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GSBN:CertainTeed update (boycotts unnecessary)
Thanks for your overwhelming response. We *definitely* got their
attention. When the CertainTeed folks called us on Tuesday AM, they
were backpedalling at a pretty good pace. They were amazed at the
both the quantity and quality of the responses. Thank you all for
It appears that CertainTeed has an actual case against Boise Cascade,
who this spring began using the same phrase for some of their own
products. That case is going to court, and CertainTeed is covering
their butts by making sure that any other use of the phrase is either
stamped out or used with their permission.
Still, their hired-gun lawyers got a little overzealous. I've
learned since my original post that they also went after a Canadian
website (buildingsolutions.ca), among others over which US Trademark
law has no jurisdiction.
We're on the way to working it all out without resorting to the courts.
4. Their claim may be groundless since it does not pertain to
your entire use of the term.
5. Check your lawyer to see if you have grounds for a strategic
counter-suit of some kind.
I agree with both those points, but I'm not really interested in
fighting such a battle. It's just a couple of words in a heading on
our website, and those can be changed without much harm if there's
really a problem.
6. Why not put in quotes for now your term "Green Building
Solutions." This would emphasize its use in the whole, by not
separating Green from Building Solutions.
right, or I can write GreenBuilding Solutions, which is probably even
safer. I didn't do that immediately because I, like many of you,
felt that CertainTeed was out of order for such a ridiculous demand.
CertainTeed now is aware of the strength of the green building
community. And they're aware of our perception of them and their
legal team. They're trying to make nice, because they realize it
could be a PR nightmare if they don't.
I'm trying to figure a way to make this into a win-win (instead of a
"go away and leave us alone"), but it's difficult to do with a
company whose major product line revolves around PVC.
========== original message =============
>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.
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/