Tag Archives: Spam

Unlovely SPAM

Originally posted 2007-01-08 22:45:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Hormel won’t give up.  And neither will Spam Arrrest, LLC (which makes a great product I’ve used for years). A press release from Spam Arrest reports:

Spam Arrest LLC, which provides the popular web service software to eliminate email spam, hopes to end its four year legal battle against Hormel next month. Spam Arrest is the only company ever, except Hormel Foods Corporation, to secure a trademark including the word “spam” recorded on the principal United States trademark register. For nearly four years, Spam Arrest has defended its trademark against Hormel’s lawsuit seeking to cancel the SPAM ARREST trademark registration….

Spam Arrest has incurred almost $500,000 defending its trademark rights. “We’ve spent years fighting for our trademark, while much larger companies have simply abandoned their trademark applications after threats from Hormel,” said Brian Cartmell, CEO of Spam Arrest. “Not one person confuses our anti-spam service with Hormel’s canned meat — the average American consumer is smarter than that.”

There you have it, canned and virtually inedible.  spamA ridiculous three-and-a-half-year crusade meant to “take back” trademark rights arguably never earned under the guise of trademark dilution, the law that made trademark a right in gross for the privileged few; a claim — quite credible — that many smaller companies have simply folded their tents rather than defend their businesses, the very essence of IP enforcement abuse; an utter absence of LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION; certainly no evidence of damages and every reason to believe that the coinage of “spam” for junk email has done more to build this brand than anything, including Monty Python, could ever do; and a half million dollars donated to America’s most deserving (and, I might add, most handsome) sub-class of learned professionals.

Climbing off my tinned-meat box, here’s some interesting spice for your ham from the press release:

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the federal administrative court charged with overseeing the national trademark office, has decided to hold the final hearing for case number 92042134, Hormell vs. Spam Arrest, before a live audience of trademark lawyers in New York City. The hearing will take place at the Practicing Law Institute in New York on February 23, 2007.

Now that is fascinating. Here’s a link to the schedule for the PLI course featuring this live argument. I’d attend in a second if I had been one of the torchbearers for Spam Arrest’s commitment to principle, freedom and justice. Since I’m not, I’ll have to use the $1,295.00 course tuition and buy things like food. Not Spam, of course. Nothing personal — doctor’s orders.

Hormel canned

Originally posted 2007-11-27 12:27:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

spam.jpgBrian Cartmell, CEO of Spam Arrest, passes along the news that Hormel’s preposterous “SPAM trademark” challenge (most recently covered by me here) to the former’s business has been kicked, tin-can like, down the alley of meritless causes. Here’s the opinion.

Some interesting tidbits in this “non-precedential” (ugh) opinion: There’s a lot of technical wrangling regarding who pleaded and who waived what and when. We will leave that to John Welch to sort out. Once again, the now-defunct, preposterous rule regarding the obscure form in which a trademark — which is part of not only the public record but the record of the very agency deciding these cases — comes up, but the TTAB, for a change, acknowledges that everyone in the room has accepted the record as submitted and does not punish anyone for violating its secret-handshake clause.

The board refused to consider the testimony of a trademark “expert” who essentially gave a legal opinion regarding the “fame” of the SPAM mark under the standards of trademark law. The TTAB properly refused to consider what amounted to a legal opinion on the merits from an “expert” — not repeating an error made seemingly every day in District Courts hearing trademark cases.

Here’s the, er, meat of the opinion — the LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION analysis: Read More…

Spam Can’t Act

Originally posted 2005-02-01 22:31:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

SpamThe U.K. Register reports that what would appear to be a very late in the game attempt by the original spammers — Hormel, makers of the presumably tasty canned meat — to preserve some semblance of control in the UK over the use of their trademark in the Internet space-junk context. They sued a shop that produced a product called “Spambuster.” (Query whether they have any chance of ever asserting trademark rights in that very descriptive product name? Not likely.)

According to the article, the court wrote: “Since Spambuster actually made no effort to connect its email software with the canned meat, it wasn’t much of a surprise that the judge took their word for it and dismissed the complaint.”

Bloody Vikings.