So I got an email today and I’m not sure what I need to do so I figured the easiest thing to do would be to ask my readers since I know some of you are much more legal savvy than I am. (Please scroll down to see EDIT below)
Below is the email I got from bookblast.com telling me they had a trademark on the name BookBlast. After reading this the use of BookBlast as one word seems to be something I won’t continue to use. However I am definitely not the only book blogger using the term Book Blast. What about Book Blast as 2 words is that still an infringement?
And does my domain name http://bookblasttours.com really infringe on a trademark? I’m totally willing to change what I need to change but don’t want to recreate graphics and change domain names if it is not necessary. What about my logo/graphic on that site? It is “Book Blasts and Blog Tours” which doesn’t seem at all like a trademark infringement to me. But I’m not in the know about such things.
I know I’m not the only one that has been contacted. I contacted the gentlemen who runs http://booksends.com. I came across his site while searching for bookblast online. His domain used to contain book blast as well but he changed it after he got the same email. (If you like ebook deals check out his site and subscribe cause he’s really nice and helpful). Has any other blogger gotten a letter from this company for using the term Book Blast? If you were in my shoes what would you do?
Please feel free to email me or comment.
Dear Kathy I Am A Reader,
Your use of the name BookBlast, and your website BOOKBLASTTOURS.COM, create the likelihood of confusion in the marketplace with our activities and incurs the risk that your business will be confused with ours, a risk
already evidenced not only by the reaction of potential investors in one of our new business ventures, but also by the fact that your site is in high positions on google.
I and this company have been using the name BookBlast in connection with
publishing, writing and agency services since 1997. My company’s name is
known worldwide in the book business; it provides, amongst other services,
B2B and B2C editorial, translation and book pr services; and we source and
promote writing and translating, and represent authors and literary Estates with US interests.
We can be found in various publishing industry handbooks and trade websites, including Writers & Artists Yearbook, The Writers Handbook etc.
In 2009, we registered the trade mark BookBlast in both the United Kingdom
and the United States of America in Classes 35 and 41 for, for example,
publication of electronic books, services relating to promotion, marketing, advertising, writers agency matters and the provision of information in relation to books. Please see attachments.
In addition we own some 23 domain names incorporating the word bookblast.
Our original registration with Network Solutions in Baltimore for
bookblast.com was made in January 2000. Our first website was launched in
September 2000 with both a trade and a consumer function with the successful objective of attracting visitors and therefore business.
As a result, we have enjoyed, and still enjoy, significant goodwill and
reputation in the name.
Our site has always been the market leader in search engines’ rankings until last year, when your activities first came to our notice when your site, BOOKBLASTTOURS.COM, started appearing on google. We have discovered that you have registered a domain name which is identical to ours and to our trade mark; and that you are using our logo ‘BookBlast’ to blog, promote and market e-books.
We believe that you have no right either to the registration or to the use
of ‘bookblast’ in any format in publishing or publishing-related matters.
We have been advised that your use infringes our rights and I hope that now the matter has been drawn to your attention, you will review that use, and then confirm to me, in writing, that you will immediately cease using the name bookblast in any competing configuration, and will take down your URL bookblast and your website using that name.
I would like, please, to hear from you within the next fourteen (14) days.
If I do not hear satisfactorily, I note that I have available to me a number of remedies, including (but of course not limited to) reference to ICANN arbitration. Without prejudice to my company’s rights, I would be willing, for a nominal fee, to take a transfer of the registration of your bookblast registrations.
Ms G De Chamberet
EDITED TO ADD:
Thanks for those who provided counsel. This was my reply…
From what I have learned from the counsel I sought out is that the use of BookBlast as one word is something that could infringe on your trademark. However the term Book Blast as 2 words is widely used in the book blogging community and is not trademarked in the US and therefore does not infringe upon your rights.
Also the logo for my website http://bookblasttours.com is “Book Blasts & Blog Tours” which is unique and also not a trademark infringement.
I have begun the process of separating the term BookBlast to be 2 words on the posts that are already in existence. Please be patient as this will be a time consuming process.
Although not necessary, as a courtesy to you I will begin to list the service I offer simply as a “Blast” to avoid any possible confusion in the future. I have already updated my pricing page to reflect that change. I have also changed my site title tag to be Book Tours & Blasts to avoid any confusion between our sites.
My apologies for using your trademark BookBlast. I was unaware it had been trademarked and I will not be using it again in the future.
Wishing you the best,