1. We are helping test out a new project for soapmakers. Soapmaking Friend. If you are interested in providing feedback and help guide this project to include all you want to see in a recipe builder and calculator please PM an Admin or post in the Announcements forum. Your feedback is really needed!
    Dismiss Notice

So I received this certified letter in the mail yesterday...

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by wetshavingproducts, Jun 3, 2017.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating using the link above.
  1. Jun 3, 2017 #1

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    131
    I'm not asking for advice. I know what needs to be done. But I'll just leave this here and you can form your own conclusions and if you want to discuss, I'm happy to talk about it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    powens likes this.
  2. Jun 3, 2017 #2

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    8,834
    Likes Received:
    8,694
    Location:
    Austria
    Would be interesting to see how their packaging is trademarked.

    ""Grey" is a trademark of.....?" sounds very vague to me
     
    Dahila likes this.
  3. Jun 3, 2017 #3

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    131
    They're not claiming trademark infringement, they're claiming this weird little area of the law called trade dress. They're saying their customers are being confused by the packaging as to whose is whose.
     
  4. Jun 3, 2017 #4

    dixiedragon

    dixiedragon

    dixiedragon

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    5,664
    Likes Received:
    4,215
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    Aren't they special. *eye roll*

    BTW, I love your slogan of Real. Manly. Soap.
     
  5. Jun 3, 2017 #5

    doriettefarm

    doriettefarm

    doriettefarm

    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    1,157
    Location:
    Alabama
    I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on TV. The only similarities I see between their packaging and yours is the font . . . along with your white circle in the upper right corner vs their black circle in the upper right corner. Is that seriously enough to meet the criteria for a trade dress lawsuit?
     
    Cellador likes this.
  6. Jun 4, 2017 #6

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

    Staff Member Admin  

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    13,799
    Likes Received:
    7,961
    Location:
    Right here, silly!
    I would think the completely different company names and totally different design of company logos would make it blatantly obvious as to whose is whose (don't their customers read labels?), but what do I know? The suspicious part of me makes me wonder if they are not using 'customer confusion' as a front for something else.

    The letter states that their packing is 'unique' and 'inherently distinct', but the only thing 'unique' and 'inherently distinct' that I can see on their packaging is the picture of the pipe smoking, bearded sasquatch dude, and the name 'Dr. Squatch'- neither of which you have on yours- not even anything close to that.

    The box is certainly not unique- Kraft sells those in bulk online to anyone, complete with the circle cut-out in the corner. Lots of soapers use them. Are they going to send 'cease & desist' letters to them, too?

    The fonts they are using are not unique to them either, nor is the border that runs along the edges of their box, nor the placement of the sticker identifying the type of soap inside. They look just like the fonts and borders and sticker placement that I see on thousands of other company's packaging. The only thing distinctly unique is the name and logo.

    My hubby, who doesn't suffer fools gladly, thinks it would serve them right if they were 'Twitter-shamed'. :razz:


    IrishLass :)
     
    toxikon, Susie, Millie and 6 others like this.
  7. Jun 4, 2017 #7

    earlene

    earlene

    earlene

    Grandmother & Soaper Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,357
    Likes Received:
    3,963
    Location:
    Western Illinois, USA
    Unbelievable that customers confuse your rectangular shaped soap's packaging for the other square shaped soap's 'unique and non-funtional' packaging. (And what does non-functional packaging even mean?)

    The font is not the same. Notice the B on your soap's packaging and the B on his Bay Rum soap (on his website). Not even a match. The only similarity between fonts that I see is the drop shadow and using all caps. (I went to both yours and his websites to get a better look at the packaging of bar soaps.)

    I guess the cigar band type part of the label is similar, but is it similar enough that it's forbidden on your Wet Shaving Soap packages when it's in a box with a cut-out hole and lines around the edge? Maybe so if he is so very well known and his products have been around for a long time, but it sure seems more than nit-picky.

    BTW, he claims his soap is natural (checked out a blogpost via a link on his site and he says so.) Now I'm being nit-picky.
     
    Susie likes this.
  8. Jun 4, 2017 #8

    Rusti

    Rusti

    Rusti

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2015
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    506
    Location:
    Southern IL
    The problem this comes down to is who's got enough money to fight this out in court. Yeah, the burden of proof is on Dr Squatch if it did go to trial, and I expect loss of business due to 'confusion' would be really hard to prove.

    They're counting on Wet to fold like paper and not actually confront them. That's the thing about some of this stuff that irritates the every loving daylights out of me. It's never about who's actually been wounded and whether or not the proof is there, it's just who's got the deepest pockets to keep paying the lawyers. If this were the other way around there wouldn't be a whole lot Wet could do besides shame the hell out of them all over social media.
     
