PUTZL T-Shirts

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GeoffCJ

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Mar 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/23/99
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I just got off the phone with the President of Petzl N.A.

They have stated that legal action will be taken if I produce the PUTZL
t-shirts.

I'm dissapointed,as I find the idea humorous, and I feel that I would be within
my legal rights had I decided to continue, but I have neither the resources nor
the time to risk having to fight a lawsuit, so I am not going to produce the
shirts. Sorry.
For those of you that have already mailed checks, I haven't deposited any yet,
if you want me to return them, e-mail me, otherwise I'll just rip them up. If
you haven't yet mailed your money, don't. Again, sorry, but I'm not willing to
put myself in such a position over 15 t-shirts, even on principle.
=<
Geoff

Jeff

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Mar 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/23/99
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GeoffCJ <geo...@aol.com> wrote in message
19990323161504...@ng-fu1.aol.com...

Oh, that just completely blows. Blow me, Putzl!

Makes me glad that I decided not to buy a Petzl helmet. I'll look for
alternative products in the future, too.

Jeffro

Bob Ternes

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Mar 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/23/99
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In article <19990323161504...@ng-fu1.aol.com>, geo...@aol.com (GeoffCJ) wrote:
#I just got off the phone with the President of Petzl N.A.
#
#They have stated that legal action will be taken if I produce the PUTZL
#t-shirts.
#
#I'm dissapointed,as I find the idea humorous, and I feel that I would be within
#my legal rights had I decided to continue, but I have neither the resources nor
#the time to risk having to fight a lawsuit, so I am not going to produce the
#shirts. Sorry.
#For those of you that have already mailed checks, I haven't deposited any yet,
#if you want me to return them, e-mail me, otherwise I'll just rip them up. If
#you haven't yet mailed your money, don't. Again, sorry, but I'm not willing to
#put myself in such a position over 15 t-shirts, even on principle.
#=<
#Geoff

Yep, parody is one of the freedoms extended under the USA's First Amendment.
As you stated, if a 'reasonable man' (obviously not a climber) can distinguish
these shirts to be a joke, then Petzl USA/World/Universe has no legal claim.
It's cool, though, that they have enough power to nix any potential such
venture with the mere threat of forceful introduction into American
litigation's imbroglio. Really impressive, Petzl!!!

Bob 'Ex-T-shirt maker' Ternes
rte...@u.arizona.edu

Karl Lew

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Mar 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/23/99
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How many putzls does it take to piss off a petzl prez?
Geoff, we salute you.
Petzl sucks (<- free speech dont sue me)
Petzl sucks (<- free speech dont sue me)
Petzl sucks (<- free speech dont sue me)
Everybody go buy Kong keylocks.
--Karl "shred my check and thanks for trying"

GeoffCJ wrote in message <19990323161504...@ng-fu1.aol.com>...


>I just got off the phone with the President of Petzl N.A.
>

>They have stated that legal action will be taken if I produce the PUTZL

>t-shirts.


>
>I'm dissapointed,as I find the idea humorous, and I feel that I would be within

>my legal rights had I decided to continue, but I have neither the resources nor

>the time to risk having to fight a lawsuit, so I am not going to produce the

>shirts. Sorry.


>For those of you that have already mailed checks, I haven't deposited any yet,

>if you want me to return them, e-mail me, otherwise I'll just rip them up. If

>you haven't yet mailed your money, don't. Again, sorry, but I'm not willing to

>put myself in such a position over 15 t-shirts, even on principle.

>=<
>Geoff

GeoffCJ

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Mar 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/24/99
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>Yep, parody is one of the freedoms extended under the USA's First Amendment.
>As you stated, if a 'reasonable man' (obviously not a climber) can
>distinguish
>these shirts to be a joke, then Petzl USA/World/Universe has no legal claim.
>It's cool, though, that they have enough power to nix any potential such
>venture with the mere threat of forceful introduction into American
>litigation's imbroglio. Really impressive, Petzl!!!
>
>Bob 'Ex-T-shirt maker' Ternes
>rte...@u.arizona.edu

When I spoke with the President of Petzl NA he claimed to see the humor in it,
and was apologetic, but made it clear that the lawyers, and Petzl of France
were absolute in their intention to pursue it legally.

