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GSBN: Digest for 9/8/02

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-> CertainTeed update (boycotts unnecessary)
     by billc_lists@...


Date: 8 Sep 2002 01:27:42 -0500
From: billc_lists@...
Subject: CertainTeed update (boycotts unnecessary)

Hi folks,

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 
your help.

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
>  >Building Solutions".
>  >
>  >We feel that the trademark lawyers are working just a little too hard
>  >to justify their existence.

- -- 
Bill Christensen

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/


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