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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Trademarks - legal question

    I am selling a web script and on my website compare it with another product.

    I recently received an email from the owner of the other product. They claim I have

    been making inappropriate
    use of the WonderDesk trademark to post false and misleading information
    They did not specify what was either false or misleading an my emails and ICQ requests to that affect have gone unanswered. I am not worried about the information being inaccurate, I checked it thoroughly.

    What I am concerned about, possibly, is any legal issue about using their trademark, if wonderdesk is a trademark (i have not checked yet). What are the rules on this? I have basically just listed their name in the table on my site as well as linking to their main page.

    Any advice on this?

  2. #2
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    If WonderDesk is a US-based company, you can do a trademark search at http://www.uspto.gov (US patent and trademark office).

    Let me offer this as an example.

    Pepsi and Coke are both registered trademarks of their respective companies. Yet on television you always hear things like "People prefer the taste of Pepsi over Coke.." . Pepsi is using the trademarked name "Coke" in their advertisement, but they are not saying anyting false or inaccurate about the product itself (i.e. Coke is made from manure so buy Pepsi), they're just stating the results of a taste-test.

    That sounds similar to what you have. You're offering a comparison of both products and showing how yours is better. There's nothing wrong with that. It's called "healthy competition"




    (disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and I dont intend to provide legal advice that you'd actually go through with. However, my mother is a paralegal so I know a little bit about copyright and trademark laws on the internet)

    Hope this helps
    Sparkie
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    This is what my thoughts where. My only remaining thought is do I need to acknowledge somehow that it is a trademark by putting Wonderdesk TM for example? Anyone know that?

    I have read some more information from here:
    http://www.bitlaw.com/trademark/index.html

    And to have a case they need to show confusion between the products. I hardly think that is likely when my website is showing the differences between them!

  4. #4
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Registered trademark

    Here's what I found from the USPTO.gov trademark search:

    Word Mark: WONDERDESK
    Goods and Services: IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Software, namely, downloadable software for web-based customer service inquiry management and tracking.
    FIRST USE: 19990415. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990415
    Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
    Serial Number 76325662
    Filing Date October 16, 2001
    Filed ITU FILED AS ITU
    Owner (APPLICANT) WEB WONDERLAND, Inc. CORPORATION NEW YORK 36 Coventry Drive Spencerport NEW YORK 14559
    Attorney of Record Richard L. Morris, Jr.
    So whenever you refer to them, go ahead and put Wonderdesk(r) and at the bottom of your site with your disclaimer, put something like "Wonderdesk is a registered trademark of xxxxxxx"

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    ironically, this is theirs:

    http://www.helpdesks.com/webhelpdeskchart.htm

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot
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    My only remaining thought is do I need to acknowledge somehow that it is a trademark by putting Wonderdesk TM for example? Anyone know that?
    You may want to state that in fine print at the bottom of the page saying that wonderdesk is a registered trademark of such and such. You do not really need to do that if it is just a comparison but just do it and then you are covered.

    Other than that, if you are just using it for comparison purposes then there is no problem and it is not in violation of anything. If they are not responding your quesions, just don't worry about it.
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  7. #7
    Chikin Choker Hellbent's Avatar
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    I would blow them off completely unless contacted by their legal department with a letter of intent.
    Straight from the TP! And I don't mean the Trailer Park.


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