I agree with Bob that it does suck that just the threat is enough to deter. I
wish I had the guts, time and resources to fight it, but I'm not willing to do
that, even tho I agree, and stated to Petzl, that I thought I was well within
my legal rights as satire.

BTW-Madbolter...your "seconds" post made me almost wet myself I was laughing so
hard.

=/
Geoff

Harley A. Stenzel

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Mar 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/24/99
to GeoffCJ

GeoffCJ wrote:
>
> When I spoke with the President of Petzl NA he claimed to see the humor in it,
> and was apologetic, but made it clear that the lawyers, and Petzl of France
> were absolute in their intention to pursue it legally.
>

Are you sure that this guy is who he claims to be? A couple of things
strike me as being a little suspicious.

1. The president calls. President don't call, they decide and direct.
Then lawyers write letters. And lawyers always make sure that you can regain
contact, because any good lawyer (and good president, for that
matter) knows that it's easier to bully someone than take them to court,
and it's easier to bully them if they feel like they've got to contact you
before they do anything.

2. I can't find any reference to Petzl NA (assume North America?), unless
NA means Not Existent. On http://www.petzl.com/FRENG/tech/petzlstory.html,
I found that Paul Petzl is Pre'sident Directeur Ge'ne'ral, and that he has
a plant in the USA, but it seems unlikely that he would have another
president, aside from the "vice" variety.

3. Why would the president of anything care about 15 t-shirts?

So, all I'm saying is that my bullshit detector is going off. That doesn't
mean that the story isn't true, just that it, IMNSHO, needs some help.
Call the guy back, and if a secretary answers with "Petzl North America
President's Office, how can I help you", then it's most likely the way he
said and he's just not very good at his job. Which is also possible.

Alternatively, anyone so motivated could play a little prank by looking up
your phone number from the address you provided for people to send checks
to, then call you pretending to be the fictional president of Petzl North
America (sounds official, eh?) and watch the fallout on rec.climbing. All
very neat if you're into that sort of thing.

--Harley

GeoffCJ

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Mar 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/24/99
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gimme a little credit please...


In a message dated 3/24/1999 6:00:53 AM Pacific Standard Time,
hste...@mindspring.com writes:

> So, all I'm saying is that my bullshit detector is going off. That doesn't
> mean that the story isn't true, just that it, IMNSHO, needs some help.
> Call the guy back, and if a secretary answers with "Petzl North America
> President's Office, how can I help you", then it's most likely the way he
> said and he's just not very good at his job. Which is also possible.

well I called three times and each time a receptionist answered with "petzl
North america" almost all international companies working in the US have US
companiesthat are solely owned by the parent company. taxes maybe?

if it was a hoax, and I'm sure it wasn't, it was good one. His voice mail had
the same name as the message he left me, and I do have his number.
=>
geoff

Ken....@alumni.cs.cmu.edu

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Mar 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/24/99
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"Harley A. Stenzel" <hste...@mindspring.com> writes:

OK, it looks like someone has to step in and side with those terribly
evil corporate bad sports at Petzl who you have placed between a rock
and a hard place.

First, observe that the people who run hard core climbing companies
like Petzl are dedicated climbers. Blue-suited bean counters usually
have the good sense to stay out of an industry where the core clients
eat Top Ramen and sneak out of campgrounds before dawn to save money;
where lawsuits and liability insurance raise the risks; and where
credibility is an absolute necessity.

Anyway as far as the T-shirts go it's a shame, but Petzl had no choice
but to ask that they not be produced. The legal concept is called
trademark dilution, and it is a very serious concern for a company.
No matter how sympathetic the company's management may be to the joke,
they simply can't risk losing their exclusive rights to the Petzl name.

In case you're wondering how I know this, my cousin is the laywer for
an outdoor clothing company that ran into a similar situation: He got
the task of calling the producer of a "Deadagonia" t-shirt and
explaining that his company can't allow its trademark to be exploited
this way. I know my cousin as a big fan of the Grateful Dead and
appreciated the humor and respect in the t-shirt's design, but even so
and despite the objection, "oh man... you're bumming my trip," he had
to insist that the shirts stop being sold.

