I’m pleased to announce that InterNACHI’s sister publishing company, Real Property Times, Inc. was awarded the U.S. Registered Trademark “Inspector’s Journal” today.
This could get interesting…
Mike O’Handjob is now operating his blog at the will and whim of Nick Gromicko.
I love it.
I’ll bet the chatter over this will increase his posts to more than five per day.
That’s real interesting as on their website, they have a “TM” to the upper right of the name. That usually represents “trademarked”!!!
THE Inspector’s Journal
A Registered Trademark protects itself and the space around it against deceptively similar marks. Putting the word “the” in front of someone else’s Registered Trademark doesn’t change this, any more than it would change it for deceptively similar marks such as “The Microsoft” or “The Ford Motor Company.”
The problem is that he can prove that he occupied the space prior to the trademark application. As with a patent, the argument can be that we were aware of the name’s current use, and went ahead and trademarked it anyway. This will be especially interesting, as the other board is a competitor of InterNACHI’s.
We’ll see where this goes…
As to the notion of challenging a trademark, they DO get revoked. One of the key tests for whether a new trademark can be challenged is if it creates confusion over another company’s products and services. Do you think there is a similarity here, seeing how InterNACHI represents home inspectors, has a large message board of its own, and has made/allowed disparaging domments regardng the current owner and operator of the competing board known as The Inspector’s Journal?
In InterNACHI’s case, because we are a larger, more recognizable name, the name confusion might drive some of O’Handley’s visitors into InterNACHI’s arms.
Why did we even BOTHER???
IMO: This falls under the category of dirty tricks. Obviously this organization knew that the name was already in use within the industry and a trademark was already claimed for it (albeit not registered, but still no less valid). Frankly, I think the registered mark should be revoked. It actually never should have been awarded.
I wonder how our members would feel if a competitor swooped in and registered a mark that matched their trademarked company name.
Doesn’t make me feel very proud to be connected with these kind of shenanigans.
It has only begun.
O’Handjob’s attacks against NACHI and its members will have to come under a new name. I can suggest a few.
When you wrestle with a pig, you and the pig both get covered in shiit, but the pig enjoys it.
I was made aware nearly two years ago that Nick was quietly trying to assume TIJ’s trademark and I retained legal counsel long ago. Since then, I’ve been sitting quietly back watching to see how far Nick would take it. I knew he was cheeky, I just didn’t think he would go as far as he has to try and co-opt my mark.
I can show first use of commerce with the mark going all the way back to January 30, 2002 - Nick can’t.
Filing for him, Nick’s lawyer has sworn the following:
The undersigned, being hereby warned that willful false statements and the like so made are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001, and that such willful false statements, and the like, may jeopardize the validity of the application or any resulting registration, declares that he/she is properly authorized to execute this application on behalf of the applicant; he/she believes the applicant to be the owner of the trademark/service mark sought to be registered, or, if the application is being filed under 15 U.S.C. Section 1051(b), he/she believes applicant to be entitled to use such mark in commerce; to the best of his/her knowledge and belief no other person, firm, corporation, or association has the right to use the mark in commerce, either in the identical form thereof or in such near resemblance thereto as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods/services of such other person, to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive; and that all statements made of his/her own knowledge are true; and that all statements made on information and belief are believed to be true.
Signature: /Mark S. Cohen/ Date Signed: 12/20/2007
Signatory’s Name: Mark S. Cohen, Esq., of Cohen Horner, LLP
Signatory’s Position: Attorney of Record
One of you should sit Nick down and try to explain the concept or how serious it is to lie on federal documentation.
Someone said that this should be interesting. It certainly will. Thank you for making that public, Nick. Now that you’ve done so I’m sure that the USPTMO examiners will be interested in the fact that you not only have been aware of my webzine for years but once asked me via email to allow you to host an Op-Ed column there.
Can you say busted?
ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!
Editor of the real and the legitimate Inspector’s Journal
Wasn’t there are a post here from Mike H earlier??
Yep, I’m sure he’s got a copy.
I got to admit, every since this message board has gotten moderated, this board has been a little on the boring side. This should make things more interesting. Thanks Nick!
I had posted something but I took it down.
I’ve been aware of the attempts to steal my mark for nearly two years now and hired an intellectual property law firm over a year ago to deal with this.
You can call it anything you like and package it any way you like but fraud/theft - even of a small thing like my trademark by making false declarations on a federal trademark application - is still fraud/theft.
I’m glad to see that at least Joe recognizes this for what it really is.
I’m sure that the truly honorable among the interNACHI membership will consider this to be a despicable act and I’m guessing this is the kind of branding that they don’t want. Unfortunately, since Real Property Times and interNACHI are Nick’s sandbox and not theirs, they don’t have the right or the power to do anything about it.
ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!
So…what are you going to call your blog now that “Inspectors Journal” belongs to Nick?
Of course we all know how helpful, true and uplifting your comments on NACHI and it’s inspectors are. :sarcasm:
Perhaps you can apply for the “Whiner in Chief Trademark”.
O’Handley - One man One Jerk