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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Accused of Trademark Infringement for Use of a Similar Logo

    I just received an email from a blogger who has a similar name to our blog and does similar things (reviews, promotion of green living, etc.) who is saying that we are infringing on their trademark... Although I think it is complete bollocks and they are sending out a form letter to everyone who has a similar name to theirs. Our site also looks like it receives more traffic than hers and has a better standing in searches. So I guess my question is, if two sites have similar names is that actually trademark infringement? We didn't search her out to take away her business and didn't know her site existed prior to her sending an email.


    Here is a copy of the email she sent us
    "Dear Green Organic Mamas

    I recently came across your website Green Organic Mamas. It looks like you're doing some interesting and important things. I've been doing business under the Green Mama name for over seven years now and have a book being published by that title as well. I actually own the registered trademark for the Green Mama (reg #4,270,197) for anything pertaining to green living, including educational materials, reviews, print materials, and consulting. The standards of trademark infringement includes any similar names, spellings, or similar logos that may be confusing to potential customers. Part of owning the trademark is making sure it's protected, which means others can't use the name.

    This is a little awkward, but I'm reaching out to you directly because I don't want to have to get my lawyer involved and I'm assuming it's an innocent mistake. I've built my whole business and brand around this, not to mention the financial investment in securing the trademark.

    I know this is a big pain and that thinking up a creative name isn't easy. I feel badly having to ask this, but I do need you to stop using Green Mama in your blog title and on social media—even when it's got other words in conjunction—and find another name. In your case, your logo (with the leaves) is also very similar.

    I'll check in again in a month to make sure everything has gone smoothly with the change. If it helps, I am happy to help promote through my social media channels your site and it’s new name at that time. Thanks so much for your understanding, and again I apologize for this being the way we meet. I really don't wish you ill in any way, I just need to protect my trademark.

    Sincerely,"

    Mind you, we have a pretty good sized following on social media and through our blog, so it will be a HUGE hassle to change up our name. But is Green Organic Mamas really a trade name infringement on The Green Mama? I'm thinking to just ignore it and call her bluff... if its real, then let her lawyer send an official cease and desist and we would reply with our denial and see where it goes... but we are just a blog, so I'm trying to see if it is worth it to go through all of this for the cost it will take to trademark our name, find a lawyer to send a denial... etc. etc. I also thought about strong arming her to call her bluff with a denial letter (here is a link to the draft in Google Docs https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing).

    Our logo's aren't even similar, so I don't understand where she is getting the trademark infringement from? HELP!

    Here is her logo



    And our logos, banners, buttons


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,991

    Default Re: Trademark Infringement

    she has a registered trademark since 2010 and has been using the name in commerce since before that.

    you registered your site in September of this year.

    Have you consulted with a lawyer about this? your attitude suggests you have not and suggests you should.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Trademark Infringement

    If they are willing to and are capable (financially) they can make your life interesting (read: HELL). How much are you willing to spend to attempt to keep your name, even at the risk of losing it.? It wouldn't matter if it wasn't infringing if they were willing to spend money to attempt to get you to stop the use. They can sue and let you spend money to defend yourself or lose by default.

    Filing for registration now will not benefit you for this situation.

    they registered exactly what you have posted there. I did not see their name itself registered which could be beneficial to you.


    this is the description of what they registered:

    The color(s) Brown, white and green is/are claimed as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of green leaf design with white highlights encompassed by a miscellaneous brown curved line design featuring a circular cut-out portion in the color white at the top of the design as well as a brown circle on top of the curved line. The curved line and circular cut-out represent a mother and child figures. Below the design element appears the wording "the green mama." The term "green" is written in the color green and the terms "the" and "mama" appear in brown.
    due to that, I do not (personally) see your logo as an issue. To me, they are clearly different....


    BUT that is not the end of it since it does not require registration to having rights in a mark. Use is what gives the mark any value. With that, the name may be an issue. I cannot say one way or the other, but again, if they are willing to throw money at this, it doesn't matter if anybody sees it as causing confusion. It costs money to defend yourself.


    . if its real, then let her lawyer send an official cease and desist and we would reply with our denial and see where it goes.
    You have already received a cease and desist. Their next step could be to file suit.


    One question: when did you start using the name?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Trademark Infringement

    We started using it in September.

    Does the use of Green and Mamas constitute trademark infringement? And to say that she has the trademark "for anything pertaining to green living, including educational materials, reviews, print materials, and consulting." So anyone who promotes green living is infringing upon her trademark? Color me confused.

    I don't have an attitude, I'm just a little frustrated why she chose our blog to pick at. If you Google Green Mamas there are about 50+ sites that show up before ours does and at least 5+ of them use a leaf in their logo, more similar to her leaf than ours...

    And no we haven't consulted an attorney yet because we just received the letter tonight (after close of business) and wanted to find out our options before investing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Trademark Infringement

    Does the use of Green and Mamas constitute trademark infringement?
    it would take a court to make that actual determination. All anybody else can give you is a guess.

    as to picking on your blog: how do you know they didn't send a similar notice to 87 other businesses?

    at this point, you need to choose what you want to do, at least initially:

    1. comply with the demand
    2. ignore the demand, possibly risking being sued
    3. consult a lawyer to give you accurate direction.

    and actually, your sight is the 10th listing in such a google search with theirs being the 6th. Nowhere near 50 sites showing up before yours.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Trademark Infringement

    Thanks for your replies all. I figured those were the options from the beginning and I'm pretty sure when the trademark attorney contacts my partner back, he will state similar. I was wishing for a glimmer of hope.

    She may have sent a similar notice to all of the other businesses... however at least a few of those bloggers I am in similar circles/groups with and received nothing.

    If you add the "s" at the end of the search, then your point is valid. However I was using her name "Green Mama" (-s) to do the Google search, since she is saying the infringement is primarily on her trade name. When Googling her trade name, we are not even in the top 5 pages.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Please delete this thread. We are in contact with a trademark attorney and would like our name and information removed and the information of the opposing party removed, so it does not muddle our case.

    Thank you for all of your help.

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