richard de wylfin http://www.catchforusthefoxes.com
I can't comment on that. When I can, I will let you all know. Please
don't inquire, or follow up on this thread.
Darrel L. Exline
Director / Owner, The ConFurence Group.
I'll actrually agree with Darrel for once.. let the man do his dirty work =P
By the way, Confurence East was a furry con, which AFAIK had no relation
And supposedly, "ConFurence" is a registered Service Mark (but I searched
tess.uspto.gov for it and didn't turn up anything)... no idea if it's
also a trademark or not.
Name: Dave Huang | Mammal, mammal / their names are called /
INet: kh...@azeotrope.org | they raise a paw / the bat, the cat /
FurryMUCK: Dahan | dolphin and dog / koala bear and hog -- TMBG
Dahan: Hani G Y+C 26 Y++ L+++ W- C++ T++ A+ E+ S++ V++ F- Q+++ P+ B+ PA+ PL++
Timeline of events as to owenership of "ConFurence" name.
ConFurence East got permission to use the name (and as I understand it
also received some funding to help them get started) from Mark Merlino,
who at the time was in charge of ConFurence.
Mark Merlino and his S.O. Rod O'Riley stepped down as Co-chairs of
ConFurence immediately following ConFurence 10. In a meeting a few
weeks earlier, I was elected as one of the new Co-Chairs (Zsa'nene
Klinkler was the other).
I registered a new business entity "The ConFurence Group" in April of
1999 to act as the company running future ConFurence events.
Also in April of 1999, I registered the ficitious business name
"ConFurence" in San Diego County as well as the name "The ConFurence
Group" (also referred to in the banking industry as a "dba", or "Doing
business as" name) and opened up a Merchant Account with my bank so that
I could accept credit cards directly.
A month or two later, I also purchased from Mark Merlino for one dollar
($1 US) all rights to use the name "ConFurence" for future events. I
discovered I needed to do this in order to protect the dba registration,
since Mark had registered it in Orange County and let it expire a few
Sometime in May or June of 1999, I sent in a California Trademark
Registration form to register the name "ConFurence" as a service mark of
The ConFurence Group. I paid the appropriate fees (about $80 if I
remember correctly) and received confirmation of approval of the
Registered Service Mark in June of 1999.
"ConFurence" therefore *is* a registered service mark in the State of
California belonging to The ConFurence Group. It is listed as the brand
name referring to an annual Science Fiction, Fantasy and Comic Book
convention operated by The ConFurence Group.
In August of 2000, "Fetish Magazine" used the name "ConFurence" in a
generic sense to refer to any of the furry conventions, and I wrote them
a cease and desist letter. Trademarks, you see, must be defended or you
risk the chance of losing them.
Last October, The World of Wonder website published a description of the
show that recently aired on MTV, and used the term "confurences" to
refer to the conventions that fursuiters attend to have sex. I wrote
their site administrator a cease and desist letter, and they changed the
spelling to "conferences".
The show itself used the same spelling of "confurences" and "Yote goes
to his first confurence" and so I contacted an attorney to find out what
my legal recourse was. (since, presumably, World of Wonder should have
notified MTV Networks of the problem, and changed the spelling at least
before it aired).
I was informed by a very good attorney that the cost of litigation would
start at $2,000 to file, and quickly approach $25,000 minimum, *if* it
settles quickly. To pay for a case that expensive, I would have to
prove monetary damages in excess of that ammount, and since that would
mean that ConFurence 2002 would have to fail miserably, I knew that I
couldn't prove that kind of monetary loss.
Hence, I am not going to file a lawsuit, even though they did infringe
on my trademark. I did send them a Cease and Desist letter, however,
which shows that I am protecting my brand name so that I don't risk
losing the right to own it.
I also registered for a federal trademark, at the advice of my attorney,
which cost $325 to file. The only thing I had to prove for a federal
registration is that interstate commerce is involved, and advertising in
other states qualifies for that. It should take about 2 to 3 months for
the Patent and Trademark Office to process the application.
Well, that's the whole story. MTV will probably (conveniently) ignore
my letter until after the last airing of the show next Sunday, then if
pressed to reply will probably state that it won't air any more. There
is no other recourse that won't cost an arm and a leg, so it's now a
I would appreciate it, however, if anyone else uses the term
"ConFurence" in a generic sense, or to refer to a convention other than
one that is run by The ConFurence Group to let me know about it as soon
as possible. I occasionaly do web searches (which is how I found the
World of Wonder listing for the show last october) but there may be
magazines, etc. who are also using the term and need to be corrected.
Darrel L. Exline
Director / Owner
The ConFurence Group
I am doing this out of respect for Mr. Exline, and to insure that any
and all possible legal problems will not happen on my end.
I must state that my post is in no way an indication that I have stop
supporting ConFurence and it's various enterprises.
Don, I've glanced at your website and it looks like you're missing the
point. Darrel's objecting to the use of "ConFurence" to refer to
anything OTHER than the one and only ConFurence. You'd better re-read
My point(s), even though my pages don't get much coverage, why prove
another reference to "ConFurence" to further taint the word. Also, I
consider it a "Cover Your Ass" move, I can't crawl into Darrel's head
and know if he wants go to real extremes to protect the good name of
If that is so wrong, then pardon. From 1995 to now, it's been a rocky
dragon-teeth laden road we fans walk on and when in this fandom, it's
time to build up defenses and dig in for whatever feces folks choose
Man, it is never easy.
All you have to do is make sure the "ConFurence" is used in the context
of the conventions that are held by The ConFurence Group, not as a
generic term to mean "a furry convention".
Wouldn't hurt, though, to also place "ConFurence is a trademark of The
ConFurence Group" somewhere on the page, but I won't require that you
do... it'd just be common courtesy.
This will also be done on the POF website (as well as for all other cons
where it applies ;>) Any staff, if you find a legal error in my site, don't
hesitate to tell me so I can fix it ^_^
As a note for POF, I almost have the major content finished and am currently
seeking hosting options for the site.. I may end up just getting DSL here
and hosting it localy, but I'd rather stick my server elsewhere in the bay
area ;> Ahh well..