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Old 04-10-2013, 12:27 AM
SanukGames SanukGames is offline
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Default Trademark trolling from "Spotted"?

Greetings,

Has anybody else received an infringement claim from the owner of the trademark "Spotted"?

We received such a claim for our iOS game "Spot The Differences!": the trademark owner's lawyer complained to Apple's legal services, who in turn forwarded the complaint to us and called for resolution.

The trademark "Spotted" belongs to Morris Digital Works and appears to be used for a photo sharing service (there's an app called "Spotted® SavannahNow.com").

In our view, their infringement claim is bogus, as our game does not use the term "Spotted" in its name, nor does it create any confusion with their service. Besides, there are hundreds of apps in the store whose titles feature the word "Spot" (including multiple "Spot The Difference" games from many developers), and ours hardly stands out.

I am wondering if their lawyer is simply trying a brute force attack on all developers of these apps, in a bid to have a number of them freak out and pull their apps without a fight?

If anybody experienced the situation, I'd be interested in knowing how they handled it.

Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:50 AM
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ThreeCubes ThreeCubes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanukGames View Post
Greetings,

Has anybody else received an infringement claim from the owner of the trademark "Spotted"?

We received such a claim for our iOS game "Spot The Differences!": the trademark owner's lawyer complained to Apple's legal services, who in turn forwarded the complaint to us and called for resolution.

The trademark "Spotted" belongs to Morris Digital Works and appears to be used for a photo sharing service (there's an app called "Spotted® SavannahNow.com").

In our view, their infringement claim is bogus, as our game does not use the term "Spotted" in its name, nor does it create any confusion with their service. Besides, there are hundreds of apps in the store whose titles feature the word "Spot" (including multiple "Spot The Difference" games from many developers), and ours hardly stands out.

I am wondering if their lawyer is simply trying a brute force attack on all developers of these apps, in a bid to have a number of them freak out and pull their apps without a fight?

If anybody experienced the situation, I'd be interested in knowing how they handled it.

Thanks!
http://www.trademarkia.com/spotted-77034095.html

It's says the status of the trademark changed to accepted last Friday. Sounds like they just sent out a bulk load of emails straight after it was accepted.

I would think a short response to apple would be enough clearly stating there is no infringement as at no point is your software called spotted. There is simply no grounds for it. Although I'm not a lawyer so there may be a better way to phrase it. From past experiences if you right back using lawyer speak they tend to think you have spoken to lawyers and are prepared to fight and they will back off when they clearly have no grounds.

I get a feeling they just gave a big list to apple to try and scare a few people.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:55 AM
SanukGames SanukGames is offline
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Thanks for the Trademarkia link!
The change of status does indeed explain why they chose to send claims now.

I opposed them a firm rebuttal and enjoined them to substantiate their claim if they wish to maintain it despite the obvious lack of grounds. We'll see how it goes...
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:36 AM
Therealtrebitsch Therealtrebitsch is offline
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Can somebody finally shoot these 💩💩💩💩ers alltogether?
I have also an app that is a "Computer software for uploading, delivering, sharing and organizing photographs, images and multi-media content online"

Maybe I sue them...
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:08 AM
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PikPok PikPok is online now
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Trademark law can be tricky because infringement can be inferred on the basis of consumer confusion alone. And a lot of developers open themselves up to successful trademark infringement claims because they actively try to draft on the coattails of somebody else's successful brand.

However, PikPok has registered, and defended, many trademarks over the years, and we'd probably consider this particular case overreach. As mentioned above, probably an overzealous lawyer.

In their defense, you have to actively defend a trademark in order to maintain your claim on it. But I think it would be difficult and a stretch of the imagination to infer there is any actual infringement here.

This is their listing below, so they have had this trademark for many years -

Code:
Word Mark 	SPOTTED
Goods and Services 	IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer software for uploading, delivering, sharing and organizing photographs, images and multi-media content online. FIRST USE: 20040100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20051000

IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Electronic delivery of images and photographs via a global computer network. FIRST USE: 20040100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20041014
Standard Characters Claimed 	
Mark Drawing Code 	(4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 	77034095
Filing Date 	November 1, 2006
Current Basis 	1A
Original Filing Basis 	1A
Published for Opposition 	June 5, 2007
Registration Number 	3281817
Registration Date 	August 21, 2007
Owner 	(REGISTRANT) Morris Digital Works, LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY GEORGIA 725 Broad Street Augusta GEORGIA 30901
Attorney of Record 	Timothy E. Moses, Esq.
Type of Mark 	TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
Register 	PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text 	SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator 	LIVE
You should always get professional advice when dealing with this sort of issue, but I doubt you have anything to worry about here.
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