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  1. #1
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    I finally managed to get a cease and desist letter. I always wondered if this day would come and if it did I thought I would hop on ABW and see what you all had to say about it.

    Starts out like this “Website infringement”. The company is called canadameds.com and they want me to take down keywords like “Canada meds”. Here is a little quote “you have used the terminology “Canada meds” in the content and process or your” blah blah blah.

    Then in bold “We require written confirmation that the corrective actions referred to above occur no later than the close of business on July 15, 2004”

    The site doesn’t get a ton of traffic and I probably have the phrase in the site 2-3 times. I don’t have a real problem taking it down, I’m just ticked off that they think they can make me take down keywords that are similar to their domain name.

    1. Is this legal or just a scare tactic?
    2. They are in Canada and I’m in the US can they do this?
    3. What would you do?

    What if someone comes after you for a domain name that is similar to theirs? Are there any good internet lawyers that get paid only if you win?

  2. #2
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    To be honest this sounds like a case where the easiest thing to do would be change the copy on the site.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    well, they don't have exclusive license to the word "Canada." which leaves "meds," so change that to medicines if you must.

    my opinion, which carries absolutely no weight with the courts in either country, is that since no mention has been made of trade marks (has it?) they're just trying to scare you. canada and meds are common words. are they afraid you're going to get more hits than they are?

    you might write back with a registered letter asking for more information, like: Please cite the law under which you claim to have the authority to demand this action.

    any lawyers in the crowd?

  4. #4
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    Did they give you a TM registration number to support their claims?

  5. #5
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    TM? No, the letter says it has been using "Canadameds" name and marks in association with its on-line pharmacy and

    "As a result of such use, Canadameds has a well-developed reputation in the global marketplace"

  6. #6
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    It depends on if it is a trademark. I would think it is not.Further, "Pepsi" is trademarked but that does not mean that you can't talk about Pepsi on a website. It all depends.

    Still, the easiest thing to do is comply. But, I would also seriously consider teliing them to shove it.

  7. #7
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    Even if I do comply, do I really need to send a letter back to these ? I'm not spending the price of a stamp or the time to write to them.

  8. #8
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    Sid,

    Its normally only $75.00 for a consultation with an attorney!

    Spend the $75.00 and find out what is factual.

  9. #9
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    I'm with you sid..just change the wording and be done with it. Let them spend their own money chasing you down. Most likely, they won't bother, and in that case if they do, you can deal with it then.

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    You can do a trademark search at http://www.uspto.gov

    The closest thing I see there is "Canada Best Buy Meds, Inc.".
    Michael Coley
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  11. #11
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Yes, but what do you lose by changing the copy? And no, I wouldn't bother writing to them, just email them. You can say that you dispute their claim but in order to achieve an amicable settlement you will grant their request on this occassion.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  12. #12
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    Looking at this more, I would tell them where to go.

    There is no such thing as "website infringement".

    Unless, there is more to this, you should be able to put Canada Meds anywhere you want on your website.

  13. #13
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    Canada meds <> Canadameds, even if they're using it as a mark.

    Too descriptive. Not a coined term.

    People are searching for "canada meds" in order to circumvent the drug market rip-off in the USA.

    Tell them to take a long walk on a short pier.

  14. #14
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    I have had to deal with a number of these... both with and without lawyers.

    Here is my advice... if they made no mention of a trademark, then do not even email them back. IGNORE them completely. If they did make mention of a real trademark, consult your lawyer before you acknowledge anything.

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone. I made the change to the site, but I am not going to contact them.

    Now what about my domain question?
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> What if someone comes after you for a domain name that is similar to theirs? Are there any good internet lawyers that get paid only if you win? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Lets say your domain is flowersforless.com and they are the owners of flowers.com. Do they have a case against you?

  16. #16
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    those are different words altogether. and even flowers is generic. I'd expect more problems if I registered oldtoyota.com or anotherebay.com

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Its normally only $75.00 for a consultation with an attorney!

    Spend the $75.00 and find out what is factual.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Very good advice! Also, there is something else to bear in mind. There are always those companies who do this because they know a small business owner will probably scare easily.

    None of us really wants a legal confrontation with a corporation that may have very deep pockets moneywise, but that doesn't make them right. Consulting an attorney would probably be the best money spent in cases such as this. If we always roll over for the large corporations, then they will always get what they want. Why do that if you don't have to? Instead, seek legal advice and take the large company to task and have them show proof that their claim is valid.

  18. #18
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    You should always reply to a C&D letter.

    Ask for a photocopy of the trademark letter from the Trademark Office or the DATED trademark application.

    Then tell them that if they do not send you the information you request to prove their case, you will file an EXTORTION complaint with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    The Feds take this stuff real seriously, so they will investigate the company.

  19. #19
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    lame company

  20. #20
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    One tactic folks like this burned me on is my hosting company...

    If you outsource your hosting (like to GoDaddy or whoever, instead of having your own server), you've got another issue to deal with...

    I had a party accuse me of something similar - was not a gray issue - I had legal and contracted rights as an affiliate, to use a trademarked name on my site. Guess what, they still screwed me.

    They filed a complaint with my hosting company saying I infringed on their trademarked name. Hosting compnay shut me down AND did not give a crap that I had the contracted right to use the name... since I paid the hosting company a whopping $8 a month or whatever, they didn't care if I was guilty or not - they have an automated process for replying to infringement claims - and it's not a time-consuming proess for them... goes like this..
    +Someone files a complaint against you
    +They email you and shutdown your site
    +Process to have it reinstated is to have original complainer remove their filed complaint (screwballs wouldn't do that for me because they didn't like one little point where I said their product was great, but needed one little change to one up the comp).

    So if you use someone else to host, be careful... your hosting company doesn;t make enough money off of you to truly care about your issues... just a fact of their biz model...

  21. #21
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    You should have seen the cease and desist letter - no, package - I got from Meta**ica.

    I'm thinking of selling it on eBay.

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