Frugalista! Frugalista! Frugalista! Now... Where's My Cease And Desist?

from the this-is-getting-silly dept

The term "frugalista" is apparently quite popular, such that the word has even been defined by the Oxford English Dictionary. There are a bunch of bloggers who write about "frugal living" who refer to themselves as "frugalistas." It was a nice little community... until a trademark claim entered into the mess. William alerts us to the news that a blogger (who established her blog long after the word was in common usage) has trademarked the term and is having her lawyer send cease-and-desist letters to other bloggers who refer to themselves as frugalistas. A US News reporter asked the woman's lawyer how it could possibly make sense that she could go after people who used the term before her client did, and the lawyer's response was:
"they all have to stop now."
Except... no. That's not quite how trademark works. But, once again, in a society where people think they get to claim ownership of whatever they want, we end up in silly situations like this. Hopefully the threatened bloggers are able to stand up to the bullying frugalista. Who knew that living the frugalista lifestyle included trademark infringement suits?

Filed Under: blogging, frugalista, trademark

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous1, 24 Sep 2009 @ 2:12pm

    @Mike Masnick: Just thought I would add this comment from the "Frugalista Files" Blog. It was a comment from one of the site's readers in response to a previous post:

    "I am so thrilled to hear about your fall line up. I whish I could be there to chant “Yeah Frugalista!” I spotted a Target ad that said “Frugalista” and thought about your blog. Hey Frugalista FUN is catching on."

    Posted by: Nicki Mayo | September 17, 2009 at 04:32 PM

    The irony! Other people's use of the term may actually HELP her not HARM her. I had to LOL...oh the fun is "catching on" all right. It involves cease and desist letters. If you end up broke from defending a frivilous law suit, I bet it makes it easier to be a "frugalista"! LOL...

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