> > When I spoke with the President of Petzl NA he claimed to see the humor in it,
> > and was apologetic, but made it clear that the lawyers, and Petzl of France
> > were absolute in their intention to pursue it legally.

Given what I've seen, this makes complete sense. I don't personally
know the president of Petzl NA, but I'd be surprised if a company that
puts so much effort into helping climbers (e.g. their excellent
catalog, contributions to the Access Fund, etc.) is run by people who
don't understand climbers.

> Are you sure that this guy is who he claims to be? A couple of things
> strike me as being a little suspicious.
>

> 1. The president calls. President don't call, they decide and direct...

In small companies, presidents do all sorts of things. Doesn't Petzl
NA's actiion in this case show that they wanted to handle this in a
friendly - hell even reasonable - manner?

> 2. I can't find any reference to Petzl NA (assume North America?), unless
> NA means Not Existent. On http://www.petzl.com/FRENG/tech/petzlstory.html,
> I found that Paul Petzl is Pre'sident Directeur Ge'ne'ral, and that he has
> a plant in the USA, but it seems unlikely that he would have another
> president, aside from the "vice" variety.

I don't know for sure, but I'd bet that Petzl NA is in the same boat
as Trango:USA and Wild Country, USA: A separate company from the
foreign brand with exclusive US rights to the product, perhaps with
locally designed products or distribution agreements with third parties.

> 3. Why would the president of anything care about 15 t-shirts?

Could it be that allowing the sale of these T-shirts is a threat to
their ownership of the Petzl trademark? (Hint: the answer is yes)

> So, all I'm saying is that my bullshit detector is going off. That doesn't
> mean that the story isn't true, just that it, IMNSHO, needs some help.
> Call the guy back, and if a secretary answers with "Petzl North America
> President's Office, how can I help you", then it's most likely the way he
> said and he's just not very good at his job. Which is also possible.

So tell me, Harley, how much business experience do you really have?
I work in a small company and I can assure you that the president
(like everyone else) handles a very wide range of tasks.

I'd say calling the president of a successful company incompentent
because he personally handles difficult situations with potential PR
consequences is not very generous. For what it is worth, I have
called presidents of companies like Petzl and they were glad to take
the time to answer a customer's questions.

Ken

MadBolter

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Mar 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/24/99
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Ken....@alumni.cs.cmu.edu wrote:

> Anyway as far as the T-shirts go it's a shame, but Petzl had no choice
> but to ask that they not be produced. The legal concept is called
> trademark dilution, and it is a very serious concern for a company.
> No matter how sympathetic the company's management may be to the joke,
> they simply can't risk losing their exclusive rights to the Petzl name.

Trademark infringement (thru similar/but not identical logos)
in no way poses a threat to PETZL *losing* exclusive rights to their
name. That could be caused if the name PETZL became synonymous w/
one of their products which became incorporated into the English
language (i.e. Xerox, Kleenex) Completely different issues.

> In case you're wondering how I know this, my cousin is the laywer for
> an outdoor clothing company that ran into a similar situation: He got
> the task of calling the producer of a "Deadagonia" t-shirt and
> explaining that his company can't allow its trademark to be exploited
> this way.

Being a graphic designer who actually CREATES corporate identity
and long familiar with the legal issues of infringement, I have to
agree with Petzl's position. While the idea is fun, and in reality 15
shirts wouldn't make an impact, they would have a case if indeed they
decided to pursue. (Not sure how much they could really be awarded
for DAMAGES with 15 shirts though). Similarly, if the shirts weren't
*sold*, I don't know if they would be offered more protection under
the First Amendment. What usually happens in situations like this is
the offending party gets a cease and desist letter, case closed (if he
indeed stops).

The issue here is whether a new logo is similar enough to a Registered
or Trademarked Logo to be confusing to the average person to the point
of possibly reflecting poorly upon the primary company. OK, the PUTZL
logo could conceivably fit into this niche, but again...quantity DOES
have some thing to do with it. 15 ain't gonna be an impact, and those
whom Petzl sells their product to, wouldn't be confused, in fact, they
would most likely get the joke too.

