming is no mistake" plus they even use the same font.

    I decided to call them (they are in another state) and explained the situation. I was nice about it and even explained that my issues were not just the name but the slogan, the fonts, everything. I mentioned that I wanted to call her and explain the situation and would supply any documents.

    She called me PETTY! I truly don't think that I am being petty.

  • #2
    Not petty in my book! In this moble. connected society she could very well hurt your business. Get a bad rep,and must have a web for you to even know, could be diaster. Get your attorney to send a cease and desist order, if the law covers you.
    ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~

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    • #3
      If the name, slogan, and font are exactly the same it sounds to me like they stole it from you so no I don't think you are being petty.

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      • #4
        Not being petty

        I suppose she would call you petty because she wants to keep the name and slogan. I think you are right to want to question her ability to use it because it is yours, right? You had it first. That sounds childish, you had it first, but it is true and it is fair, and when it comes to business, it is SERIOUS.

        Christy

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        • #5
          hey it was KIND for you to call them...you legally had the right to get a lawyer involved and go down another road.

          Petty is sueing someone after warning them, they stop and THEN you sue after the fact...that is petty.

          Stephen: Be sure to record and time and conversation in your business file. Every business is supposed to maintain a "corporate diary" of such management matters. You would be amazed when you could some day go to Court, you never know, and a Judge asks to see one, and if you have one, wow, talk about getting an advantage. Been in and around lots of suits as a consultant and not keeping one for your business is quite serious IF suits arise. Always keep a business diary with details about calls and meetings and appointments you kept related to your business.

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          • #6
            Heck NO. Get on her case, big time.

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            • #7
              Petty? No. Protective? YES!

              Here's how I see it.

              A few minutes of your attorney's time to write the offending party a cease and desist letter, with a copy of the registration sent with the letter, giving them thirty days to quit using your trademarked logo and name is in order. When a person gets a letter from an attorney they usually believe that you mean business.

              By all means protect your trademark. If anyone is being petty, it is the person who STOLE your good name and is using it to fatten their wallet.

              Since you are now on TV doing commercials endorsing a pet dental care product, and in that commercial your shop name is prominently displayed, there could be confusion created in the public's mind as to who actually owns Faux Paws, you or them. That can cost you money.

              If the person persists, they can find out just how expensive their insistence on using your trademark and name can be. Theoretically, you could claim substantial damages to the point of putting that person out of business to pay the damage award a court could assess.

              When it comes to protecting your business from thieves and pretenders, be as aggressive as a pissed off pit bull terrier. For those of you who have not protected your shop's name by filing for a trade or service mark, you can find that your shop's name and clientele can be LEGALLY stolen out from under you. Filing for trade or service mark protection doesn't cost, it PAYS.

              Laura
              Last edited by kats_melody; 01-31-10, 05:09 PM.
              "With God's help, all things are possible!"
              Laura Lee Ray
              I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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              • #8
                No you are not being petty. What if I opened a store here in my town called Petsmart, and used blue and red lettering. You can be sure their lawyers would be contacting me!

                Do what was suggested above and have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter. If they don't stop or change the name, then you will have to take further legal action.

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                • #9
                  I so know the feeling

                  I have had my name registeded with my Inc. and have been in business for 30 YEARS.
                  a few years back "Camp BOW WOW " came in to the area and sooooo many of my clients were asking me if I was moving or if that was me. ( they did a whole lot of advertizing)
                  Oh, I am Bow Wow Pet Styling . ok yes it is different but it did cause alot of confusion. And they were not willing to work with me in they ads. They even said "I can't board since they were registised in the whole U.S.(Hello I started 30 years ag with a boarding kennel.
                  Nothing got solved and I still get calls for them and they get calls for me.
                  So there is m;;y story and I feel your pain not petty.

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                  • #10
                    The reason you went to the trouble to trade mark/service mark it, is because you didn't want someone else to use your idea. The trade mark/service mark protects you from that. You tried to be nice about and asked her not to use it. If she wants to be difficult about it, let the lawyers enforce it. She can't just use what's rightfully yours. It would be different if you didn't have the trade mark/service mark.

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                    • #11
                      Wow that is really naughty - I would definitely be annoyed! Say a potential client searches the web (if you both have a website) pulls up hers instead of yours and perhaps doesn't like what they see, YOU could have lost a client due to the confusion. Not petty at all in my book.

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                      • #12
                        It's not petty because if they're using the same name, slogan, and font it's not an accident at all.

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                        • #13
                          Here's a potpourri of comments.

                          You do have rights but everyone should realize you can often use the same name of a business in another state and sometimes in the same state but not county. Of course it depends upon the protection that was secured and THE CLASS. The latter is your strength because you share the same trade, pet care services, the class.

                          That this entity is copying so many aspects is certainly in your favor to stop as well. But the same business name and in a different state and your business is not involved in interstate commerce. For example there are over 200 Groomingdales spread across the US.

                          So overall you have the upper hand but I suspect the entity could possibly use the same name out of your state but that's it.

                          You do need to determine precisely the LEVEL of protection you have. As someone mentioned PetSmart in this thread, well they have an expanded federal protection across US states because they are operating businesses in more than 1 state.

                          Intellectual properties law has so many jurisdictions and factors to consider. Some think they have USA protection when they have only statewide protection etc. Certainly this person is not clearly in the right and you do have cause, but you need professional help. It gets down to a cease and desist letter being sent, but you have to know the exact violations, the name, the design etc.

                          Here is something more important. You gotta do something. It is the law that you must get out there and try to protect the protections you secure. Fact. If you knowingly do nothing over a period of time you can lose your rights.

                          Presently we own rights to Park A Pet at a federal level, but someone else used and operated that name before we did and they can continue for that reason. We share the same class too. We would not use their same designs for sure, and they shouldn't use ours. But only we can use the name across the US as we got federal protection. It is OUR DUTY to check once or twice a year as best possible if someone is violating our protected marks, and if we do nothing, well we can lose that protection. YOU ARE THEREFORE NOT BEING PETTY. It is your legal duty.

                          When I worked in intellectual properties law one of our star clients was Academy of Motion Picture Arts, Oscar. We were sending cease and desist letters regularly, even if it was an anaconda burget joint in the Amazon (smile) but very true.

                          By the way, once you get protection remember depending upon the kind you get you have to file a Statement of Use sometimes, every so many years. Just yesterday I got a surprise bill for $900 from our IP attorney to do that, uggh. Many protections do have "usage renewals" that must be done, especially if we are talking federal registration of marks.

                          When have an attorney file and represent your mark they usually put your renewals in their business calendar for reminder whereas the do it yourself services come and go and you may forget to file your renewals and unknown to you, protection expired. Everyone keep that in mind if you register marks!!!

                          You ain't petty.
                          Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of PetGroomer.com https://www.petgroomer.com.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you :-)

                            We actually did a Service Mark and a Trade Mark then did a Registered Trade Mark. It is for Faux Paws in any pet related business.

                            I didn't R my slogan, fonts or color scheme but I did SM them with Faux Paws.

                            Laura, great point about the Commercial- didn't even think of that.

                            Well, some of y'alls points is HOW I discovered them. One of my clients searched my business and came up with a HORRID review only to thouroughly read the newspaper article and discover that it wasn't me but was in another State.

                            Stephen: Be sure to start using the R right away, it is a much higher level of protection that cannot be used until it is actually granted. SM and TM can be used with "intent" to use filings. So that you achieve the R is a big deal and more valuable.

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                            • #15
                              Stephen, we use the R on our website and any distributed materials.

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