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Tom Revell
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xx Threatened with legal action...
« Thread started on: Jun 26th, 2009, 1:06pm »

I got a letter today from a firm of lawyers representing ... well ... let's just say the manufacturers of one of the commercial alternatives to Stickies. A company better known for their paper equivalent to Stickies...

It seems someone there objected to my use of the name of their product, and the link I'd placed to their web page. The letter advises me I'm "infringing their rights to their trade mark" and that "there is a risk of confusion arising" from my using the trade mark and linking to them.

Well, it's a shame they felt they had to get a lawyer to make the contact - a simple request would have done the trick - but hey, they have deep pockets and can pay for it. Certainly deeper pockets than I do, and they have a commercial interest to protect. I've edited the page - there were three instances of the trade mark on the main Stickies page. If you really care what it used to say, there's always www.archive.org.

The strange thing is, although it really makes no difference to me whether I mention a competitor by name, or I don't mention them, seeing as I'm not here for the money, but as far as I can tell it hurts the company by me removing the link. There is now one less way for potential customers to reach their product, and they now go down a little, although it's only a very small amount, in Google PageRank as there is one less link to them on the web.

(I actually don't see that I was breaking any laws with what the page said, but then I'm not a lawyer, and I don't want to get into a fight with a multinational corporation when to comply with their wishes doesn't really hurt me)

Is anyone out there a lawyer, and know what would have happened if I'd not done as they wanted?

Tom
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JohnPap
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xx Re: Threatened with legal action...
« Reply #1 on: Jun 26th, 2009, 7:26pm »

Hello Tom,

I am not a lawyer, so I can't say much on the subject.

The only thing they asked you to do was to remove the link to their products? You have done that already.

Perhaps you should answer their letter explaining that you have already removed the link as they requested and that you had included the link in the first place, not because you wanted to infringe any rights to their trade mark but only as a courtesy to the paper version of post-it notes.

I would also suggest that you keep printed copies of their letter and your answer and also submit them in some Regulatory Authority or Chamber, in case they decide to pursue the matter further.

I don't have any authority to speak on behalf of this forum's members, yet I believe that we will do our best in helping you if need rises.

Regards,
John
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Tom Revell
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xx Re: Threatened with legal action...
« Reply #2 on: Jun 28th, 2009, 5:06pm »

Well thank you, but seeing as I've immediately complied with what they asked for, I can't see the matter will go any further.

I suspect that the real reason behind the request was that they dislike the fact I produce a free and viable alternative to their commercial product - a fact that's true for a number of commercial competitors. I rather suspect they wish I would disappear, or at least start charging!

Tom
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xx Re: Threatened with legal action...
« Reply #3 on: Jun 29th, 2009, 07:38am »

I have worked for a multinational corporation for almost 4 and a half years, both as an employee and as a free lancer, and I fully agree with your thoughts.

The only way they can take you out of the market is by making you an offer to sell Stickies. wink

Regards,
John
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xx Re: Threatened with legal action...
« Reply #4 on: Oct 28th, 2010, 08:26am »

on Jun 26th, 2009, 7:26pm, JohnPap wrote:
Hello Tom,

I am not a lawyer, ...

...

Regards,
John


Thank you for not using the infamous abbreviation!
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xx Re: Threatened with legal action...
« Reply #5 on: Oct 28th, 2010, 08:30am »

on Jun 28th, 2009, 5:06pm, Tom Revell wrote:
Well thank you, but seeing as I've immediately complied with what they asked for, I can't see the matter will go any further.

I suspect that the real reason behind the request was that they dislike the fact I produce a free and viable alternative to their commercial product - a fact that's true for a number of commercial competitors. I rather suspect they wish I would disappear, or at least start charging!

Tom


I'm no lawyer either, but I don't think they believe anyone would confuse your app with paper - but rather with their attempts to make their own electronic version.

I also think you're safer by not charging, because "non-commercial" is a big divider line in disputes these days.
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