Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Do Monsanto and Love Potion's Mara Fox Have in Common?

They both use the defense of "assiduously protecting" a trademark to blow a smokescreen over the tactics of using intimidation and harassment to force people into giving them something that otherwise could not be lawfully called their own. Read this article in Vanity Fair to find out more.


Dani said...

I wanted to give you an update about Mara. She lost her case against DBI/Sephora and has now appealed. The attorneys have requested her TM be canceled due to her frequent abuse of her TM rights, which she uses to prevent others from doing business. Mara is apparently being sued by her own attorney who she never paid. We also recently found out that the only reason she was working with Love Potion LLC, the people who wrote the song Love Potion Number is because she tried to sue them for using the name to make t-shirts and they offered her a partnership essentially to shut her up. ALSO, she admitted in court that she does not pay taxes because " her accountant said she didn't have to" she also went into details in the court transcript about how she makes her product our of her kitchen. When asked if she uses gloves he said not but she washes her hands. Gross. {to read a detailed summary of the judicial opinion go here :}

I have filed a complaint with the FTC and they said for everyone who has ever had problems to also call because the more who complain the better chance we have to get them consider canceling her TM.

To complain call the FTC 877-382-4357.

I also sent the following letter to the USPTO and District Attorney. I advise you all to do the same. (see addresses at the end of the letter)

Re: Trademark LOVE POTION Reg. No. 1,902,312 and Reg. 3246682
FTC Complaint #212886**

To Whom it May Concern:
I would like to issue a formal complaint against Mara Fox, the person who holds the Trademark referenced above, for abusing her TM rights and am petitioning that the mark be canceled due to 1) it is a generic term and has been outlined in court as such 2) Ms. Fox has repeatedly violated my consumer rights and the rights of FAIR USE as indicated by the rules set forth by the USPTO and prevented me from doing business. 3) She's been allowed to undermine people's businesses for no legally justifiable reason.

I think it is clear from her past behavior that she is using her TM rights as a form of harassment, coercement and extortion. I would like to make the case that it is actually is her underlying intent as on her website, she offers to sell you a "license" to use the term. In other words, she's making it pretty obvious that she can be "paid off". The courts provided evidence of 80 letters from Ms. Fox alleging TM infringement against small businesses who used the term Love Potion has a descriptive term.

Ms. Fox recently made national headlines for suing a company called DBI who was launching a product for celebrity Jessica Simpson and lost this case for the exact issues I am having. That case Dessert Beauty, Inc. v. Mara Fox, 5 Civ. 3872 (DC) (S.D.N.Y. July 31, 2008) the courts ruled against her and for the Defendant stating:

“that it is fair use for a term like “love potion” to be used in its descriptive sense, even though it does not actually describe the product. In this case, the product was not, in actuality, a love potion but these words described the purpose for which consumers would use the product.”

Trademark Trial Board
P.O. Box 1451
Alexandria, VA 22313-1451

Don Erikson - Mara's Attorney
7668 El Camino Real
Carlsbad, CA 92009

District Attorney's Office
County of Los Angeles
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210

Times Square Productions (Mara Fox's Company)
P.O. Box 2835
Toluca Lake, CA 91610

Elaina said...

I sincerely appreciate this blog and post. I was recently sent a letter on my etsy site regarding one of my candle scent names, "Ocean Love Potion." I will also be complaining now that I have this resource. Thanks again!

Sheryl Karas said...

Go, sister! I appreciate your comment.