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

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#1 of 78 Old 07-21-2003, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Arm's reach co-sleeper has trademarked the term co-sleeper.
Great for them
:

So the follow up is that they've told all carriers of the Baby Bunk that they cannot list Baby Bunk next to their products or they'll retract their agreements.

Baby Bunk can no longer use the word Co-sleep in their product or description of their product.

AND they can't even use co-sleep as a meta tag for their web busienss!!!

GRRRR!!!

This makes me so mad! They are trying to force this WAHM business OUT of business!

I HATE this type of behavior. Why not just compete and let the better product speak for itself? I have an arm's reach and I am so upset that i have it now
I wish I would have bought the other.

I will make sure anyone I ever talk to about it knows that if they support Baby Bunk they are supporting a small WAHM business, and that is important to me!

Just had to pass it on. I don't know all the details or where to find them. I just heard this info through a retailer of the Baby Bunk.

If you have more info or if any of the info I have is false, please do let me know!
I do acknowledge that second hand communication can change,so I will keep my mind open ...

(oh and if you are curious to see what baby bunk is, they advertise regularly in Mothering Magazine in the back black and white section with a picture and here is their site. Their product is really cool as it doubles as a bench for older kids )
http://www.babybunk.com/
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#2 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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Oh, wow I don't think Arms reach would win that particlar lawsuit. They certainly didn't coin the phrase and I don't think that should ever have been allowed.

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#3 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 12:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by abimommy
Oh, wow I don't think Arms reach would win that particlar lawsuit.
Wouldn't bet the ranch on that. Looks like the Arms Reach folk took the time, effort and investment to register the mark in at least the U.S. and Canada:

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.
FIRST USE: 19970716. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970716
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75289244
Filing Date May 9, 1997
Filed ITU FILED AS ITU
Published for Opposition February 24, 1998
Registration Number 2226721
Registration Date February 23, 1999
Owner (REGISTRANT) ARMS REACH CONCEPTS, INC. CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 27162 Sea Vista Drive Malibu CALIFORNIA 90265
Attorney of Record PETER M EICHLER
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

A federally registered trademark has a legal presumption of the registrant's ownership of the mark and the registrant's exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration.

And I note Dr. Sears appears to recognize their rights in the mark:
http://www.armsreach.com/sears.asp

Finally, the Baby Bunk people have saught to register their mark as well:

Word Mark BABY BUNK
Goods and Services IC 020. US 002 013 022 025 032 050. G & S: INFANT SLEEPING APPARATUS, NAMELY, INFANT BEDS THAT CAN BE ATTACHED ALONGSIDE AN ADULT BED. FIRST USE: 19980131. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19980131
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 010103 010110 011102 261107
Serial Number 76266554
Filing Date June 4, 2001
Published for Opposition September 24, 2002
Registration Number 2662083
Registration Date December 17, 2002
Owner (REGISTRANT) Baby Bunk, Inc. CORPORATION MASSACHUSETTS 246 LaGrange Street West Roxbury MASSACHUSETTS 02132
Attorney of Record Paul D. Durkee
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "BABY BUNK" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
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#4 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#5 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh and Rowans Dad, how did you find that info so fast?!
:LOL
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#6 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:11 AM
 
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It's what I do!

Plus, the gals are asleep and I'm doing some late night work.
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#7 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:13 AM
 
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That makes me want (or with I could) copyright a word like "crib," "formula" or perhaps "eat" or "sleep" and never let any corporations use it. It's a frikkin verb for the sake of the holy's! It's something you DO! Perhaps we should be asking why a company can copyright such terms!?!?!

Perpetually TTC #1.  Let's go, Lightning!
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#8 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ms. Sisko
It's a frikkin verb for the sake of the holy's!
Co-SleepER is not a verb.

Btw, kwik IP tutorial (trademark is not a copyright):
http://www.nolo.com/lawcenter/faqs/i...E6B5BD92AACD48
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#9 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:26 AM
 
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I feel like such a moron when this happens - I saw "co-sleep."