As for your "my cousin's dog is a lawyer"-Deadagonia story, I might
side on the T-shirt maker to maybe win that battle if it went to court.
You can't tell me someone would confuse the two.

The law is actually fairly lenient to some "ripoffs".

-Rex "damn lawyers love to debate the grey areas" Pieper

remove "XSPAMX" from signature to reply

Steven Cherry

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Mar 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/24/99
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In <uzp524...@alumni.cs.cmu.edu> Ken....@alumni.cs.cmu.edu writes:

>"Harley A. Stenzel" <hste...@mindspring.com> writes:

>OK, it looks like someone has to step in and side with those terribly
>evil corporate bad sports at Petzl who you have placed between a rock
>and a hard place.

Nice the way this got turned around. The reality is that Petzl has
placed the t-shirt maker between the rock of risking being a party to
a nuisance lawsuit and the hard place of not doing something that's
perfectly legal.

>First, observe that the people who run hard core climbing companies
>like Petzl are dedicated climbers. Blue-suited bean counters usually
>have the good sense to stay out of an industry where the core clients
>eat Top Ramen and sneak out of campgrounds before dawn to save money;
>where lawsuits and liability insurance raise the risks; and where
>credibility is an absolute necessity.

How is corporate credibility placed at risk here?

>Anyway as far as the T-shirts go it's a shame, but Petzl had no choice
>but to ask that they not be produced. The legal concept is called
>trademark dilution, and it is a very serious concern for a company.
>No matter how sympathetic the company's management may be to the joke,
>they simply can't risk losing their exclusive rights to the Petzl name.

Defendant isn't trying to use the Petzl name, and to the extent that
the t-shirt dilutes the look and feel of the Petzl logo (which is where
the trademark dilution comes in, keeping in mind that you can't trademark
a look and feel), defendant's use of that look and feel is in the context
of satire, which is a constitutionally protected use.

>In case you're wondering how I know this, my cousin is the laywer for
>an outdoor clothing company that ran into a similar situation: He got
>the task of calling the producer of a "Deadagonia" t-shirt and
>explaining that his company can't allow its trademark to be exploited

>this way. I know my cousin as a big fan of the Grateful Dead and
>appreciated the humor and respect in the t-shirt's design, but even so
>and despite the objection, "oh man... you're bumming my trip," he had
>to insist that the shirts stop being sold.

No one is questioning the likelihood or the propriety of a lawyer making
that call. It's unfortunate that lawyers get placed in the position of
defending dubious legal theories and losing legal positions, but it
happens all the time. What's also unfortunate is being placed in the
position of winning by dint of bullying and threatening a losing, but
expensive lawsuit. If I were your cousin I wouldn't let myself be put in
that position, in fact, that's why I didn't become a lawyer. But to each
his own demons.

>Could it be that allowing the sale of these T-shirts is a threat to
>their ownership of the Petzl trademark? (Hint: the answer is yes)

Many companies find that the goodwill generated by being good sports about
satire creates a better strategy. "Hey, I hear you're selling t-shirts
that say "Putzl -- let me be your first customer! I need one for myself
and one for my marketing director who should have thought of it first"
would make for some great word of mouth stories about a great company.
Maybe Petzl is too insecure to do that, but the point is there are other
ways to go.

-steven-
--
--->-- Note new email address --->-- ste...@panix.com
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
A ship in harbor is safe--but that is not what ships are for.
-- John A. Shedd


Karl Lew

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Mar 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/24/99
to

>Puny Putzl poked a pun at petty Petzl.
>If Petzl's president promised to pursue Putzl's parody,
>how much poor press could Petzl's practice produce?
>-Rex "hahahaha" Pieper


ROFL 8*) Hey, Geoff, how about a new T-shirt:

Puny Petzl® Putzl

--Karl

Andy Gale

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Mar 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/24/99
to


> "Harley A. Stenzel" <hste...@mindspring.com> writes:
>
>

> > 2. I can't find any reference to Petzl NA (assume North America?), unless
> > NA means Not Existent. On http://www.petzl.com/FRENG/tech/petzlstory.html,
> > I found that Paul Petzl is Pre'sident Directeur Ge'ne'ral, and that he has
> > a plant in the USA, but it seems unlikely that he would have another
> > president, aside from the "vice" variety.
>

I guess you didn't look hard enough. Perhaps you could take a look at this page:

http://www.petzl.com/dealers/usa/index.usa.html#1

I found this on the Petzl web site. Took me about 15 seconds.

