Little Trees Air Freshener Company Ads Warn People Not To Mess With Its Trademark
from the seems-a-bit-proactive dept
We’ve seen a variety of overly aggressive actions concerning trademarks lately that go well beyond the stated purpose (and the letter of the law) concerning trademarks. However, one of our readers, BendWeather, sent in something we hadn’t seen before. He was reading the latest (paper) copy of PhotoShop User Magazine and discovered the following advertisement:
That is not true. The law requires that a trademark holder actively police infringement on its trademarks and activity that would likely cause confusion or dilution of the trademark. That does not mean any use that is without permission. For example, in writing this post about Little Trees’ trademark policy we did not ask permission, nor should we need it, since we are commenting on the policy itself. We are not competing with the company, confusing anyone as to the origins of the mark, or diluting the value of the mark, unless you consider explaining how the company is overly stating the rights associated with the mark as diminishing its value (which would be quite the legal argument).
Also, in looking at the ad, the company is being somewhat misleading in claiming that the image is “private property.” It is not. It is covered by trademark, which is not the same thing as private property, and the company is doing a disservice to everyone claiming that they are the same thing.