Perpetually TTC #1.  Let's go, Lightning!
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#10 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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so Baby Bunk can still use the term Co-Sleep?
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#11 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ms. Sisko
No problemo. Btw, you look like you could use a Homer Simpson "D'oh" to go with that emoticon:
http://www.frontiernet.net/~dffynst/sounds.html

Now go to sleep....I know I am!
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#12 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 01:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by LaLa
so Baby Bunk can still use the term Co-Sleep?
Hey, I'm not on the clock! And Baby Bunk's got their own legal counsel!

Kwik answer that I learned on my first day in law school: it depends.
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#13 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 02:03 AM
 
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I understand the frustration and wow what a crock! Maybe a suggestion just help coin her idea more (actually hers seems better as you can carry on the sleeper for much more than just a modified pack 'n play) could be to say it helps promote the family bed. Or share sleep w/ your child. Sears even mentions in the Baby Book that he prefers shared sleeping (share sleep) to co-sleeping. That it encompases so much more for him and I like the term family bed/share sleep as well. JAT
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#14 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 05:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by RowansDad
It's what I do!

Plus, the gals are asleep and I'm doing some late night work.
T what do you do? Copywrite lawyer?
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#15 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 07:54 AM
 
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LaLa, I do understand your frustration
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#16 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 10:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by El Casey S
T what do you do? Copywrite lawyer?
More on the trademark end than copyright.
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#17 of 78 Old 07-22-2003, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hilary
And then they could patent that too.
Timeout fo another drive-by tutorial:
http://www.msnbc.com/local/hpc/n0219030015.asp
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#18 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 12:00 AM
 
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Family sleeper?

Sidecar sleeper?

Modern English has loads of related words, surely the Baby Bunk company can come up with something to convey the meaning.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#19 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 02:47 AM
 
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I agree Meiri, that there are other terms that work, but the important thing is that Baby Bunk can't use the keyword co-sleeper which is the word that people will be looking up on their internet searches for a co-sleeper sidecar sleepsharing apparatus. People look for co-sleepers and now they will only be able to pull up the Arm's Reach. Excellent business strategy, IMO, for Arm's Reach, but lowdown and scummy. Reminisent of Starbucks and how they look up the zip codes with the highest coffee sales to set up shop, which of course are the locations where Mom and Pop coffee shops are already located selling coffee. I am so sick of big companies trying to steal little guy's thunder. As if they didn't already have millions of dollars to spend on marketing. I mean, really, Arm's Reach probably spends more on marketing than Baby Bunk makes gross per year. (Sorry WAHMama who does Baby Bunk. )

Anyway, Co-sleeper is a noun, but it can also be used in "My little co-sleeper" meaning my daughter, sho sleeps in the Family Bed. Can Baby Bunk do that, RowansDad? Have a quote from a customer or something that says, "The Baby Bunk keeps my little co-sleeper right where she belongs, right next to me." or what about, "I tried other co-sleeper type devices, but none were as secure or decorative as the Baby Bunk." Just curious. If they could have the term co-sleeper in a quote they might be able to get pulled up in some searches.

Lauren
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#20 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 12:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by veganmamma
People look for co-sleepers and now they will only be able to pull up the Arm's Reach. Excellent business strategy, IMO, for Arm's Reach, but lowdown and scummy
First, weenie legal mumbo jumbo disclaimer. The following is some info that may help explain the somewhat arcane area of trademark law and its leakage onto the Internet. None of the following should be construed as legal advise.

There is case law that ruled use of a direct competitor's trademark as a meta tag to bring Web users to your website has been found to be trademark infringement unfair competition:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newo...a?OpenDocument

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/propert...ags/NITON.html

With regards to 'keywords', both Google and Overture search services have set up procedures for TM owners to report trademark misuse in each search services 'keyword' service:

http://www.google.com/tm_complaint.html

http://www.content.overture.com/d/US...markinfo.jhtml

Part of the responsibilities of being a trademark owner is the task of enforcing the trademark, whether it is from possible consumer confusion between similar trademarks for related goods/services, diluting the strength of a mark or allowing the mark to become generic.

