product removed, invalid copyright claim
ripcobalt
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 11:39:51 AM
Groups: Member

Joined: 3/29/2008
Posts: 4
Location: Barnett
Hello:
I had products pulled today by zazzle, citing a trademark violation request from a company called "tempting products". Apparently, many others got the same message this month. Tempting products is listed with the USPTO as the owner of a trademark, using the route 66 highway sign shield. The logo is listed as that of a GPS software company (not printed goods). It is also an unenforceable and invalid public domain term. I would like to know if others have had problems with the search tag "route 66" or use of the highway shield logo (my design used "missouri 66".

The following is a copy of the product removal message:
Dear Zazzler,

Thank you for contacting Zazzle.com.

Zazzle was contacted by representatives from Tempting Brands, owner of the Route 66 mark. Your product was removed at the request of Tempting Brands due to claims of infringement of their rights.

For more information or questions with regards to this removal please contact Tempting Brands at: www.route66licensing.com/index.php/home.

Thank you for using Zazzle.com

Best Regards,
Mike
Content Management Team
Zazzle.com, Inc.


I have contacted tempting products to point out that they cannot hope to enforce this trademark, and received feedback from numerous route 66 organizations who say this is a public domain term that has been challenged without avail in the past. Please help me to stop this unfair restraint of trade. I searched zazzle and of course found many products that use the tags and images route 66, and have posted messages to a few asking for feedback if they are officially licensed by tempting products.
ZZLTalker
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 12:00:08 PM

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Joined: 8/13/2009
Posts: 199
shopaholicchick
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 12:08:43 PM
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Joined: 10/6/2008
Posts: 12,216
what others are doing cannot be a gauge of what you can do - other people rob banks every day does not mean you can do it.

this company has contacted zazzle with i am sure a legal notice to comply. your ONLY ramification is to find and pull the actual trademark and IF it does not also state their use for printed products/clothign and such THEN you need to contact them and advise that their trademark does NOT cover those products and THEY will have to supply zazzle with something stating that they contacted zazzle in error.

as of right now if zazzle puts yours back up zazzle will be sued by tempting - whether zazzle or tempting is correct either way zazzle will be forced to pay thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in court and legal fees to find out who is correct. zazzle is NOT going to be willing to pay this large amount for a product which may never make $.01.

the link you supplied is invalid
deemac1
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 12:56:10 PM
 Zazzle Proseller
Groups: ProSeller

Joined: 4/14/2007
Posts: 344
My products with Route 66 were removed too. It infuriated me but fighting with Zazzle or 'tempting products' for 3 of my products that I don't believe ever sold was just too much trouble.....and probably not very productive when my Irish temper is running high.

But I sure did like my photo......

http://www.pbase.com/deemac/image/123798866
gojohnniev
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:56:27 AM
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Joined: 4/22/2010
Posts: 3
Greetings,

This is johnnie v on the editorial staff of Route 66 Magazineand we have been alerted to the actions of route66licensing.com against vendors selling route 66 products. Of course, "Route 66" and the image of the Route 66 shield are in the public domain. We, on behalf of vendors and artists, are taking up the matter with Tempting Brands. We have noted that the route66licensing web site is guilty of copyright infringement in the use of photographs and images that are copyrighted by artists and photographers that we recognize. Route 66 Magazine will pursue this aggressively. Please feel free to contact me at johnniev@roadsideculture.com.

cheers,
johnnie

AudreyJeanne
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:25:27 AM
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Joined: 3/20/2010
Posts: 5,755
That's really cool, JohnnieV I'm glad for those artists here who have been bullied by this organization!
cowboyannie
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:28:04 AM
 Zazzle Proseller
Groups: ProSeller

Joined: 9/21/2008
Posts: 8,851
Location: Wisconsin
Quote:
"Route 66" and the image of the Route 66 shield are in the public domain. We, on behalf of vendors and artists, are taking up the matter with Tempting Brands. We have noted that the route66licensing web site is guilty of copyright infringement in the use of photographs and images that are copyrighted by artists and photographers that we recognize. Route 66 Magazine will pursue this aggressively.



