Breast Cancer Charity Bullying Other Charities Over Trademark

from the for-the-cure dept

A few months back we had a few submissions over some claims by the "Susan G. Komen for the Cure" operation was being a trademark bully, and threatening other charities that were using the color pink. SGK is the big name in raising money for breast cancer research, but a new article highlights how it's also spending over a million dollars a year being a trademark bully: specifically going after anyone else who uses the phrase "for the cure" or "for a cure" as part of their own charitable fundraising. The organization claims that it "needs" to do this to protect its trademark, but as we've pointed out time and time again, that's simply not true. First, you could argue that raising money for charity is not "use in commerce" and thus not deserving of a trademark. On top of that, the phrase "for the cure" certainly sounds descriptive, and again perhaps doesn't deserve a trademark

But, even assuming that the trademark itself is valid, there are all sorts of ways it could deal with other charities using that phrase without acting like a legal bully. It could simply agree to license the mark at no cost to other legitimate charities. SGK's claim, of course, is that it doesn't want the phrase to get sullied by unscrupulous organizations, but that doesn't mean it needs to pull out the legal guns when a legitimate charity comes along. Just let them use the damn phrase, and let everyone help raise money for charity, rather than legal bills.

Filed Under: breast cancer, charity, for the cure, trademark
Companies: susan g. komen


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Simple Charity Rule

    How about at your salary then? Or the average salary of the nation in which they base themselves? (Long have I thought that should be a start towards how we calculate they pay for our political class, but that is a whole other discussion)

    Pick a reasonable criteria, how many charities meet it? Yes, the criteria of "refugee pay" is absurd. However I was talking about a charity here in America that deals with "typical Americans", not one concerned with refugees starving because their country values growing coffee over food, and has ethnicities they get away with not caring about.

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