Originally posted 2011-07-18 13:32:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
What is the Freedom Principle?
I, as a blogger, have an obligation to use material submitted to me for free if there’s any rationale way it fits with the editorial and I can thereby get a post out of it.
There is no greater freedom than this.
There’s an extra surprise, because this guest submission comes with its own introduction by another trademark blogger, Benjamin Ashurov, who writes a blog called Trademark Bully. I have added some explanatory links to his introduction to the SANDWICH POCKETS saga, regarding which, you may have noticed if you read this and the prior post carefully, I have actually offered no opinion. I also take no responsibility for any factual claim in this post or this introduction and in fact welcome any opportunity to correct or clarify the record if appropriate. I defer, instead, to the Freedom Principle along with a good-faith belief that the narratives published here are materially correct. I have copy-edited the introduction and Carl’s magnum opus, but very lightly; readers familiar with this blog will see that both guest contributors here are speaking in their own voices.
Cue music, please — first, Benjamin:
After seven years of agonizing litigation, this forum shall allow us to present the over-reaching conducted by one of the world’s largest food companies, foreign owned, and the havoc that they can wreak on a family owned American business, what the results are, and how it affects individual family members who toil at manual labor.
His name is Carl. He owns and operates a food manufacturing company in Warren, Ohio. He makes a great “pocket sandwich,” the term mandated by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, that has found its way into schools throughout the midwest.
Not everyone thinks that he makes an outstanding product. According to a claim by Nestlé Prepared Foods, Hand Held Products’ division in Colorado, he made an inferior product! At the onset of the attack he was quite surprised at that published statement, because in fact he used to use a lot of Nestlé products in his (he doesn’t use any more). It’s a ridiculous scenario, so you will have to use your own best judgment about the quality issue.
The whole purpose of the “quality” claim, of course, was to suggest that Carl’s use of a trademark claimed by Nestlé was harming its reputation. Yet just recently one of Nestlé’s Hot Pockets employees was arrested — for war crimes in Bosnia. Inferior products? Higher standards?
Most importantly for purposes of this forum, Nestlé also claims to have exclusive right to the word POCKET in a trademark. Left un-addressed, the consuming public may have to quit calling those extra pieces of fabric on clothes “pockets,” or Nestlé may accuse them of infringement, too!
Regardless of these claims, Carl, his family and his company are still supposed to call their food products “pocket sandwiches” by the USDA FSIS definition, and by the former definition in the USPTO’s “Trademark ID Manual.” Today he can.
Here, now, Carl’s story in his own words. You may want to stick something in the microwave — it’s a long one!
I owe this essay to everyone who believed in creating a dream, and helped build his or her own company into the company we almost were. The following is truthful and factual, which makes it hard to dispute unless, alas, you possess, and are willing to spend, untold amounts of good money to destroy dreams and hard labor, credit, business, integrity and family, such as Nestlé did to me and my family. Read More…