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RE: GSBN:(OT)David vs Goliath: CertainTeed trademark?
Glad to hear this. Makes some more sense now.
Make sure the letter states that they are allowing it for ever at no charge,
and that you do not admit that you cannot use Green Building Solutions by
accepting the letter. You know, the bullshit legal stuff.
Keep me informed. Sounds interesting.
Dept of Civil Engineering and School of Architecture
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 CANADA
Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 4:53 PM
Subject: RE: GSBN:(OT)David vs Goliath: CertainTeed trademark?
Glad to hear it. More ammunition.
I spoke today with Alex Plache (firstname.lastname@example.org) of
CertainTeed's parent corp. The bottom line is that they're not
really after us. They're after Boise Cascade, who this spring
launched a line of materials that *IS* a trademark infringement (and
is going to court), and CertainTeed is apparently trying to cover
their butts so that Boise can't say "well, everyone else is doing
it..." (in proper legalese, of course).
I understand of course that they may just be "making nice" now,
saying that it's just a little misunderstanding, and we never meant
to come on so strong. Whatever.
They'll be sending me a document that will *allow* me to continue to
use the existing wording on our website at no charge. How big of
I'll let you know as more details emerge.
>Beleive it or not, I too have received letters from CertainTeed. My
>Canadian website is titled Buildingsolutions.ca. Note Canadian site. Note
>that I just registered this site within the last year although CertainTedd
>has had their trademark for many years. The trademark of which they speak
>is registered in the US, but I too received the nasty letter. The blunt
>force with which they attempted to protect their right rankled me more than
>a little. I am willing to change since I have little invested in the name,
>and was trying to be helpful. GSBN is now the second group of well
>non-profit people whom I know that CertainTeed has bullied (not including
>I would suggest the following:
>then choose New User Form
>You will find that there are 55 US registered trademarks with Building
>Solutions in their name. 35 are live and at least 5 are related to
>induistry directly. And they received trademark protection from the US
>Patent Office (who should be a more unbiased judge than CertainTeed)
>You will find NO registered "Green Building Solutions" .
>Now try a search using google and "Building Solutions". You will find
>2.5 million hits. Most of them avoid the Certain Teed problem by not
>dealing with buildings OR adding a word in front to the Trademark, say,
>Now check the many hits on Google using "Green Building Solutions" and that
>GSBN is clearly not the only user.
>Please inform their lawyers of this. Ask them to write in aletter why
>"Green Building Solutions" is not trademarked and how trademark law could
>implied to mean that it is covered by their "Building Solutions" ,mark when
>there are several companies with accepted trademarks in the construction
>industry that use "Building Solutions" in their trademark? They will of
>course refuse to do so, because they would have to lie on paper to do this.
>It is worth recording your request and their non reply however, and costs
>you little and CertainTeed a lot (their lawyers are expensive, 10 minutes
>your time is not). All of this is notwithstanding the fact that building
>solutions is a common English phrase.
>I beleive you have a strong case. I would suggest that CertainTeed would
>interested to know that many potential customers could become pissed on
>quickly by the power of the Web, if their firm Ballard Spahr Andrews and
>Ingersoll become a little too eager (while of course being well paid for
>it). I am not sure who we know in CertainTeed, but the legal firm is only
>representing them, they do not understand the market they are dealing with.
>Dept of Civil Engineering and School of Architecture
>University of Waterloo
>Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 CANADA
>From: GSBN [mailto:GSBN@...]On Behalf Of
>Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 2:28 AM
>Subject: GSBN:(OT)David vs Goliath: CertainTeed trademark?
>Apologies for the cross posts.
>I'd like to ask a favor of all you good folks. We at
>sustainablesources.com recently received a "cease and desist" letter from
>building materials giant CertainTeed corporation for our use of the
>words "Building Solutions" on the main page of our website
>(http://sustainablesources.com). Actually, the phrase we use is "Green
>We feel that the trademark lawyers are working just a little too hard
>to justify their existence.
>They've asked for a response by August 30. We'd like to ask you,
>the likely users of our site, to help us respond. If you go to our
>main page (http://sustainablesources.com), a second page will open as a
>popunder with a simple, two choice response (there's also room for
>additional comments, should you so choose).
>Please submit your answers - they'll be sent directly to the
>trademark lawyers, and copied to us.
>Thanks for your assistance.
>Green Building Professionals Directory: http://directory.sustainablesources.com
>Sustainable Building Calendar: http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/
>Green Real Estate: http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/
>Straw Bale Registry: http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/
>For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list,
>email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
>For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
>list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
Green Building Professionals Directory: http://directory.sustainablesources.com
Sustainable Building Calendar: http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/
Green Real Estate: http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/
Straw Bale Registry: http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/