I'm glad to hear this.
NightOwlsMenagerie
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:52:31 AM
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Joined: 2/9/2010
Posts: 393
good to hear. Our state has route 66 license plates with the sheild image. I hope they don't pull those xd
ripcobalt
Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 7:34:27 AM
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Joined: 3/29/2008
Posts: 4
Location: Barnett
Three cheers for Johnny V. You're a hero. Grin
And sorry for the cross post, i was *ed off the day i heard of this crapola.

Follow up to my original post: I have had no return contact after repeated e-mails to tempting brands, am trying the written route now.
Apparently this Angry parasite only believes in answering applications for license. Which brings up an issue that zazzle CAN help with. what recourse if the complainant just doesn't respond?

For the poster who suggested pulling the original copyrights, I did that when i first heard of this obviously unenforceable claim.
maybe the link to the USPTO was mangled in the forum:
http://tess2.uspto.gov/

One thing that did occur to me. Perhaps Tempting brands is not speaking of a US copyright. Maybe they are speaking of registry in some other country. Still makes their claim invalid.

That is why i would like to see zazzle reference the materials presented by a complainant when they remove works.
I mean, if i say i own the color red does zazzle heed that or ask for proof of any kind? If proof is presented, why doesn't the artist get that info in the complaint?

Copyrights are not like bank robbery. If other do it, and don't get complained about, then I can do it also. That's why its important to know who got notified and what their artwork was.
shopaholicchick
Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 8:09:30 AM
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Joined: 10/6/2008
Posts: 12,216
you would need to contact zazzle directly and ask them for a copy of the complaint so you can research it since your research shows that their claim does NOT apply to printed works.

zazzle will NOT answer customer service inquiries in this forum which is clearly stated in the forum rules.
dogplay
Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 10:04:29 AM
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Joined: 3/26/2007
Posts: 2,468
ripcobalt wrote:
One thing that did occur to me. Perhaps Tempting brands is not speaking of a US copyright.
They aren't talking about copyright at all. They are talking about trademark. Steaks and bananas are both things people eat, it doesn't make them interchangeable. When you write to discuss trademark issues don't talk about copyright, it won't help, it will hurt.
Robbirt
Posted: Saturday, April 24, 2010 2:38:15 PM
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Joined: 8/5/2009
Posts: 415
You need to be aware that copyright and Trademark violations fall upon you the creator to do the research, prior to actually making the sale of the item.

Zazzle is correct in its obligation to pull your infringing item, they can be fined up to $75,000 per infraction just for a copyright infringement. As Dogplay stated your not even discussing Copyright.

Even if Tempting is incorrectly filing against you via the type of product they are noting. My apologies I didnt take the time to hit all of them, as there were 226 items in the basic search for Route 66. Note, there are a multitude of other Route 66 Trademarks that you could also be infringing upon like the one currently assigned to ROUTE 66 HOLDINGS LLC. of which IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Men's, women's and children's clothing are covered.

You are correct in the fact that Trademarks are applied to certain types of products, your complaint shows that you did not even take the time to do the research to find out if you were infringing on a easily recognizable mark or image. Which you are as the creator suppose to do adequate research on your own in an effort to contact any other owners of said image or marks.

It can be stated if the mark is in fact so widely known that it can even reach beyond its designated products if it can be seen by an examiner or judge as a potential infringement on said trademarks product image or lines.

Complain as you might about getting the notification, those companies are somewhat required to notify you of your potential infringment otherwise it makes their Trademark easier to be challenged.

But ...as I've stated before dont take my word on it, talk to a Intellectual Property Attorney or someone who has actually obtained an education in this field, prior to seeking help from people who don't.

