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Any Lawyers in the House? Trademark Infringement? - Page 2

post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillinFool View Post
I'm looking at this sort of, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it."

I don't want to sever my relationship with them. Particularly now that I need to hit them up for a grill for my Charity BBQ Bash...

At least you're honest.
post #17 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillinFool View Post
Tell me more about this consumerist, please. I'm all for some public shaming at this point!!

Here's the link

http://consumerist.com/

What have I done...
post #18 of 72
I'm pretty sure this type of case has been tried already. It's akin to: Can you use your competitor's name as a keyword to run your ads on google's adwords program? Problem is I don't remember what the ruling was.

You are clearly benefiting from their trademarked name. You are hoping to garner traffic to your site based on *their* name recognition.

They own/sell/do commerce in all things related to grilling. So you putting up a large "Weber" on your home page could be construed as them having something to do with your site. Do they endorse it? Sponsor it?

Yes, it's lame. But that's where they are coming from.

Now what this legal question is doing in the social life, food, drink forum I'm not sure.
post #19 of 72
You aren't violating the copyright as the phrase "Weber" is only a key word , im guessing its one of the more commonly used search phrases at your website. I would just ignore their email. Secondly it looks like you site is blog-ish so you sort of have protection from legal action. Finally if your not making a profit of their name go ahead and use it , they cannot do anything to you. -edit- they registered the letter "q" i should register the rest of the alphabet and sue all you guys for using it :P
post #20 of 72
The above is terrible advice. First of, it's not a copyright issue at all. It's a trademark issue. And since you apparently have sponsors - you are making money - so it's not a blog/freedom of speech issue.
post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfred View Post
I'm pretty sure this type of case has been tried already. It's akin to: Can you use your competitor's name as a keyword to run your ads on google's adwords program? Problem is I don't remember what the ruling was.

Up until April 2009, there was a split between the circuits as to whether use of a registered trademark as a keyword to trigger sponsored links constituted "Use in Commerce" under the Lanham Act. On April 3, 2009, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided Rescuecom Corp. v. Google, Inc., which essentially resolved that split. The Court held that Google's "sale" of Rescuecom's trademark as a keyword in Google's Adwords and Keyword Suggestion Tool Programs constitutes the "use in commerce" for purposes of the Lanham Act.

However, here, it's still unclear whether the OP is using the WEBER mark "in commerce." What, if anything, does "GrillinFools.com" sell? When I click on the "WEBER" keywords, I'm not directed to any sort of "store" - rather, it's a list of recipes that utilize a Weber grill. I don't know how a court would rule, but I definitely don't think it's the same as the Google case. That is, unless the OP is "selling" those keywords to others to buy and promote their products.
post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillinFool View Post
I'm looking at this sort of, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it."

I don't want to sever my relationship with them. Particularly now that I need to hit them up for a grill for my Charity BBQ Bash...

Valid point. But I guess what I was implying more was that still review the product and definitely give them your constructive criticism at a one on one level.
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfred View Post
The above is terrible advice. First of, it's not a copyright issue at all. It's a trademark issue. And since you apparently have sponsors - you are making money - so it's not a blog/freedom of speech issue.

+1, but what do you expect? Asking for free legal advice on a style forum is like, well, asking what kind of car you should get on an internet car forum.
post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfred View Post
The above is terrible advice. First of, it's not a copyright issue at all. It's a trademark issue. And since you apparently have sponsors - you are making money - so it's not a blog/freedom of speech issue.
+1, but it's also not a free speech issue because Weber is not the government. Edit: also, to all those insulting the woman who wrote the letter, bear in mind that Weber has a duty to defend its trademarks, or else it may be found to have abandoned them. Certainly companies overreach, and that may be the case here, but it's more complicated than "durr she dun' get the internet lol".
post #25 of 72
So if I interpret kyoung's info correctly, the use of "weber" to promote your site/drive traffic to your site is use of "weber" in commerce, since the site takes on sponsorships. (I couldn't find the site selling anything, but I do see "sponsored by" type headings). The site is not just done for fun. There's a commercial aspect to it.

So if a lawyer from a company says "quit using our name on your site in the manner you are doing" for this type of use, then you should quit doing so.

Like I said, I knew this had been "asked and answered" by the courts already. Thanks for the info.

It's funny though, if you put a headline article on the site saying "We review the new WEBER grill" - then I think the ruling does NOT apply. So the search traffic could be driven in that manner.
post #26 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post
No, its not a close call and the lawyer has zero point

If this were to actually go to court, it would be laughed out (though doubful that it ever would since putting together a legal team and doing research would eventually find you some paralegal who has seen the concept of "tagging" before). EFF would probably step up in the defense of anybody who actually got sued.

What you should do is take this C&D letter to consumerist or somebody else and get weber publicly laughed at until they decide to think twice before letting some clueless old woman send out letters to people on the newfangled internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopster View Post
Valid point. But I guess what I was implying more was that still review the product and definitely give them your constructive criticism at a one on one level.

I have, just not publicly.... I let them know my concerns but didn't air it out
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by samus View Post
+1, but it's also not a free speech issue because Weber is not the government.

wtf?
post #28 of 72
I work in-house at a company. We send letters like that often. We know that they aren't always legally enforceable or accurate, but they scare the hell out of 90% of people.
post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube View Post
wtf?

Private citizens can't, as a matter of law, violate your right to free speech. The Constitution applies to the federal and, where applicable, the state governments.

Trademark law contains certain protections that are perhaps rooted in constitutional concerns, namely the doctrine of trademark fair use, but that is an issue of trademark law and not Constitutional law as it is generally conceived.
post #30 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfred View Post
So if I interpret kyoung's info correctly, the use of "weber" to promote your site/drive traffic to your site is use of "weber" in commerce, since the site takes on sponsorships. (I couldn't find the site selling anything, but I do see "sponsored by" type headings). The site is not just done for fun. There's a commercial aspect to it.

So if a lawyer from a company says "quit using our name on your site in the manner you are doing" for this type of use, then you should quit doing so.

Like I said, I knew this had been "asked and answered" by the courts already. Thanks for the info.

It's funny though, if you put a headline article on the site saying "We review the new WEBER grill" - then I think the ruling does NOT apply. So the search traffic could be driven in that manner.

Actually no. They have to show that I am attempting deceive people into believing that my brand is their brand or that I am some how linked to their brand. That is not the case and that is why I now have a disclaimer...
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