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Every once in a while I run a search on my shop name,  today I found a knife maker/modifyer using my name on face book, I sent a letter explaining I want him to stop using my business name but  How can a person use a web site and not see there already exists a fenrisforge.com site?

 
his name is Josh Vaught  other than paying my lawyer if he does not drop it asap . ( Which i will do)  are there any other ideas and suggestions to get his to stop?
 
I did file complaints with You tube and face book over his  copyright infringement of the name

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Property rights are so OLD news Steve, everybody deserves equal credit for everything if they try don't they? 

If this happens often I'd consider having my Lawyer or check Legal Zoom to draft a cease and desist demand letter. Make it crystal clear to Youtube and FB that if they do not immediately remove the offending material they will be held liable as accessories to identity theft.

FB especially exists as a personal information and identity harvesting machine and seeing as they're fighting over $5 billion and climbing in fines and penalties for gross ID theft I'm pretty sure you can lean on them with a little help from a pro. 

People are howling about Youtube allowing minors to post some very dangerous videos on all counts. 

I'd give Youtube and FB ONE complaint before filing suit for criminal aiding and abetting. 

I don't hate people but thieves come close to the threshold. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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The legal tort of 'passing off',  is ancient, still relevant, and is applicable here.

It was developed to stop people from claiming to be a craftsman who had a reputation for fine work. Those persons and the guild they belonged to were zealous in protecting their interests

"Passing off",  should be included in a cease and desist letter.

It is a simple matter to apply for a trade mark* for  "Fenris forge", and later allege trade mark infringement**,  in such a letter, and a law suit if it came to pass.  (very unlikely).

(in good time you could even get a court to issue a permanent injunction.  Breach of that injunction could result in contempt of court, and, also,  very highly likely, imprisonment for such contempt.)

SLAG.

*A  layman can apply for a trade mark at the U.S. Patent and Trade Mark Office.

** trade mark infringement is vastly easier to prove than "passing off",  in Federal Court.

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He responded that he can use any name he wishes. Since I havent filed for federal trademark with the USPTO ( I have LLC ) He doesnt see how I have any rights to HIS name. and he didnt know I even existed, I pointed out that in a web search of the name Fenris Forge I fill the first page except for his one entry for Youtube and it is going to be hard to prove he didnt know I existed with that fact and his having a web page using that same name.  So it looks like he wants a court case over this :( says my bullying tactics wont work

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Dear Steve,

Is he using "Steve Sells" or "Fenris Forge?"  If the latter it may be an honest mistake.  I can see, given a Norse interest and the alliteration, how two people could come up with the name independently.  That said, there is a legal concept of first in time, first in right which would give you precedence.  Also, in any legal action you would have to articulate how his use of the business name harms you and confuses customers who might think they were dealing with you when, in reality, they were dealing with him.

I agree with the previous posters about beefing Facebook and sending him a nasty gram through your attorney.

You might also contact the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Section in both your and his states.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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He is using Fenris Forge. his facebook account has fenris' forge because I already had the fenris forge name. so he aded the " last year. I found this all out today.   Apparently he modify's  existing blades and axes and re sells them under the fenris forge name, says he designed the logo so its his name. he has a you-tube video under the fenris forge name also.  I have been using that as a trademark and name since 2000 and had the domain fenrisforge.com since 2005. as well as the copyright for my books listing that name.  Because of this crap I am filing the formal trademark paper work Monday, just more money :(

 His use of my business name  can and may have already hurt my reputation for quality. It sure can add confusion but he is in California and thinks I am being a bully., says smiths should support each other,  but that does not seem to include his using my business name.   I wonder how he would feel if some one used his name for making money?

I just hope I  included enough information for facebook and youtube to make an informed decision about my complaints

 

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Well as Master Slag esq. is in fact the only xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx attorney I know and respect, I would certainly take his advice to heart. 

Slag, did I get the profetinal description right? 

Sencerly the unreliable, drunken farrier in residence...

 

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Charles,

I much prefer Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian cuisine to bottom dishes.