Best Wishes and good luck in your pursuits
gojohnniev
Posted: Monday, April 26, 2010 8:17:38 AM
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Joined: 4/22/2010
Posts: 3
Greetings,

First, thanks for the feedback but I don't aspire to be a hero so comments on this forum that refer to me as a hero are giving me way too much credit. We will need to work together in a team effort. There are a number of e-mails circulating privately amongst artists and route 66 activists and we are moving towards forming a coalition that will take on Tempting Brands. We do have some heavyweights involved and posts on this forum have been helpful. Standby, in a week or so we will have an important announcement that will concern everyone that has been targeted by Tempting Brands with regard to route 66 products.

johnnie v
Blue_Highway
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 10:30:59 AM
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Joined: 4/27/2010
Posts: 1


Robbirt is incorrect in many of his statements, which I assume were made due to lack of knowledge regarding the US shield. There has been no infringement by any product seller using the standard shield with generic lettering and numbers. I researched this issue extensively in the mid-1990s. The US highway shield, in all of its incarnations, is public domain in the United States and can be used by anyone for any purpose. Some of the trademarks mentioned apply to specific logo designs for specific products. They DO NOT apply to the US shield or the words "Route 66," unless they are part of a unique, artistic design. This has been tried before in the US and was denied. I have documents from the trademark office so attesting. Tempting Brands, whom I suspect is still owned by the same person we battled in the 1990s, owns the trademark in many European countries, China, and possibly in other places where US trademark law is not recognized. However, even in those countries publications such as magazines, books, etc., are exempt. Tempting Brands is fully aware of the public domain status, yet they continue to intimidate those they have little fear of reprisal from. Try contacting them and you will be stonewalled. Zazzle is dead wrong for pulling products without bothering to find out if Tempting Brands is making a legitimate claim. They are also irresponsible for hiding under their desk instead of asking Tempting Brands why they are non-responsive to complaints. If they aren't willing to deal with such issues they should get out of the business. As mentioned by Johnnie V, those of us who care about fairness and the historic integrity of the old road will aggressively pursue recourse against Tempting Brands.
Robbirt
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 5:02:45 PM
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Joined: 8/5/2009
Posts: 415
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4004:iraoq5.2.3

Is one example of where the "US sheild" is trademarked and live and can be contested in the United States and can be pursued via a court case.

There are 225 other Trademarks referencing Route 66, Wordmark and Trademarks included. Granted I may or may not agree with whether or not they should have the "right" to these trademarks, facts are they were given the trademark and can challenge anyone who they feel is infringing on their right to maintain that trademark.


It is also NOT a court of zazzle that this action needs to be taken up with.

Until someone establishes in court or via governmental policies, judge, ruling, etc. Zazzle has every right to pull your product from being sold. They even have the right to not sell anything you present, it is so stated in their TOU.

AS I STATED ABOVE - I REPEAT

But ...as I've stated before dont take my word on it, talk to a Intellectual Property Attorney or someone who has actually obtained an education in this field, prior to seeking help from people who don't.
LaLyle
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 5:15:31 PM

Groups: Member

Joined: 11/10/2008
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia
wow, i've always wondered what happened in a situation like this. its a shame that this company would try to intimidate like this. do they get any profit from this, besides being bullies?

store
gojohnniev
Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010 6:49:53 AM
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/22/2010
Posts: 3
Announcement

We have purchased the web domain www.stoproute66licensing.com along with web site hosting space. A placeholder page is online now and the web site is under development. We are gathering content for the web site. If you have been targeted by route66licensing.com, you can help us with content for the web site by e-mailing me example images of items that have been targeted and your contact info. Some of you have already contacted me. Thanks.

We will construct the web site cataloging abuses by route66licensing.com.

We will provide well researched and documented resource information on the shield image, route66, mother road and other identifiers claimed by route66licesing.com.

We will also expose the route66licensing.com tactics used to unethically register route 66 identifiers.

After a fact-finding period, we will be organizing aggressive action against route66licensing.com.

The following e-mail is now active for correspondence.

info@stoproute66licensing.com

cheers,
Johnnie V

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