Arm's Reach pushing WAHMs OUT of REACH!!! UGH!!!!! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 06:56 PM
 
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I'm trying to re-word my question so the answer won't appear to be legal advice. :LOL
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#32 of 78 Old 07-26-2003, 02:30 PM
 
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Reading dicussion, but haven't read the links yet, but this thought occurs to me. Baby Bunk and whoever needs to have their lawyers searching the parenting literature for the use of the terms "co-sleeper" and "co-sleeping".

If I'm understanding correctly a company cannot TM a word that's already in generic usage.

I'm not sure, but I think the term has already become generic. We were co-sleeping with our son back in the early 90's... though I don't remember if we used the term or not. I did refer to his toddler bed as a sidecar when we went to that arrangement.

I learned about the concept in Mothering. It seems to me that I was seeing Sears and others discussing the concept on national TV, Oprah for example(back when I used to watch....).

Among the population of families who BF, AP, co-sleep, etc the concept is already generic and has been for years.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#33 of 78 Old 07-26-2003, 11:07 PM
 
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The terms co-sleep and co-sleeping, have been used by James McKenna dating back to the 1970's with his research on the family bed and bed sharing. I can not understand how a company was able to trademark the word "co-sleeper"...it's like being able to trademark the word "chair" !

RowansDad...can a trademark, once issued, be cancelled??:
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#34 of 78 Old 07-27-2003, 12:00 AM
 
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I agree. Co-sleeper is already generic. i think someone should try to get their TM cancelled.
L
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#35 of 78 Old 07-27-2003, 02:19 AM
 
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TM are weird things. I read an article entitled carschooling in a magazine once. very clever. it mused about how as homeschoolers she was in her car educating her children more than she was at home and perhaps she should be called a carschooler. Someone was right on it complaining because they had TM the terem Carschooling and how dare they use it. Dumb! I had used that term before, jokingly but still. it isn't uncommon, it is a verb, and how do you TM everyday language. I could understand Tming a name like coca-cola (can you get me a coke? what kind? a dr. pepper" when I heard my self utter these words was the day i decided I had to move out of TX :LOL not kidding though) but how do you Tm someting so already popular and used?

As for the Arms Reach, for as long as I remember when someone sadi "I am goi g to get a co-sleeper for this baby" it has been the arms reach co-sleeper. I think they have a firm foundation for this. do I think what they are oding is fair, nice or moral? no. but I do believe it is legal within thier rights.

I never thought I would get into an intresting conversation about trademarks.

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#36 of 78 Old 07-27-2003, 09:12 AM
 
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So those of us co-sleeping before 1997 were doing what? and our children were sleeping on what?

DS's co-sleeper was his toddler bed. DD's co-sleeper is the crib with one side off.


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#37 of 78 Old 07-27-2003, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Although their trademark could be fought and revoked, who has the money to do it?!

From what I understand the legal back and fourths get very expensive ... tens of thousands of dollars.

We are talking about small wahm businesses who can't afford 30,000 dollar lawsuits that are drawn on and on...

So that is how arm's reach is able to sneak by with this kind of trademark.

It's completely shadey and unethical, IMO.

Look at their trademark item description

Quote:
Word Mark CO-SLEEPER
Goods and Services IC 020. US 002 013 022 025 032 050. G & S: furniture, jewelry boxes not of precious metals, picture frames, sleeping bags, mirrors
What does jewelry boxes, picture frames, sleeping bags, or mirrors have to do with the cosleeper?
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#38 of 78 Old 07-27-2003, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by LaLa
What does jewelry boxes, picture frames, sleeping bags, or mirrors have to do with the cosleeper?
Because besides bassinets, Arms Reach sells other goods that use the CO SLEEPER mark, like the following: http://www.armsreach.com/access_sheet.asp

There are several avenues to have a trademark registration cancelled, here's one:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...2000&TYPE=TEXT

I note that there was a cancellation proceeding filed against the owner of REALTOR:
http://realtytimes.com/rtinteractive...256B46006C06BC

That proceeding was dismissed, but not because the appeal board found the term generic:
http://williamsoncountyrealtors.org/...2002/page2.htm
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#39 of 78 Old 07-27-2003, 03:46 PM
 
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OK...From the info RowansDad has just supplied us with, Arm's Reach's trademark can be petitioned for cancellation...it's within the 5 year period (the trademark was registered in Feb. 1999).

Now, let's be more realistic about this...Baby Bunk is a run by a WAHM...and we all know that this company wouldn't be able to handle the fees to have this trademark cancelled. Are there any legal organizations that would help out financially in a case like this?