My note above was written for a first letter from Mr. Sells to the scoundrel. I now know that this was done before my written comments.

Therefor Mr. George N.M.'s comments are correct and much more relevant to the situation as it now stands.

It is very much more difficult to make out a good case for the tort of passing off. Trade mark infringement is much easier to prove and is much preferred.   For example a registered trade mark is deemed to cover all of the United States. (the former tort raises questions of geography, e.g.  is the name confusable in California? etc. etc.)

The better bet is to apply for a trade mark registration at the Patent And Trade Marks Office.  Counselor George N.M. is correct when he stated that the party that used the (unregistered trade mark), earliest will get the registration for the t.m.  (if the t.m. application should the ownership of the t.m. be contested after first filed whilst pending). Upon getting successful registration, of the trade mark,   court proceedings should then be considered.

I suspect that Mr. Sells can prove prior use, over the miscreant's first use.

I strongly urge that the trade mark application be reviewed by a trade mark lawyer, before filing. For example the 'statement of wares' in that application is important. The statement and scope of, use (types) etc. and of proposed use should not be drafted too narrow nor overly broad. There are many other such considerations to be considered, too.

General, ( t.m. inexperienced lawyers) are not helpful in this regard. Consult with a lawyer who practices trade mark law. (or a registered trade mark agent if there are such folks in the U.S.) 

Please note that I did not practice trade mark law in the U.S. and I am retired, so this information is not 'air tight.' nor necessarily up to date.  (I have been retired for almost a decade now).

My main specialties were in high technology patent and licensing law for Canada and the United States.  (& world-wide really).

Charles you got it right.

Also, I had no idea that you drink heavily. Is that really so?

SLAG.

The issue at law, here, is a matter of trade mark and not copyright.

 

 

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I should be able to prove to a court and the USPTO my Common law use of my trademark, as I have claimed TM since 2000.   I have had the domain of fenrisforge.com since 2005 and posted a claim of copyright for the site itself  since 2005 as well;  that is why I started off with a copyright claim.  My not being a lawyer, I doubt takes away any of my claims intent  when telling him to remove the references to my business name

 

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Posted (edited)

Steve I'm sorry to hear about all this. What happened to doing the right thing because it's the right thing? I'm sure you'll prevail in the end. I hope it doesn't cost you too much money in the meantime.   

I looked at the YouTube page. He has 1 subscriber and 12 views so I think the harm to your reputation hasn't been too great yet but how can you really tell. It's a shame more people don't do what they know is right. I wish you all the best and hope you can settle it quickly and with as little hassle as possible. 

Pnut

Integrity is a rare commodity these days. 

Edited by pnut

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Sorry to see this Steve, I have no valuable advice to give whatsoever, but just want to say I agree with your take, doubt there is anything accidental/ coincidental in all of this, to me, it is simply theft, taken 1 step further, as not only is your rep being used, it is also, potentially being destroyed, having said that, the guy , just might be an excellent craftsman, but indicators suggest that is unlikely

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I agree with Counselor Slag.  However, Steve, you will have to decide how much this is worth to you now and for future protection.  I can see this coming up again in the future.  Fenris Forge is a cool name and I can see someone intentionally or innocently trying to use it.  Unfortunately, I don't think that trade mark attorneys come cheap but I have never used one so I'm just making an educated guess.  I don't think that the fee for a trade mark application should break the bank.  The amount of $35 sticks in my mind.

I'd offer to help pro bono but, like Slag, that is not my area of expertise.  If you decide to go solo and want me to review something email or message me.

This is probably a good reminder to all of us, particularly those of us who derive a significant amount of our income from the craft, that trade mark protection is a wise business decision.  The more money involved and the higher the reputation of the business the more important it is.

"Reverente vidite, mortales, heroem laborare."  ("Look on in awe, mortals, a demigod is at work.") (A good sign to post in all blacksmith shops.)

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Na, Slag. I figured if I was going to take a good natured jab at your former profession I would return the favor buy bashing mine: 

my appologies to George, I was unaware you were also an attorney, my above comments were intended as a friendly jest. Please forgive any unintended offense.    

