Home > About the Blog, Just WEIRD > Hearing back from the other side

Hearing back from the other side

OK, I’ve started hearing back from people on the other side of this trademark debate. I approved a posting from someone arguing against my position in the “Cease and Desist” letter page. Same person submitted another post on the “Argument Against Trademark” page, the text of which I am quoting here:

You need to find some legal precedents for your argument.

And the way you are using the Internet to respond to a simple Trademark C&D request amounts to “cyber bullying”. You’re inciting people to threaten and harass someone and yet you write about Karma…wow. It’s disturbing the number of people you have calling McNeal names.

You should be thanking McNeal–no one was reading your blog until you started posting the legal correspondence and getting yourself some free press. Now you have many more readers, so tell me, what is the damage to you? I see only GAIN!

And yes, I can make my opinions known on the same sites that you are using–thanks for noting that in your comments back to US news.

Just a few of things:

1) I’m not sure that I need legal precedents when I express an opinion. But the concept of “freedom of speech” really has gone completely out the window in this.

2) I first used the internet to contact other blog owners to see if they had experienced similar challenges to their language use. When they started posting the issue, I was surprised. Then I realized why people cared so much about it — this isn’t about my blog or the word “frugalista,” it’s about the fairness of an action by the USTPO that restricts the expression of other people on the web. It honestly took other people telling me so for me to understand the significance of this question. Only then did I start sending emails to other potentially interested bloggers. And if the fairness of the mark approval weren’t in doubt, I guarantee you none of them would have run with it.

3) My blog was never intended for people outside of the Jackson-area. While there may be extra eyes on it these days, they are reading about a fight that will be over long before my friends and I stop caring about bargains. The ONLY reason people are paying attention to this issue (and my blog) is because of the cease and desist letter — and that came TO me FROM Ms. Hart, it’s not something I invented.

4) What possible gain do I get from this whole thing? My site is not commercial. I have no advertisers. People have actually been OFFERING ME MONEY to fight the trademark and I have turned them down.

5) The comment I made about your post appearing on my blog as to let people know that I DO approve comments that are contrary to my own position, unlike Ms. McNeal who apparently has been deleting any comments on her blog that raise the issue.

Regardless of what I call my blog, this issue is going to stick. The USTPO might have approved the trademark, but those approvals are not permanent. And while it’s highly unlikely that I will be the person who gets it reversed in court, I truly believe it will be. And me and my blog, whatever I call it, will be following the case every step of the way.

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  1. September 25, 2009 at 2:32 am | #1

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist type, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of the postings and responses are plants…not that I have doubt in mass stupidity. Regardless, just stand up for what you believe in. Do not give in and do not sway from those beliefs because of a few dissenting voices. Even if you lose the fight, you will be able to look back without regret.

  2. JD
    September 25, 2009 at 9:39 am | #2

    My comments are not plants, but actually meant to be helpful.
    Your letter to the PTO needs legal precedents in order to be considered.
    You might also want to Google co-existence agreement and check out what that is :)

  3. Avatar28
    September 26, 2009 at 11:05 am | #3

    Regardless, I think the core of the issue here is that “frugalista” is already both generic and descriptive. Additionally, the trademark registration is false claiming creation of the word despite evidence that it existed and was in use well before the early 2008 date. If the claim had been more specific, such as target’s “fashionista frugalista” then there wouldn’t be such an issue. But what she is doing would be akin to me filing a trademark over the term “geek” for any site relating to giving computer advice.

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