I was loaned a Baby Bunk to use and have passed it on since. I and am so glad that I picked this product over the Arm's Reach...even more so now!!!! I just hate seeing a WAHM work so hard to build a business...one with a great product and then have a big company harress and bully them like this. There has to be something they can do to fight back!!!!!
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#40 of 78 Old 07-27-2003, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Meiri
So those of us co-sleeping before 1997 were doing what? and our children were sleeping on what?

DS's co-sleeper was his toddler bed. DD's co-sleeper is the crib with one side off.

Ok but did you say "we just put our son down in his co-sleeper?" or did you say "we just put him in bed/his little bed/the toddler be next to ours/his side car bed . . . "

They aren't tradmarking the word co-sleeping or co-sleep. they are just trade marking the term co-sleeper meaning specifically ta sedond bed to hook to the family bed for the baby to sleep in. the more I think about the more sense it makes.

a general question about trademarking something like this: Lets say company A has a product that lends itself natuarally to a name like the co-sleeper in question. And then a few years later company b makes a different product that is similar, but improved and usues the same word to describe it (because it so naturally fits and people have come to refer to infant beds attatched to adult beds as cosleepers) If company B were on top of things could they get a a trade mark on the term Co-sleeper before company A or could they just make a statrement saying we are using this and claim it and even though we can't trademark it we want to say neither can company A or any other company because it is already generic. iof course this a mute point because company A in this situation filed for the trademark apparently quite a while ago but if they hadn't. . .

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#41 of 78 Old 07-27-2003, 06:52 PM
 
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So those of us co-sleeping before 1997 were doing what? and our children were sleeping on what?

Well, my dd was sleeping in my bed, not a "co-sleeper". Honestly I think the term co sleeper to refer to an object someone sleeps in that is actually seperate from what others are sleeping in is inaccurate anyway. I mean really, no one is actually doing any co sleeping if they aren't sleeping in the same space.

edited for typos~ I really should proof read before I post
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#42 of 78 Old 07-28-2003, 12:16 AM
 
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From what I understand the legal back and fourths get very expensive ... tens of thousands of dollars.

We are talking about small wahm businesses who can't afford 30,000 dollar lawsuits that are drawn on and on...
I think it is upposed to range from $15,00 and $25,000- That is ridiculous IMO. The system is so messed up- there is only justive and recourse for those who can afford it. I feel so disillusioned at times like these!

Quote:
It's completely shadey and unethical, IMO.
ITA!!! Arm's Reach is really disgusting. i didn't even think they were that big of a company. They are in line with Starbucks and Wal-Mart, they might as well be them.


Quote:
They aren't tradmarking the word co-sleeping or co-sleep. they are just trade marking the term co-sleeper meaning specifically ta sedond bed to hook to the family bed for the baby to sleep in. the more I think about the more sense it makes.
lilyka-

They are going to sue Baby Bunk for using the term co-sleep and co-sleeping on their website- terms they use to describe the ACT of co-sleeping which is NOT a part of the TM. Whether or not they trademarked co-sleeper and it's legit, which it isn't, IMO, a lawsuit, justified or unjustified can shut a business this small down in a second. They can count on the fact that she won't be able to afford it and eliminate the competition. Like I said earlier, I'm sure Arm's Reach spends more on marketing than Baby Bunk makes all year.
Sorry if that was poorly worded- I am angry and in a hurry.

There really should be a non-profit organization who could go after these big companies to keep them in check, but this is America- Land of Corporations- I doubt there's anything like that here.

Arduinna- I know what you mean. Dd sleeps with me too. I had a co-sleeper in the beginning, but she never slept in it, i just didn't want her to roll off the bed and I was also able to say "Yes I have a crib" so I didn't have to get into it with people. It is now in it's playpen form and full of junk and the bed is against the wall. If she slept in there I don't know if I would have considered her to be sleeping with us, it seemed too far away to put her, IMO, but the term co-sleeping is also used to describe when babies sleep in the same room, like in a bassinette near the bed. Whatever you'r definition is, some people have a really different one. i prefer the term sleep sharing or just plain ol' sleepin with the baby, but co-sleep is more generically used for sleeping in the same room with. Dr. Sears goes over that in The Baby Book which I reread after having Sephie and decided was too "mainstream" for me, :LOL but I am getting T
Lauren
edited to fix quotes
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#43 of 78 Old 08-03-2003, 09:01 PM
 