The quaint term of 'genericide" is used to describe the process in which a trademark gains economic value for its owner, but subsequently loses its value through misuse, primarily by generic use, and falls into the public domain. Xerox is rather tenacious in sending letters to publications etc. to correct people
who use the TM in the sense: "can you xerox this memo for me?" Also, every so often you'll see full page ads taken out by Xerox that informs people that the proper usage is 'I need this photocopied' rather than 'I need this xeroxed.'

The following are a sample of former trademarks that have been rendered generic:
http://courses.unt.edu/chandler/SLIS...nts/sld031.htm

Finally, here's a decent link to the U.S. Patent & TM office's webpage the has more info (if your collective eyes haven't glazed over yet): http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/.
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#21 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 12:35 PM
 
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So does this mean I can no longer call myself a co-sleeper without paying tribute to Arms Reach? So legally, I could call myself an Arms Reach Co-Sleeper, but I couldn't call myself a co-sleeper without committing trademark infringement, right?

"Do you sleep with your baby?"
"Yes, my husband and I are. . . um. . . er. . . co-. . . um. . . my husband and I are people who sleep with the baby."

:

Monica, mom to Lilly (7) and Carter (4) and rainbow baby Elsa (11/27/10).
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#22 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally posted by MFuglei
...but I couldn't call myself a co-sleeper without committing trademark infringement, right?
Wrong. In a nutshell, a trademark owner in an infringement claim has the burden of proving that the infringer's use of a mark has created a likelihood-of-confusion about the origin of the user's **goods or services**.

Your usage above, however, is a drop that leads to a trickle onto a stream that could lead to the mark becoming generic. Readers may find the history of the word ZIPPER pertinent to this thread:

http://www.bartleby.com/61/90/Z0019000.html

Note the difference in another entry for VELCRO:

http://www.bartleby.com/61/73/V0047300.html

I'm sensing a hostillity here to trademark owners in general. Look, a trademark is often a valuable property of a seller or manufacturer, because it is the symbol of the company's goodwill and of its products and services. An extreme example is that the famous US trademark COCA-COLA is worth much more than the entire corporation's bottling plants, commercial offices and other holdings. And it ain't just the commercial juggernaut's that are behind such claims: http://www.womenspress.com/newspaper...5-3amazon.html

Here is another blurb that may better explain, given that it is written by the guru of U.S. TM Law: http://www.sba.gov/hotlist/tmdef.html

Now, I gotta finish what I should be doing and head out with the camcorder to catch the redtailed hawk that is buzzing the 'hood.
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#23 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 02:19 PM
 
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From your sba site, Rowens dad:
"The name of a type of product cannot be a trademark, because every maker of that product is free to use its name. Sony, for example, is a well-known trademark for televisions, radios, and audio equipment, but no one can have trademark rights to the word television or radio. On several occasions, however, words intended by manufacturers to be used as trademarks for new products were instead used by customers to name the products; such words then lost their legal status as trademarks. Examples include aspirin, cellophane, and escalator. "

So does this mean that after a few years on the market, when everyone is calling WHATEVER tool a "co-sleeper", that the company will lose their trademark as it has become common language? I'm just curious because Kleenex by any other company are still called "facial tissue" even though we all call them Kleenex. . . Or Coca-Cola, though many places in the south people refer to any soda as a Coke (eg. I'd like a Coke, What kind, a Sprite please - I've heard this exact conversation in Clifton, TX).

I'm not exactly hostile, though I do find some of the recently discussed patents and trademarks I've heard of to be. . .well, silly. I've seen so many things marketed as "co-sleepers" that I find it hard to believe that Arms Reach should be the only company to get the title, ya know?

