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  1. #1
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    I just received a letter from an attorney representing the owner of the BUYITNOW trademark. They are complaining about the Buy It Now images from the eBay editor kit? They said if I don't remove them they are fully prepared to enforce their rights. Anyone else receive this letter?

    This Buy It Now sure has been controversial to say the least!

  2. #2
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    Don't you just love it when someone gets a trademark on a common phrase and acts like they thought of it first?

    I'm going to trademark "Kiss My @ss" and sell it to groups wanting to talk to lawyers.

  3. #3
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    ipohopper,

    You received a letter or e-mail? Why do you end your second sentence with a question mark?

    You're in the Valley, eBay is in the Valley, maybe you should call them.

    It would be helpful if you actually posted what they wrote instead of asking us to comment or speculate based on what you wrote.

    "Buy It Now" cannot be protected by a federal trademark. Patent maybe. A trademark cannot be registered (with the feds anyway) if it is simply descriptive.

    Do a search at http://www.uspto.gov/

    Since you didn't post any details I can't comment on what you're talking about specifically.

  4. #4
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    It was a letter. The question mark was a typo. I had already checked the uspto database and the company they are representing, BidChat does have a trademark filing for "BUYITNOW" no spaces. eBay has a filing for "Buy It Now" image with spaces.

    I had told them in a previous letter that I will continue to use the "Buy it Now" images (that show in the editor kit) since they are a registered trademark from eBay.

    Their response:
    ------------
    We are although perplexed by your statement that "we still use the "Buy It Now" images from eBay as they are registered Trademarks of eBay." We are perplexed because eBay has merely filed a trademark application in the U.S. Trademark Office for a stylized design of "Buy it Now", Which of course is not a registered trademark and is not yet mature for opposition. In view of the foregoing, and to amicably resolve this matter, BidChat requests that you immediately cease your use of the "BUYTINOW" trademark and/or the substantially similar "Buy It Now" in the META TAGS you use to list your companies services with various search engines and that you issue updated information to those search engines so as to remove any references to "BUYITNOW" from those listings.
    --------------

    I sent them a further explaination and sent them the Editor Kit user guide which clearly shows the "Buy it Now" images that would appear on an affiliate site

  5. #5
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    If life was fair, you could tell them, stop bothering you and have them sue ebay. Once it has been resolved between them and ebay you will abide the decision.

    Afterall, you are using ebay's phrase to promote ebay, if they defeat ebay in court then everyone will comply. What these bozos know is that ebay has billions and will fight them into bankruptcy, you on the other hand might be bullied into complying.

    The interesting thing about this is, that buyitnow was so unsuccessful that it took down its site and says its coming back 'in early 2003'. I'm not holding my breath.

    Mike
    Bovine Bazaar
    Cow and horse themed gifts and collectibles

    Bovine Bazaar
    Cow and horse gifts and collectibles

  6. #6
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    It would seem to me that the lawyer you received the letter from needs to read up on trademark infringement.

    Trademark infringement occurs when a party uses a trademark that causes a "likelihood of confusion" between goods or the relationship between the parties that make the goods.

    They would never be able to prove the use of Buy It Now would cause users to believe that your site is affiliated with BUYITNOW. Further, case after case has shown that the use of common phases like Buy It Now in meta tags is not infringement.

    They could also sue for trademark dilution but would have to prove:

    1. Ownership
    2. The mark is distinctive and famous
    3. The defendendents use is causing dilution

    They could prove #1 since they are registered. They would never be able to prove #2 (a simple survey - which many IP laywers imploy would show little awareness of the BUYITNOW trademark)

    #3 would also be difficult,, since you cannot "dilute" sales from a business with no current active sales.

    The Trademark office is famous for giving out common name trademarks as long as they are not already taken in the same industry.

    If you are only using Buy It Now and not BUYITNOW you have nothing to worry about. The letters by the lawyer are common and a way for them to show active enforcement of their trademark which can be used in future court cases.

    Present this lawyer with the items above and see their reaction. They expect people to run scare by their letters, but once the facts are out they have very little to stand on.

  7. #7
    I like traffic lights
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    From FC:

    ******

    BuyItNow goes bye

    BuyItNow.com
    They say they "merged" with PCwonders.com -- 'cept everyone who worked for BuyItNow.com is now jobless.
    When: Jul 06 2000 07:56PM
    Company: BuyItNow.com
    Points: 149
    39 comment in the Happy Fun Slander Corner!

    ******

    I'd say this guy WANTS you to panic and call eBay in a fluff (along with all the other people he's sent letters to), so he can sell the TM to eBay.

    Probably owes a bunch of oney to a bunch of people from his failed dotCom attempt.

    I'd say eBay will tell him to go away. He'll go away, and the TM will die off.

    (BTW PCWonders.com appears to have died just shortly afterwards).

  8. #8
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    Usually ignoring a problem won't make it go away, but I think this might be an exception. If you tell them to direct their complaint towards Ebay I would say you've done enough. Their legal basis for threatening you is flawed, and they have no chance of winning anything from you in court. Ebay is much bigger than you or these morons at BUYITNOW, I'm sure they can handle this. BUYITNOW (PCWonders.com) does not have the money, time, or correct legal argument to pursue this into the court rooms.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    hmmm pcwonders... free coffeee....

    ----
    -J
    Merchants: Do you realize that some of your affiliates are being paid commission on sales which you have paid for via PPC, offline advertising, and your targeted mailings?

  10. #10
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    I received an email response indicating I have already complied buy removing some "BuyItNow" text in my keywords and they are not going to push further on the eBay Buy it Now images.

    I think what they did was buy or acquire the BUYITNOW trademark and will try to go after eBay once eBay's mark is open for opposisition. I'm sure they will want eBay to settle

  11. #11
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    So, it was a cease and desist letter? My attorney says the first step in dealing with this is to ignore them. The second step is to send it to your attorney.

    There are a lot of cease and desist letters that have nothing to do with the law and everything to do with being a bully.

    I can't say which case this letter is but I would be very careful of dealing with a lawfirm one on one without a lawyer. If it was me I would have ignored it until they turned up the heat. Chances are they wouldn't have done that.

    Interesting reading:

    http://www.chillingeffects.org/trade...=467&print=yes

    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=use...ase+and+desist

  12. #12
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    ipohopper , can you send a link or ID numer for the trademark search you did? I can't currently find anything.

    thx

  13. #13
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    Just go here:

    http://tess.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f...ate=r1jn68.1.1

    and search for "buyitnow"

    To show eBay's search for "buy it now"

  14. #14
    I like traffic lights
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    From the C&D on ChillingEffects:

    "In addition, you must deliver to this office any and ALL material in your or your company's possession or control bearing on our client's trademarks and anything substantially or confusingly similar thereto, including, but not limited to, ALL inventory of key fobs, t-shirts, advertising and promotional materials and/or articles used in connection with the reproduction or copying of such work or the like; and provide an accounting of gross sales to date for the items objected to herein. Let us know what you believe to be a reasonable amount of time to collect and ship all such materials to this office."

    What you do in that instance, is go collect up a couple of container loads of dead refrigerators, stamp the side of them with the "offending" mark (and a photocopy of the C&D), then proceed to have them delivered en mass to the stupid attorney that cut and pasted that paragraph into the C&D letter.

    That's usually the last time they use that paragraph.

  15. #15
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    ROFLMAO @ Drewbert

    Too many attorneys have way too time on their hands.

    ---
    Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love.

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