(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
c&d, marketing

Using A Big Company C&D For Marketing

from the vote-daisy dept

Eric Goldman alerts us to an interesting response by Method Products, a small natural cleaning supply products company, after receiving a cease & desist letter from cleaning giant Clorox (pdf), demanding that Method stop using a daisy in its packaging on certain cleaning products because of Clorox's trademarks on "Green Works," including the use of a yellow flower, related to Green Works products. In response, Method set up VoteDaisy.com, with a little poll asking people "who should own the daisy" with three options: Clorox, Mother Nature or Method. Nicely done.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    mlstotts (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 8:31pm

    When will Goliaths ever learn?

    The classic David and Goliath story. Good for Method taking on the powers that be. Not sure that P&G would have been much smarter. BTW Mother Natures leads the voting by 10:1

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mr Big Content, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 10:14pm

    Epic Lulz

    Do they really think that the puny opinions of ordinary people can possibly prevail against the majesty of the law?

    What fools these mortals be...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    porkster, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 12:21am

    Or some

    Ha ha, Well done Method guys...

    Seems I've found a new supplier of cleaning products so sc$%# you Clorox, you deserve everything you get (or don't get).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    vyvyan, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 12:52am

    We need reform. A big one!

    There should be some penalty for these frivolous trademark infringement threat. Like you made a wrong claim on trademark infringement using 'C&D' there goes your trademark for one year. It will be put in public use for one full year, after than you can use it if you want to. Same for copyright, you make a wrong claim and you're rights will be revoked for one year.

    At least in this case they will worry about losing the brand image they have tried to make in long time (if any!) and getting lost in oblivion rather than just using legal muscle power to threaten small companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Del Boy, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 2:23am

    Clean it up

    Using anything that is not specifically designed & unique for a logo is just wrong.
    If it were a stylised flower picture - designed to look like a flower but having specific design qualities that make it unique would maybe pass.

    I have seen companies use things like trees etc for their logos - but they are stylised to look a specific way - so as to make the brand easier to recognise, the logos themselves are not an acurate representation of the subject matter.

    Me thinks Clorox has crossed a border here in trying to trademark something they do not own nor have designed or invented. Votedaisy.com shows that Clorox has the least support on this. But still I don't see Clorox doing much with the Daisy just now so maybe they have decided to backoff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Vincent Clement, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 4:55am


    The yellow daisy used by Method isn't on any packages. It was used in an advertisement.

    Good thing that I used up my last bottle of Clorox product. They won't be getting a penny of my money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Michael, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    Method Cleaners

    I have been using the Method products for awhile now. They are a bit expensive, but work really well - they also smell really nice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    imbrucy (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 6:03am

    Re: We need reform. A big one!

    The problem is that trademark is not meant to benefit companies. It was designed as consumer protection, and to keep people from copying others brands.

    Unfortunately, it has gotten perverted as to be more power for the corporations just like the rest of IP law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 6:26am

    I votes for mother nature!

    At the back of my mind is the niggling little detail that Clorox makes chlorine bleach, one of the least eco-friendly chemicals imaginable. (Which no longer kills all bacteria, germs etc as those things tend to evolve at lightening speed compared to we humans.)

    So Clorox being connected with green works even as a trade mark is just a bit beyond the pale while they continue to needlessly alarm people about the bacteria and stuff in their homes good and bad -- so just wipe then all out!

    Yellow daisy's too, while we're at it.



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 6:26am

    lettter to Clorox

    Dear Clorox,

    Thank you for alerting me to the Method Products Company. Without your efforts I would never have known of them. Your efforts are appreciated and I just what to say that your marketing er legal er advertising department - whatever you're calling it these days, is top notch.

    A new Method Products customer

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Allen Harkleroad (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Using their own "weapons" against them

    I love it. Publicizing companies sleaziness is a great thing. If publicized enough they think twice the next time they pull such questionable practices. Good going!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Brendan (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 9:12pm

    There's more to this case...

    Andrew Fraser, the CEO of Method who is addressed in the C&D, used to work for Clorox. He took over as President & GM of Clorox Canada (transplanted from Oakland head office) and left after the company performed poorly year after year.

    So, there's probably some bad blood here, on the part of Clorox.

    For reference: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/drew-fraser/a/938/3a7

    That said, all the stuff about Method turning this into great publicity for themselves is still true.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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