Here's where we stand today.
Thank you for writing to us. Sew Fast/Sew Easy, Inc., has notified
Yahoo! that the Group FWKnits has posted material which infringes
trademarks proprietary to Sew Fast/Sew Easy, Inc. Sew Fast/Sew Easy,
Inc., has further notified Yahoo! that Group FWKnits is not authorized
to use the "Stitch N' Bitch" mark on the front page.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, you may contact Sew
Fast/Sew Easy, Inc., directly at:
Phone: (212) 268-4321
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
Copyright Agent, Yahoo! Inc.
c/o Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Our group does not use the words "Stitch N' Bitch" on the front page. The only place the words "Stich & Bitch" appear is on our calendar - only viewable by members and NOT under their trademark. As I previously noted, they only hold a trademark for the words "Stitch & Bitch Cafe," and you cannot say that you have a trademark on part of a phrase you have trademarked.
For example, McDonald's holds a trademark on the term "I'm lovin' it." They cannot attack my group were we to use the words "lovin' it."
Additionally, as I noted, they have an application to trademark the words Stitch & Bitch PENDING. They cannot stop people from using those words until the trademark application has been approved. AND, when and if it is approved, they can only stop people from using that EXACT combination of words, not any derivation of - ie: stitch n' bitch.
Regardless, we've changed the name of our group meetings on the calendar. I still expect that you will shut us down without further investigation of this claim. Please prove me wrong. Otherwise, my service with Yahoo will most likely end. And I will encourage others to end their service.
From So Fast So Sleazy:
Due to trademark infringement, your group has been removed because of content and graphics on your site. We request that you remove the term Stitch & Bitch from your website to avoid �confusion� with our Stitch & Bitch Caf�. We will continue to police our mark.
In order to preserve your group and communication with others, we strongly urge you to use our Stitch and Bitch Caf� under the classification of Stitch and Bitch Groups. If you do this, you will be able to build, expand and communicate with other sewing, knitting, and crochet groups. This is a free service. You will not be charged to use it. However, if you make any derogatory comments or any malicious slams you will be banned and your email and/or your IP address will be blocked.
If you had a trademark, you would do the same. We have noticed that people are doing this now. If for any reason you feel that your site does not fit within these parameters, please respond as soon as possible. We appreciate your cooperation.
visit us at www.sewfastseweasy.com and buy the best beginner sewing book, "Sew Fast Sew Easy: All You Need to Know When You Start to Sew" by Elissa Meyrich, sewing patterns, Stitch & BitchTM sewing and knitting products, and classes.
What content and graphics? Because we use the term "Stitch & Bitch" on our calendar, which is viewable only to members you think that infringes? You DO NOT hold a trademark on those words. You hold a trademark on the words "Stitch & Bitch CAFE." You cannot police words that are in the public domain. I understand that you have a trademark application PENDING for that term, but UNTIL THAT TRADEMARK IS GRANTED YOU CANNOT STOP OTHERS FROM USING THAT TERM. If you could, Debbie Stoller would not be allowed to sell her books.
Additionally, I'd like to note that you couldn't pay me to list my group on your free website where you feel free to block users and IP addresses at will if they disagree with your company. Way to be inclusive.
When I was attempting to explain to my 7 year old why I was upset last night upon this news of my imminent group shut down, my husband compared it to Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight during the civil rights movement. While I realize that this is not anywhere near the same scale as his work, I do want to try to stop tyranny and injustice in ANY form.
We've changed the name of our group meeting on our Yahoo group. However, I'm certain that you will still shut us down. When that happens, you can rest assured that you will be innundated with mail, both electronic and paper. I'm happy to spend the time and money attacking a group that feels free to attack non-profit sewing circles.
I wonder if Random House will start attacking book groups that advertise that they read their titles. Hmmmmmmmm.
And what my mom sent to them today:
Guess this isn't a free country anymore. No freedom of speech. better quit saying stitch n bitch to my friends before i GET ARRESTED.
Why don't you mind your BUSINESS while you have one, because you are intentionally alienating your BEST POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS. obviously, your brain power is indicative of why most proprietorships GO BANKRUPT. get off the bloggers cases. what is your problem.
Sincerely, I hope Debbie Stoller cleans you out. you don't deserve to participate in american capitalism. go back under your rock. I don't know her, but I've read her books. She has a brain.
I know y'all'd like more excitement but I have a killer headache and I'm leaving town in about 30 hours and I have not packed a sock, knitted or in-progress. I'm starting to panic.
I'll let you know if our group is still alive tomorrow. And I'm glad that it's not just us, as bad as that sounds. Thanks for all your well-wishes!
Oh, and for Traci Sue - the timeline is here.