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No offense, Charles, the combination of skills of attorney and blacksmith is pretty rare.  Slag and I are the only ones I know of.

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Charles,

NO apologies were needed. I know that the post was made in jest, a joke to be sure.

George,  are there only two of us?  That is,  attorneys that are smiths. There is one fellow i.f.i. member, in up-state New York, who is a knowledgeable paralegal. I forget the gentleman's name.

I suspect that there are others, but are they a little shy?

Regards to all.

SLAG

 

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Smithing is my only income currently, Electrical work is dead at present.   so I can not afford much, the non refundable filing fee is $225 to $400 depending on which  paperwork I can do myself

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Check out the U.S.P.T.O. web site for information on t.m. and how to apply for a registered t.m.

In Canada, you could personally write up your application and file it. (I believe that you can do the same in the U.S.A).

Have a trade mark professional go over your documents, before finally filing it.

There may be a professor at a law school,  near you, who is  practiced/schooled in t.m. law,  that might help you with that. (perhaps, all that for barter or gratis).

Contacting an intellectual property law firm and having a chat with a senior lawyer is another possibility. I am sure that many of them would be intrigued with the subject of black smithing that they would be  happy to chat with you.

Litigation is a high stress area of the law. I found that hammering steel was a wonderful way to relax. Mention that to them.

As I suspected,  there is no separate profession of non-attorney, registered trade mark agents, in the United States.*

That is the case in the United Kingdom, and in Canada, and probably many other Common Law jurisdictions.

SLAG.

In Canada, of course, you can be both an attorney and a registered trade mark agent.

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Allow me to make two more points before I leave this thread. The term "statement of goods" is more properly known as  "statement of goods and services". 

For example goods could be "Fenris knives" and services could be "Fenris school of blacksmithing instruction" etc.

A trade mark search should be carried out well before preparing and filing a trade mark application. Such a search can be done by anyone from the comfort of their home.

All that is needed is a 'computer' for searching in the data base at the  trade mark office's site.

The subject of trade marks is not easily mastered,  in a short time period. And my posts just cover a few of the most important highlights, there is much more.

SLAG.

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10 hours ago, SLAG said:

George,  are there only two of us?  That is,  attorneys that are smiths.

I know of another retired attorney though he claims not to be a blacksmith. Even if he's more than a fair hand at the anvil, power hammer and who knows what other smithing equipment he's acquired since last we talked. He admits to being a sculptor with one of the wildest imaginations of anybody I know. A true master of scrap art and master story teller. 

He's not a member here, fora are not his thing.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Herr Frosty,

He's not a forum fella? Pity that.

He sounds like a thoroughly fascinating chap, as well as an attorney (retired).

Is this gentlemen an Alaskan resident too?

Regards,

(Guten abend mein freund,),

SLAG.

(not just your ordinary pest, I'm newly improved).

 

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1 minute ago, SLAG said:

He sounds like a thoroughly fascinating chap, as well as an attorney (retired).

Is this gentlemen an Alaskan resident too?

Fascinating in spades though I don't believe he speaks law, he was thoroughly burned out 30 years ago. No, not Alaskan, I wish.

Search, "Jurustic Park."

Frosty The Lucky.

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Just checked it out. He is indeed fascinating.

Gutte nacht,

Gotta get some before I.C.E. visits me in the morning.

Dan.

I just watched his video. The man is a creative genius. No wonder law could not contain him.

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One thing about trademarks etc (as I understand it; I'm not any kind of lawyer, but one of my best friends from college is a trademark attorney) is that you HAVE to defend it. That's one reason that you see big corporations going after little mom-and-pop operations with similar names: it's not about the minuscule  loss of business revenue, but about demonstrating that you're willing to protect your brand.

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Youtube refuses to take action, I am sure with them its a matter of:  can I cause problems if they dont, and can he if they do...  and nothing to do with what is right or wrong or who has been using it longer, they dont care about that information :angry:

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