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I see a few things we can do...
1. tell all our friends about what Arm's Reach has done and tell everyone not to invest in this product. (if this kind of post is not allowed, I'm sorry I haven't read the rules of this forum, I'm not a typical poster here)
2. Anyone have a friend who's a lawyer who would be willing to help Baby Bunk out for a reduced cost or free? Let's start asking around.
and 3. Write to the US Patent and Trademark Office, the issuing agency and explain that "co-sleeper" is a common term and therefore should not have been issued as a trademark. Give examples of trademarked terms that have been refused. (yes, this is work on your part, but benefit for the great good.)
I work for a company that sells Baby Bunks and I think this is horrible. Everyone needs to band together to fit this. The owner of Baby Bunk is loosing a lot of money because of the metatag having to be changed. It's not fair and it's definitely a sneaky, underhanded thing to do to small business in general.
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#44 of 78 Old 08-03-2003, 09:35 PM
 
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Good idea Electra! Thanks for helping us get off our butts!
Lauren
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#45 of 78 Old 08-03-2003, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After I found out about this, I added Baby Bunk to my store in hopes that it would help in some way, although we are a small store so I don't know if it will make too much impact. I certainly plan on telling anyone who'll listen about this, though, and I will encourage the WAHMs I encounter to consider supporting Baby Bunk and the other smaller sleep sharing companies out there!
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#46 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 01:03 AM
 
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I actually found out about this thread in the process of talking to Baby Bunk about having them at my store too. Once I heard what they are going through I really wanted to support them.
L
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#47 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 11:30 AM
 
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Lilyka - the more I think about it, the less sense it makes. We are definitely on different wave lengths.

Arms Reach's website states:
[quote]Co-sleeping is a term commonly used to describe the act of sleeping with one's own baby in the same bed. [\quote]
http://www.armsreach.com/faqs.asp?faq=1
They admit it's a common term. Doesn't that make it not able to be a trademark? I know, they trademarked co-sleeper. But, by the info here, they are including co-sleeping and co-sleep in it as far as their competition goes.

And Rowan's Dad states that a trademark is an adjective, not a noun. What should the noun after co-sleeper be? What should the unit be called?

: madrone - : SAHM to 12 y.o. DS, : 9 y.o. DD, and : 4 y.o. DS
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#48 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 11:36 AM
 
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Bed, bassinet, cot etc etc.
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#49 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 11:39 AM
 
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But those are all items that are something different. They exist on their own. A co-sleeper doesn't. It's made to be attached to a bed.

: madrone - : SAHM to 12 y.o. DS, : 9 y.o. DD, and : 4 y.o. DS
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#50 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 11:50 AM
 
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#51 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 01:11 PM
 
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RD - all of those examples except for CraigsList were examples of Arm's Reach's usage. CraigsList called it a bed while Arm's Reach calls it a bassinet. My Oxford English dictionary says a bassinet is a *hooded cradle for a baby.* A co-sleeper obviously does not fit in that. Your dictionary site ( http://www.bartleby.com/cgi-bin/texi...inet&x=20&y=12 ) says that a bassinet is *An oblong basketlike bed for an infant*. A co-sleeper obviously does not fit in that either. If you get to the most basic generic definition of bed, then it is a bed. But this is something specific. I think I will make a poll in the family bed section asking them what they call it since AP families are the ones using this in daily language.

I think Arm's Reach admitting that co-sleep is a common verb is what this the most outlandish part. It is very common in the English language for nouns to be derived from verbs and vice-versa.

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#52 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 01:20 PM
 
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My examples were to show the TM usage (eg. TM (adjective) and noun (generic term). And only one was Arm's Reach usage, the rest were other parties featuring Arm's Reach's goods.

Has anyone taken the time to look up 'CO SLEEPER' or 'CO SLEEPING' or 'CO SLEEP' (or variations thereof) in any of the online dictionaries such as Bartleby's? I did. You may be surprised at the results.
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#53 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 01:43 PM
 
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I couldn't find it in the reference books. Which only means that AP isn't mainstream enough for co-sleep to be listed in any of the dictionaries yet. Not in my Oxford English dictionary either. But it seems like I remember some Harry Potter term being listed in the most recent addition.

I get your point behind it. Co-sleeping is not a common part of society. The US Patent and Trademark Office staff members who approved the trademark had probably never heard of the term to consider it a generic term. Which maybe that means that it has to either go to court where we (AP parents) point out that it is a generic term or we (AP parents) have to somehow get the US Patent and Trademark Office to realize that it is a generic term and pull the trademark.

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#54 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 02:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by madrone
The US Patent and Trademark Office staff members who approved the trademark had probably never heard of the term to consider it a generic term.
Actually, I know from experience that during the registration process an Examining Attorney at the Trademark Office will run a Lexis-Nexis database search of periodicals to check and see if a trademark that is the subject of an application to register is actually a term/phrase that is either 'generic' or descriptive. Neither of which are allowed to be registered.