    Millie, Cellador, Susie and 1 other person like this.
  9. Jun 4, 2017 #9

    Millie

    Millie

    Millie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2016
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    553
    I like your packaging! I like the dr squach packaging too, and there is no way I would confuse the two! The only similarities I see are generic and do not define either brand. It makes me wonder how many other businesses received a cease and desist from them. It would help if they were explicit about what they want you to change. Hrumph.
     
  10. Jun 4, 2017 #10

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    131
    Well, luckily for me I am a lawyer and can do legal research, and my research says an emphatic no unless they can somehow prove actual confusion, but my god I cannot fathom the idiot they'd have to drag in.

    "So this box a rectangle and has WSP plastered everywhere, and this box is a square with a weird robe wearing mascot with bubbles on it. Are you confused as to whether these brands are the same?"

    Do you have a link? That may prove very useful if they actually issue a complaint. And just more icing on the cake if they keep sending me letters.

    Feel free to share. I didn't write it. I give you free license to the photos.

    It's a legal standard if they decide to actually try for the real trade dress protection of inherently distinctive, which they absolutely cannot do as every element of their design is either generic or functional. But the lawyer put it in just in case.

    No, the font is not the same. The only similarity is a drop shadow which is ubiquitous in design and fonts in general.

    Since a cigar band is widely used in the industry, it's probable that it's just a generic design choice. However, since it reduces the cost & serves as a tamper evident seal, it is functional and not deserving of trade dress protection.

    A cutout is generic as ****. No protections whatsoever.

    He's only been around since 2014 according to the letter, so I actually predate him as a company, but my packaging does not predate theirs. But as everything they use is generic and basically looks like every other soap box, he cannot possibly get distinctiveness.

    They buy their soaps from thesoapguy. Don't even bother to change the scent names. No joke. Go look.

    https://thesoapguy.com/masterloavespage.html
     
    toxikon, Millie, SunRiseArts and 2 others like this.
  11. Jun 4, 2017 #11

    Rusti

    Rusti

    Rusti

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2015
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    506
    Location:
    Southern IL
    Bwahaha! So the scary lawyer letter that would freak someone else out just made you do a Dwayne Johnson eyebrow, I take it.
     
    Susie, Aline, reinbeau and 3 others like this.
  12. Jun 4, 2017 #12

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    131
    My initial reaction was "WTF? You can't be serious?" My next reaction was throw it in the trash and see if they wanted to send me additional letters. My final reaction was "I'm going to post this on social media and let it backfire on them." Oh, and I actually responded to suck up some of their legal retainer and just annoy the idiot attorney who didn't bother to read the letter he signed.
     
    toxikon, cmzaha, Rusti and 9 others like this.
  13. Jun 4, 2017 #13

    CaraBou

    CaraBou

    CaraBou

    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2,957
    What a bunch of crap. I would not be scared!
     
    Susie likes this.
  14. Jun 4, 2017 #14

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,072
    Likes Received:
    8,204
    Location:
    Texas
    Arimara and bumbleklutz like this.
  15. Jun 4, 2017 #15

    dixiedragon

    dixiedragon

    dixiedragon

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    5,664
    Likes Received:
    4,215
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    If you send them a letter that says "I'm sorry you feel that way" I will give you a dollar.

    Also, "Butthurt is not legally actionable."
     
    Millie, HowieRoll, dibbles and 6 others like this.
  16. Jun 4, 2017 #16

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    wetshavingproducts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    131
    Well, that would certainly pay for the postage....

    If they actually bother sending a response to my response, I'll be sure to include that.
     
  17. Jun 4, 2017 #17

    SunRiseArts

    SunRiseArts

    SunRiseArts

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Location:
    Texas, USA

    Thanks for the belly laugh. You cracked me up.:mrgreen:
     
    WeaversPort likes this.
  18. Jun 4, 2017 #18

    Saponista

    Saponista

    Saponista

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,114
    Likes Received:
    1,304
    Location:
    Plymouth, Devon, UK
    I'm sorry this happened :(
     
  19. Jun 4, 2017 #19

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,072
    Likes Received:
    8,204
    Location:
    Texas
    But if it happened, I am glad it happened to someone who can stick up for himself! Not that I would wish it on my worst enemy, however.
     
    WeaversPort and cerelife like this.
  20. Jun 4, 2017 #20

    Aline

    Aline

    Aline

    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    219
    Location:
    Maui
    Wow, they picked on the wrong guy! Checked out their website...very ugly logo.

    Throwing money down the drain must be part of their business plan because along with this frivolous lawsuit their Google Adwords Ad comes up when you search on the business name!

    On a serious note, I wonder how many other people the lawyer has contacted and how freaked out they are :(
     
    Susie, toxikon and cmzaha like this.

Share This Page