Frugalista Fight FAQ
Just want to address a few questions that have come up:
1) Why not fight it? Simply, I don’t want to spend the money. To file an appeal to the already-approved trademark will be $300. To file opposition to the pending mark will be $300. I am NOT spending $600 on this.
If I won’t spend $600 for the filings, I will definitely not spend the money to hire an attorney and go to court — and if the other bloggers I have spoken to are correct, they WILL sue me if I don’t change the name.
The only weapon left to me is to publicize it — which I probably how you ended up here reading this.
2) Why not accept donation to pay for the fight?
Because I just don’t feel right about it. Several people have offered me money to fund a fight, but … I just don’t feel right about taking people’s money. Once I do something like set up a PayPal link for donations, my blog will once and for all cease to be what I intended it to be.
Plus, I don’t want to turn this into a money-making thing.
When all this trademark stuff is over the blog will go back to being viewed by local Jacksonians. Which is what I want, and if this becomes a “commercial enterprise,” that won’t happen.
3) I saw a Target ad with “frugalista” in it, did they get a letter?
Probably not. The marks filed by the Miami blogger are specific to online blogs and journals, and apparently to cable television and movies. The Target commercials are, well, commercials.
Target also filed a trademark for “frugalista fashionista” (or maybe vice versa, I can’t remember). It looks as though they are OK if the two words go together.
On the off chance that Target IS in violation of the Miami trademark, methinks that they won’t get a letter. Who wants to fight a billion-dollar corporation when you can just bully people like me?
4) Why did you use “frugalista,” it’s a dumb word.
I used is precisely because it is a silly word. ‘Nuff said.
5) Why shouldn’t she trademark it?
If she had trademarked the name of her blog, that would be one thing. But the word she did is descriptive and in general use. It appears in dictionaries, in blogs (since 2000), etc. with NO ASSOCIATION to the Miami blogger. It refers to no specific product or service, and as much as she may want to say it does, it doesn’t refer to any one person.
The mark never should have been approved. The trademark laws support that. And she’s using an inappropriate mark to harass other bloggers.
6) This is ridiculous, is there anything I can do?
YES. Keep talking about it. Pay attention to what gets trademarked. Send emails and make posts that call attention to the fact that someone has claimed ownership of a WORD. And keep doing all of that.
I guarantee you that she and her attorney have decided to just sit still until this all blows over. And my association with it will. But then the next cease and desist letter will go out and someone else will need help fixing it.