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Legal question anyone familiar or no a little about it


Forum: Cloth Diapering

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  #1  
June 19th, 2008, 06:47 PM
heathersott's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Ok so I have had my website up for a few months now it is starting to do really well. To where people are starting to get to know us the search engines are starting to pick us up and things are finally moving. So anyways I get an email today from bummis (www.bummis.com) the manufacturer and they said that we are infringing on their trademark and that I have to change my company name and send proof to them? my website is www.babybummies.com We dont sell the bummis brand and frankly when I started the website I didnt even know who or what bummis was. Its not like I am www.bummies.com or anything plus I am in the us and they are in canada. Can they do this and make me change my business name. I dont think we can afford to take that hit we are already several thousand into the business for inventory and start up expenses and people are just getting use to our name? I dont think I can afford to try and get that all changed. I wonder if they are just threating to see if I will change if for them even if they cant make me. Does anyone know if they can do this? Its bologna if I was selling their product maybe but I am not. Let me know what you girls think. I am all upset (which I shouldnt because I am at extremely high risk for preterm labor) but I dont know what to do.
LMK what you all think
Heather
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  #2  
June 19th, 2008, 06:56 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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I don't know anything about legalities but if you google bummies you get a lot of results for Bummis - maybe they trademarked both spellings because of the likelihood of misspelling? I think I heard something about name similarity in competing products. Like you couldn't make another cola and call it Koke. I hope someone with a law background has some advice!
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  #3  
June 19th, 2008, 07:04 PM
Snakes-n-Snails
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Wow, I don't know if they can do that or not. I hope someone else here can answer. Try to stay calm hun, okay.
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  #4  
June 19th, 2008, 07:09 PM
heathersott's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I hope someone knows or knows someone they can ask because I have worked so hard I emailed a lawyer I doubt he will email me back. I dont think I can afford to pay a lawyer to find out. and its such a simple question either they can or cant but I dont know besides I know there are a gazillion knock offs out their and get away with it ( and I am not even a knock off I sell different manufacters)
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  #5  
June 19th, 2008, 07:33 PM
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Unfortunately I'm fairly certain they can. Especially if they've trademarked Bummis and Bummies. I would call a lawyer and set up a consult - most of the time those are free. Even if it's on the phone, that should be a fairly simple thing for them to answer yes or no too.

I had a friend get in a great deal of trouble with Disney for having a personal website - not business, personal - that was called Shriek's Swamp. It was too close to Shrek, and they threatened him with all sorts of legal action. It took one call to a trademark lawyer for him to decide he wasn't up for that fight.
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  #6  
June 19th, 2008, 08:00 PM
mystimay's Avatar Queen LaClotha
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Actually, I am pretty sure they can.

My suggestion is to change the spelling to like www.babybumees.com Or something, perhaps you can find a way to redirect your website and I am sure your customers would understand. If I were you, I would consult the co. and ask what exactly they feel is an infringement. BUT I am about 99 % sure it's within their rights to ask you to change your name.

But .. thanks for th linky, I gotta go check out your site!
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  #7  
June 19th, 2008, 08:24 PM
heathersott's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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The thing is the spelling is already different they are bummis we are bummies baby bummies. Honestly if I was to pronounce theirs I would think bumm- IS but that is my opinion I dont know I tried contacting a lawyer and never heard back from them so I dont know
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  #8  
June 19th, 2008, 10:25 PM
Elisabeth1017
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Aw good luck hun.
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  #9  
June 20th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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I don't know anything about it.. but I hope you can figure things out!
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  #10  
June 20th, 2008, 08:55 AM
*Ashley*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think they can make you change your name but a consult with a lawyer just to ask a few questions like this should be free. Call one until you get an answer because if you wait for them to call you, it could be a while, because naturally you would get bumped to the bottom of the list of priorities on a lawyers schedule.

Some of you might have Pampered Bunz custom made dipes. She just recently had to change her name because Proctor and Gamble had a cow saying that it was too close to the name Pampers. They made her change it. If you type in her old site, www.pamperedbunz.com, it automatically redirects you to her new site www.doodlebunz.com. So I know that would be an option for your existing customers to be redirected. I guess you could always contact her through her site and ask her what she had to do to change her name and how much it cost.

Good Luck!
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  #11  
June 23rd, 2008, 01:30 AM
kaytibear's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Did you register your business name with your local county or state? Also, check and see if they have it trademarked or copyrighted first. Bummi's is a brand name, yours is a store. I could see if you were selling Babybummies brand diapers but you aren't.
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  #12  
June 23rd, 2008, 07:23 AM
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I dont know anything about legal stuff. Hope things get figured out.
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  #13  
June 23rd, 2008, 10:53 AM
outnumbered's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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That is upsetting, I'm sorry. I was going to mention the lady who had pampered and Pampers made her change it because it was too close to their own. I'd consult a lawyer because you never know. They as a big company might use their weight to push you around because you are a cloth diaper biz and your name is similar to theirs. They probably do have the money to copyright both spellings of the name, but I'd do a consult with a lawyer to be sure. I wouldn't want to run away with my tail between my legs. But if they own both spellings, you'll have to change it.

Hugs.
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  #14  
June 23rd, 2008, 07:22 PM
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I don't think they have trademarked it in the US, but there are agreements to protect trademarks over international borders.

this article might be useful:
http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/trademark...-trademark.html

from that article "One trademark legally conflicts with another when the use of both trademarks is likely to confuse customers about the products or services, or their source." I think that's the point that they would argue.

It might be potentially less conflict if you didn't sell diaper covers at all. Some companies reach agreements by putting a link to the others website to help any "confused" customers (something like, looking for Bummis covers? You're in the wrong place), but I would definitely talk to an attorney about that first.

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