Not to say that this term didn't slip under this bar. Just a note that even if the USPTO folk aren't themselves familiar with a term, there is a vetting process that can suss out whether said term is generic/descriptive.

Edited to add that the Canadian Trade Mark Office allowed the CO-SLEEPER mark to be registered too:
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/0843/trdp084390400e.html
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#55 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 07:25 PM
 
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I am not sayiong they are being nice. or that I would ever buy thier productnow or recommend it to anyone. But, what they are doing does make good business sense and they are within thier legal rights etc. . . They have to protect the product they invented or someone else is going to TM it and screw them.

That doesn't mean if I were to buy a co-sleeper (meaning a glorified bassinet/pack and play that attatches to my bed
) that I would buyy thiers or recomend it to a friends because they should be kinder to people in thier business practices but none the less I think they are justified in Trademarking co-sleeper.

when you do a search on google Arms reach is already all that comes up. you don't get a photo album of co-sleeping children other brands of attatching cribs or other sleeping arrangement devices. And perhaps they have already changed it but at the baby bunk sight there wasn't a single reference to the word "co-sleeper". I think they will be just fine as a company. The two products aren't really that similar ad will apeal to different people and there are plenty of key words that they canadd tosraw people to them by way of search iengines.

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#56 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 08:29 PM
 
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The TM is WHY Arm's Reach is the nly one that comes up in searches. That's a big part of the problem.
L
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#57 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 10:01 PM
 
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Yes, the TM is why the METATAGs have been changed already, if they hadn't been changed in a timely fashion Arm's Reach would have a legal right to sue.
Baby Bunk had to remove its Co-sleeper metatag, they kept co-sleep but the hits aren't as many, thus loss in business.
While having a term TMed for yourself is legal, it just wasn't done nicely. And I really don't think co-sleeper should have been TMed by anyone, its abundant usage may be limited to AP families, but it's still a commonly used word by parents and pediatricians.
It's sad...
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#58 of 78 Old 08-04-2003, 10:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Electra375
Baby Bunk had to remove its Co-sleeper metatag, they kept co-sleep but the hits aren't as many, thus loss in business.
Just to repeat what I posted a long long time ago in this thread, use of a trademark as a metatag by a competitor is actionable under trademark law here in the U.S. and other jurisdictions:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/new...ca?OpenDocument

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/...th/004276p.pdf

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/proper...tags/NITON.html.

Given that it has at least three applications to register BABY BUNK with the USPTO, my guess is that if a competitor used "Baby Bunk" as a metatag on its website that would raise the hackles of Baby Bunk.

As to the argument here that 'co-sleeper' is a generic term, may I suggest that you folks consider firing off some emails to the good Dr. Sears for the endorsement of the Arm's Reach CO-SLEEPER mark: http://www.armsreach.com/

Please note that I have no dog in this hunt, just trying to put some meat on the bones of arcane trademark law!
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#59 of 78 Old 08-05-2003, 01:19 AM
 
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Ok but did you say "we just put our son down in his co-sleeper?" or did you say "we just put him in bed/his little bed/the toddler be next to ours/his side car bed . . . "
I guess we said "...his bed...".

With DD I know we've said we're co-sleeping, but she was in her sidecarred crib right next to me.

Maybe Baby Bunk should TM both Baby Bunk and the new usage of sidecar?

"What will you do once you know?"
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#60 of 78 Old 08-05-2003, 07:11 AM
 
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You have to look at more than the first page of google when you do a google search on co-sleeper to find the non-Arm's Reach stuff. You do find Snuggle Nest, Ducky Standards, Baby Bunk (references to it, not the company), and Universal. I didn't look at all of the pages, so there are probably a lot more in the 5,700 hits.

If Arm's Reach had invented the co-sleeper and copyrighted it, I would definitely think the trademark would be justified. But they didn't invent the co-sleeper. Seems like the first BabyBunk was built in 1980. And they didn't invent the verb co-sleep. It was used long before they were around. And I really doubt they were the first to use the word co-sleeper. But I don't have any old AP books or Mothering magazines to prove that.

: madrone - : SAHM to 12 y.o. DS, : 9 y.o. DD, and : 4 y.o. DS
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agentofchaos , Bow , Deborah , Dovenoir , hillymum , Hippie Mama 79 , IAmNehaRastogi , jacobpalmer2018 , Katherine73 , Lea Martin , Lolita2345 , lorie2001 , moominmamma , Motherof3already , MountainMamaGC , NaturallyKait , queenter , RollerCoasterMama , rubelin , sren , verticalscope
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.