Thanks for the info tho - it was an interesting read.

Monica, mom to Lilly (7) and Carter (4) and rainbow baby Elsa (11/27/10).
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#24 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 04:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by MFuglei
So does this mean that after a few years on the market, when everyone is calling WHATEVER tool a "co-sleeper", that the company will lose their trademark as it has become common language?
I would change "will lose" to "could lose". A lot depends on what a trademark ower does to policy the mark and to bring brand awareness to consumers and/or those who may be using a trademark manner in a generic manner.

For example, RollerBlade is pretty good at bringing brand awareness to its ROLLERBLADE mark and trying to get people to use the term 'in-line skates':
http://www.rollerblade.com/about_us/trademark.html. The folks at Velcro are trying to keep the VELCRO brand alive too:
http://www.velcro.com/about/know.html

And I think I misspoke aways back and noted that CO-SLEEPER was a noun. Actually, the basic rule is that trademarks are *adjectives*, not nouns, e.g. "BAND-AID bandages", "BAYER aspirin", "KLEENIX tissues".
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#25 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 04:45 PM
 
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Thank you RowansDad for all the info.

I am concerned though, that Arm's Reach TMed the word "co-sleeper" when it is already a generic term for something. KWIM? Everyone already used the term co-sleepING, for the act of sleeping wiht one's child and everyone was already using the term co-sleepER for an apparatus that hooks onto the side of the bed fo co-sleepING. It seems they shouldn't have gotten a TM on something that is already a pretty generic term. TIA for the technical response I know I will get. :LOL

Lauren
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#26 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 05:01 PM
 
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Are you sure it was a generic term for a side bed before Arms Length adopted it? According to the TM registration information that I posted above, Arms filed to register May, 1997 and claims a first use date of July 1997.

If so, then its competitors absolutely snoozed because they should have opposed the application to register the mark:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac...#_Toc536249467
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#27 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 05:39 PM
 
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I don't know when the term came about to tell the honest truth. It may be that competitors snoozed. The Baby Book came out a long time ago, I'm not sure of the exact date, but I seem to remember reading an old edition of it that used the term co-sleeper and the book may have been older than 1997. I'll have to look into that if I can spare a few seconds.

Also, Arm's Reach is threatening to sue Baby Bunk for using the term co-sleep and co-sleeping in reference to the act of sleeping with one's child- They can't do that, can they? They TMed co-sleepER, not co-sleepING--- not the act of co-cleepING, right?
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#28 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 05:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by veganmamma
Also, Arm's Reach is threatening to sue Baby Bunk for using the term co-sleep and co-sleeping in reference to the act of sleeping with one's child- They can't do that, can they? They TMed co-sleepER, not co-sleepING--- not the act of co-cleepING, right?
We are now getting into an area where whatever answer I give to the above could be construed as legal advice. I just assume not go down that lane. Suffice to say, there is a lotta muscle flexing done in the area of TM law: http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/stor...970926,00.html

But hey, thanks for letting me yap about trademarks in MDC AND LURING ME AWAY FROM WORK!!!
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#29 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 06:23 PM
 
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:LOL:LOL:LOL YOU lawyers are too funny!! :LOL:LOL:LOL

What's the point of working if you can't be lured away to MDC?

Okay okay, so one poses the theoretical question now...

Say I make slings. New Native TMs the work sling as in the object sling. The New Native Sling. I can no longer call my product sling. I can't even say, wear your baby in a sling! Can they sue me for saying, "Slinging your baby is a great way to keep them close!!"

Hmmmm????...

Well... it was worth a shot- you gotta admire my moxy :LOL
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#30 of 78 Old 07-23-2003, 06:55 PM
 
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But don't trademarks have to be classified as a noun or whatever??

I would see if they had "sling" trademarked as a noun. "Slinging" isn't a noun..it is...isn't that a gerund?

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