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I think this has been discussed a long time back.

Does anybody have a register of touchmarks? If not would anybody consider starting such a register?

I have a touchmark which I use on work that I am happy with (so yes it is still like new). Is there any way I can register that as a trade mark or something to stop anybody else from using it? I don't think art forgers are suddenly going to start faking copies of my weightlifting benches or log baskets but it is nice to be able to "sign" a sculpture uniquely.

I suppose as I am living in the land of the illegal copy I am probably the least appropriate person to be asking this question!

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To my knowledge there is no central registration point.
Many times I heard the old boys say
An artist sighns the front
A machinist signs the back and
A blacksmith doesnt sign anywhere.
I know this has changed over the years with touch marks being more prevelent.
Ivan Bailey said he did not sign because he made the money making the piece and he felt if the antique dealer years from now wants to make the money saying it is an Ivan Bailey they would have to research the piece to prove it.

People who make reporductions of old pieces say to mark with a date to stop the piece being resold as an antique.

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Anvil Fire has a list of touchmarks. I don't know how current it is. I do know a local smith that has his up on anvil fire. You could put it up in the gallery here for starters. Maybe Glenn would consider a touchmarks page.

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Here's a link to anvilfires registry
Doesn't look like its had many new registrations... I'm trying to come up with a touchmark too.

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I believe the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths also hold a register, as well as having their own touchmark for approved smiths.

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A fellow member of the Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association, Terry Husted, is trying to put together a registry of Illinois Blacksmiths, past and present. Anyone, in Illinois, that would like to have their touchmark, or that of a former Illinois blacksmith, included in the registry can contact Terry at the address below. Send a sample of the touchmark, along with any personal info and, if you like, any contact info, to Terry Husted, 14642 Townhall Rd., Clinton, ILL. 61727. Got mine sent in. He'd like to register as many Illinois smiths as possible.

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Philip, since your in China this advice will not work for you. As for those in the US why not aslo register it as a trademark? I am not saying a blacksmith list would not be important. But, I hope people realize the importance of registering their mark. Someone could duplicate it, and you would not have legal recourse. Most people do not realize how easy it can be to record a trademark (google is your friend). It could be done for as little as $500 last I checked.

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Hello Winston,

I trained / worked as a lawyer in the UK - but registered as non-practising years ago; however, UK & US law are on the whole pretty similar so... as long as you have a unique design and and can prove that it was created by you (perhaps by just getting a reputable person or two to sign and date over a copy of it) you have copyright.

Should this not work in the US you could be sneaky, send a letter to a decent law firm asking them what it would cost to copyright your design (asking, in passing, if they thought the design was suitable for copyrighting). Their reply, regardless of content, should be pretty good evidence of your having created the design by a given date.

G.

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Hello Winston,

Should this not work in the US you could be sneaky, send a letter to a decent law firm asking them what it would cost to copyright your design (asking, in passing, if they thought the design was suitable for copyrighting). Their reply, regardless of content, should be pretty good evidence of your having created the design by a given date.

G.


I like it! Good idea.

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an other way is do your design put it in a envelope and mail it to yourself put the letter away in a safe place (do not open it) ever any question and need to present it in court it can be opended then. Post mark will stand up in court. I do this with all my designes will protect them. I use the origional drawings.

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Francis Cole said:
an other way is do your design put it in a envelope and mail it to yourself

 


This does NOT hold up in US Court, if you want it safe, register it with copyright office of your federal Gov't.

 

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Has anyone ever tried the Notary method? What would you do just have a Notary witness a piece of paper saying you began to use the Touchmark on such-and-such a date?

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Can anyone give some advice concerning a touchmark that is very very close to your touch mark. I have just come across a touch mark that is so close to mine that it seems like a modified version of my logo.  Any advice on how this should be treated is welcome. Should I leave it alone or should I ask him to change his touch mark?  Mine is the one on the Ricasso.

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They look somewhat similar but the main difference is the Omega character in the logo on top which makes it distinctive enough from the one on the bottom that I wouldn't worry about it. Just my opinion though.

Pnut

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Good Morning,

What makes you think someone else should change their touchmark? How about you change yours, if the similarity is bothering you. There are no legal reasons. In my eye, the 2 are kind of similar, but are not the same. If you have registered your 'Trademark', that might be different, but it is not worth the fight and Lawyers fees.

Neil

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Mr. S. Fiddle,

In both Canadian and American law,  where there are two deemed similar trade marks the one that was used first is the winner when trade mark registration is sought.

Similarity happens where one trade mark is confused with the other one. ( by the reasonable person test).

It does not make practical sense for a small entity to bother with a trade mark registration. It is more practical to conduct commerce under the radar, and trust that the other mark holder does not notice.

In other words, it is easier to get forgiveness than to get permission.

SLAG.

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I am in Australia where the laws are basically the same as in the US and Canada and I first used the mark in the US.  I definitely have the first use of the symbol hands down... 17 years kind of takes care of that.  The responsibility is usually on the one who has recently adopted it to change their mark when it comes to trademark law... I know the laws I was just wondering about what was the standard practice in the community if this sort of thing comes up.  I ended up contacting the guy nicely and after a bit of chatting he decided to change his mark after selling his current inventory.  I am surprised at the number of similar (and exact) symbols which are out there in other businesses.  When I started to use it I was the only one who had anything even close to this logo.  It may cause me problems in the future, and that is something that I will have to give some thought to. For now the problem seems to be solved with little drama which is good.. we will see what the future brings...  

Thanks for all your advice.

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G'day Tim. Good to see you solved the problem amicably. I did think that the two marks were significantly different, but anyway, all is well. Cheers from FNQ.

 

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Thanks Ausfire, it is always nice when things are solved amicably.. he was also starting to use his logo in promotional material with the message Alpha Omega Knives which is what my knife brand is called. The combination were getting a little too close to not cause some confusion in the reasonable person test.  Stay safe and cool!

 

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Thanks Marc1, I agree totally.  The number of similar designs now are very many in different businesses.  I only just became aware of that over the last few days after I asked this question here.  When I came up with this design back 17 years ago I did an extensive search and found no similar designs.  The only designs were Alpha next to Omega which didn't look visually similar at all.  I will have to consider what my options are for the future as it is clear that I can't defend my sole use of the design based on first use alone and no trademark.  I don't want to get into the mess of legal action as it is distasteful, against the spirit of the community, and would almost certainly fail.  That is why I asked the question here as I was unsure how this sort of thing should be dealt with in the community.  I appreciate the feedback and advice and I have some things to think about as I move forward.

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