T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I just received a C&D letter last night. I went to the site that was posting the claim and they have a legitimate gripe. I designed a shirt for a client that wanted a blend of both their favorite teams. I came up with a design and he loved it. In fact alot of people liked it and the shirt became very popular locally. Unknowingly there was already a design out from a local sport store that's pretty darn close to what I came up with.

My shirt!

Their shirt.

So it's understandable that they would think it's a stolen design, but what they did next is what really annoys me. They posted my website all over their blog and website stating my design was stolen and are frauds. Gave our contact info to their customers and told them to call and complain. As a business I really don't think that's a way to carry yourself and I will not respond. They claim their image is trade marked and they will sue if i continue to sell my items. I can't find their name, image, or design in the data base with the info they provided. How can I be sure if the design is TM'd or not? They clearly did have the design before I did because there is a post to there site dated back to Sept. 09.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,497 Posts
While I think their tactics were very unprofessional, I would do as they ask,if it went to court I doubt you could win that fight even if you counter sue for defamation.....

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
well Im not as nice as most and would say yours has enough of a difference to be a unique logo. maybe change it just a bit more and run with it. People who act like that are usually throwing around hollow threats anyways. If he had enough business savvy to have that trademarked he probably wouldnt act like a 16 year old school girl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,497 Posts
How can I be sure if the design is TM'd or not? They clearly did have the design before I did because there is a post to there site dated back to Sept. 09.
I could be wrong but I believe all they would have to prove is that they created the logo before you did, by your own admission they had it in 2009, I don't believe it has to be trademarked to be a infringement of IP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,664 Posts
I could be wrong but I believe all they would have to prove is that they created the logo before you did, by your own admission they had it in 2009, I don't believe it has to be trademarked to be a infringement of IP.
This is correct for a copyright... but I believe it has to be registered before a lawsuit can be filed. See this link - U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright in General (FAQ).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,497 Posts
This is correct for a copyright... but I believe it has to be registered before a lawsuit can be filed. See this link - U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright in General (FAQ).

Thanks Mark, not to stray from the OP's post but I thought that "art" was automatically copyrighted at the time of creation, same as photography, and I see why it would have to be registered before you could sue. Thanks for the link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,250 Posts
I wouldn't do a bunch of internet posting to squabble about which screenprinter actually stole the design first.

Maybe a carefully written note or phone call to the "other shop" letting him know that you will not sue him, or rat him out to the NHL/MLB (both of whom have REAL lawyers) if he takes down the negative comments and stops soliciting his readers to call and harass you (might be considered tortuous interference)

Then rat him out anyway. Even if he prevails it is a big hassle dealing with BIG LAW FIRM IP Lawyers if you are a small Mom/Pop shop. Maybe you will hit the IP Pirate Trifecta.... see if he has any Harley Davidson or Disney art that he sells.

Maybe then prank call him pretending to be a Liscensing Manager for the NHL and you are interesting in licensing his design to sell in the giftshop.. NOT!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I could be wrong but I believe all they would have to prove is that they created the logo before you did, by your own admission they had it in 2009, I don't believe it has to be trademarked to be a infringement of IP.
I have no problem admitting a mistake. It's the threats and the slandering of my character that I am having a problem with. Before even contacting us, this person has already started a campaign marketing us as frauds. Starting blogs, comments, and posts. I also believe they purchased a shirt to distinctly make a report to Paypal which has just mysteriously limited my account due to a complaint. Mind you I just received this email at 12am this morning and still haven't responded.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,485 Posts
you both should be getting sued by the REAL trademark holders... The sports teams & leagues
I would have to agree. You can't take someones' trademarked logo, make something out of it, then claim it as your own.

I can't see the other shirt as the Mod removed it, not sure why. But if they are using other peoples logo elements in their design, they are wrong too.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top