I purchase the Daddy & Me bundle, made a mock-up and posted it on my etsy page. I have now received a message from another seller claiming to have a trade mark on the words of the same design i listed. How should i handle this? I responded and told her where i purchased the design and that i have a commercial license. Any advise is appreciated.
Hi! I’m sorry this has happened to you.
Words, phrases etc, aren’t usually trademarked. If they are, they TEND to only be trademarked for either a) a specific item (such as the phrase on a book mark), and/or b) with a specific font/layout. Common phrases cannot be trademarked, and if they are, they tend to be met with enough backlash to get them cancelled (this happened quite publicly when an author tried to trademark the word Cocky).
I’m not too sure what that bundle is, however I highly doubt this person has a legitimate trademark on whatever they claim. If you’ve sent proof of ownership, just wait. Don’t go rushing to remove the product, unless you have proof that it is trademarked, and you can contact DB about it
I’m not a lawyer, but I am a book cover designer and deal with a LOT of IP issues with clients, with one prolific case that nearly ended in court when my work was stolen by the author. I’m sure others can shed some more light on this, but if in doubt, contact an actual lawyer!
If you can, please include the link to the listing in question as well.
Also, welcome to the Forum we are happy to have you here
I actually looked it up and they did Trademark the phrase in 2017, i’m sure i can change the wording and not have issues.
Hm, well it’s good they reached out to you rather than a C+D. Are you certain the phrase is trademarked for what you’re doing with it?
Yeah its for shirts. Crappy part is i just got an email from Etsy legal that another shirt i mocked up was removed for the same reason. I really thought purchasing from here would be safe. Now i just wait to hear back
It is very disheartening to hear that products from here aren’t all checked for their legality. I hope you get it sorted. I’m positive DB will be able to help, even if it’s just a refund. I know I was offered a refund just because one action from an action set wasn’t working - the staff are incredible. Good luck
I reached out so I’m hoping to hear something soon. This is the first time I’ve had issues like this.
Sorry that happened Chrissy - as a designer I do search all of the phrases I use but sometimes I miss one (I’m human) and the speed at which things are trademarked can be a bit crazy.
Also - when someone is granted a trademark it is retroactive - so even things created years ago would now be an issue so trying to keep track of that is mind-boggling!
DesignBundles is really proactive and regularly sweeps and lets us know if we as designers have something that is trademarked so we can fix it.
If you are selling it’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking everything yourself too, so you don’t have the issues you’ve just experienced.
Wishing you much success with your shop!
This is good information to know, thank you for sharing it! Its crazy how fast things change!
you are very welcome!
Where would you go to check and see if something had a trade mark on it?
You want to go right to the USPTO site (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) and search TESS > https://www.uspto.gov/trademark I believe they have some how-to videos
You can also use this site that searches USPTO and narrows down to those registered for class 25, which is clothing > http://tmhunt.com/
Thank yiu for all the info!
In one aspect, I understand why someone would get upset for a phrase they copyrighted being used, but I guess I don’t think phrases should be copyrighted unless it’s something from a film like “ Liffe is like a box of chocolates”, however I’ve seen that one countless shirts.
Trademarks are very tricky - and the trademark office seems very willing to pass just about anything, even when they shouldn’t. It makes it hard for us designers!