Can You Trademark Awareness Of A Disease?

from the someone's-trying dept

BoingBoing has the latest story of trademark insanity, where a "charity" focused on the rare, but apparently serious disease of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), is trying to trademark the phrase "Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness" and appears to be threatening other charities for using the phrase, and (according to this petition) has filed complaints to get fundraising stores shut down for using the phrase. The whole thing is so bizarre, and so far outside the purpose of trademark law that it's really difficult to understand how this issue could have gone as far as it has. But, you have to say one thing for the charity doing this: they have "raised awareness" of CDH.

Filed Under: awareness, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, trademark


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  1. identicon
    brown65, 9 Jan 2009 @ 11:13pm

    Details - Details...

    The mark is in the Supplemental Registry. There is a generic term of the phrase then there is the organization's term of the phrase with their goods and services. It would only infringe if the the mark was used and the goods and services were replicated by another.

    Petitions to cancel are the start of the suit - there must be proof which if you read the Petition, there is no legal reason listed to cancel said mark. Fraud is a basis which must be proven and first in use has been an argument long lost on Petitions. The othr organization appears not to have a conflicting mark - this also lessesn their argument. The only other legal reason listed is generic? The word Awareness itself is trademarked.

    There are also countless other phrases - and this is one that are trademarked of other diseases and conditions.

    By the way - this is a birth defect - not a disease. Details people...Interesting that the charity that has the mark is listed in the IRS and they come up in the database. The one that is making all the stink and filed the petition - go to the IRS under charities, why can't you pull CHERUBS up in the IRS search?

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