Powerful Reasons Why BFI's Supplemental Trademark is a Terrible Strategy
- The publically funded trademark serves no legitimate public purpose.
- "Supplemental" trademarks are subject to abuse.
For example, BFI attempted what some refer to as "trademark bullying," by implying that BFI had an enforceable "need," which it clearly does not (see links below).
Here is BFI quoted from emails to this "fellow" safe biking advocate (www.BikeFlorida.net ).
“Please be aware that our organization has trademarked the name Bike Florida (see attached) and
I am hoping we can resolve this without the need for legal action." (Executive Director, Bike Florida, Inc.).
Then from BFI... "Thank you for getting back to me. I'd like to send you some more information regarding the trademark.
Can I please have your mailing address?" (Executive Director, Bike Florida, Inc.).
Note: sometimes, the mere mention of "legal action" does the job. And few people realize that a "supplemental" trademark
(primarily intended for international trade) is virtually impossible to defend as implied (see "When a Trademark is Not a Trademark" and other links below). Nevertheless,
it does give BFI "standing," or the ability to sue
(regardless of merit) in Federal Court, presumably using its government funding!
Then from BFI 6 weeks later (after many requests for some sort of clarification)... "#1, Bike Florida has made no threat against you or any member of the public regarding our Trademark Registry.
#2, It is acknowledged that Bike Florida staff did make email contact with you advising of our Trademark Registry and requesting dialogue;
followed by a subsequent email requesting your mailing address, should future follow-up be needed (neither of which constitutes a threat)." (BFI Board President).
What kind of non-profit would do this? I discovered Bike Florida, Inc. - self-proclaimed as
"Florida's Premier Bicycle Touring Company" - existing on government grants (see Exhibit A) and publicly stating
"our primary mission is to promote safe bicycling in the state of Florida" (see Exhibit B).
- Imagine if ... all Specialty License Plate program non-profits followed the same vexatious trademark practices as BFI, for no public purpose! Then consider that perhaps one is too many.
Who To Contact... see numerous ways to make yourself heard near bottom of home page.
Questions and comments are invited: mail@MyBikeSafetyMission.com
*"Supplemental Registration provides no evidence of trademark rights in the registered term in a court proceeding"
(Wikipedia link below).
Resources… Supplemental Trademarks:
"Supplemental Registration provides no evidence of trademark rights..."