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[epub] Re: Trade mark violation?
Hi Dianne.

At 07:22 PM 5/10/04, you wrote:
The page in question has an article (which I have permission to use) by Kendall Summerhawk. Can the phrase "weekly marketing wisdom" really be trade marked? Surely it's too general a term for that. I'm in the UK, but presumably any US trademark laws would be international.

Well, on the one hand, I can say that if the word "entrepreneur" can be trademarked (as it very much is, in several categories, with much litigation even as we speak), then the phrase "weekly marketing wisdom" probably can too.

On the other hand, I just went to the USPTO web site and did a search for this trademark and this company in the TESS database. Assuming I didn't botch the search (always a possibility), it's not there.

I'd contact Kendall Summerhawk to check this out with her, if you haven't done so already.

My main question is really - how far should we go in checking out articles supplied by the article banks?

I don't really think you need to do anything more than you did. You used the article in question with permission and in good faith.

I also note that (unless I missed it), the offending phrase doesn't actually appear in the *article*. It only appears in the source box at the end of the article. In that case, and assuming this is a legitimate intellectual property claim, they have no right to ask you to remove anything except the allegedly offending phrase. A quick edit to the source box (after clearing it with Kendall) should get it done for you.

I'm suspicious about this one. For them to ask you to remove the whole article instead of the allegedly offending phrase looks to me like somebody who may just have a problem with Kendall Summerhawk and is not overly burdened by scruples. The fact that the trademark isn't in the database doesn't necessarily prove anything but, in the face of its absence, I would at least ask them to prove their claim before I removed anything.

(Standard legal disclaimer: I am not an attorney. You may want to talk to one before you proceed.)


Dawn Rivers Baker
2003 Small Business Journalist of the Year
Syracuse (NY) District, U.S. Small Business Administration

The MicroEnterprise Journal
Where the nation's business meets microbusiness.

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