Cheers, Andy

--
******************************************************************
Andrew Gale The Scripps Research Institute
ag...@scripps.edu La Jolla, CA
******************************************************************

Ropes4U

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
I vote for a "Putzul North America" Shirt now..

Dylan Sutton

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
I wonder if the long arm of litigiousness stretches to the Antipodes? This sounds
like a bit of humour that I might be willing to take up as a matter of principle.
Anyone interested enough that I should check out costs including postage from Oz?
If Petzl are actually serious about this they can expect me to deface the logos on
all my gear post haste. They should be happy to have a high enough profile to be
worth joking about!
Dylan

MadBolter

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
Karl Lew wrote:

> How many putzls does it take to piss off a petzl prez?

A tongue twister for the day:

Puny Putzl poked a pun at petty Petzl.
If Petzl's president promised to pursue Putzl's parody,
how much poor press could Petzl's practice produce?


-Rex "hahahaha" Pieper

remove "XSPAMX" from signature to reply

GeoffCJ

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
>Puny Putzl poked a pun at petty Petzl.
>If Petzl's president promised to pursue Putzl's parody,
>how much poor press could Petzl's practice produce?

Plenty!

GeoffCJ

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
>In small companies, presidents do all sorts of things. Doesn't Petzl
>NA's actiion in this case show that they wanted to handle this in a
>friendly - hell even reasonable - manner?


According to Roody, the Prez at Petzl, the lawyers already had a cease and
desist letter for me, in conversations there, he decided tha t legal action
immediately was a little severe. Although I still think Petzl overeacted, and
will generate more hard feelings that they will suffer from more than any
potential harm the shirts would have done, Roody was very reasonable and
understanding, and I should give them full credit for giving me the chance to
back out before the cops showed up with a summons....still not happy about it.

=/
Geoff

Chisholm McChisholm

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
Dylan Sutton wrote:

> I wonder if the long arm of litigiousness stretches to the Antipodes? This sounds
> like a bit of humour that I might be willing to take up as a matter of principle.
> Anyone interested enough that I should check out costs including postage from Oz?

I'd be in, Dylan. I've already made myself one, but its a bit crusty, so I'd go for a
properly-done version ...

And only local postage required!

Cheers
Ben

Mike Yukish

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
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MadBolter wrote:


Spiteful Petzl's Putzl fuss?

*****************************

Mike Yukish
may...@psu.edu
Applied Research Lab/Penn State U.

Ken....@alumni.cs.cmu.edu

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
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madb...@aol.comXSPAMX (MadBolter) writes:

> Ken....@alumni.cs.cmu.edu wrote:
>
> > Anyway as far as the T-shirts go it's a shame, but Petzl had no choice
> > but to ask that they not be produced. The legal concept is called
> > trademark dilution, and it is a very serious concern for a company.
> > No matter how sympathetic the company's management may be to the joke,
> > they simply can't risk losing their exclusive rights to the Petzl name.
>

> Trademark infringement (thru similar/but not identical logos)
> in no way poses a threat to PETZL *losing* exclusive rights to their
> name. That could be caused if the name PETZL became synonymous w/
> one of their products which became incorporated into the English
> language (i.e. Xerox, Kleenex) Completely different issues.

Thanks for your legal opinion, Rex, but you are flat out wrong.
Trademark dilution is - unfortunately in this case - serious business
and a company must be able to prove that they have vigorously defended
their trademark if they want to keep it. The Xerox/Kleenex example is
indeed a completely different issue.

I have seen trademark enforcement from both sides: Through my cousin's
description of the deadagonia T-shirt phone call; and as president of
the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh (not affiliated with The Explorers
Club) when The Explorers Club found our website. I know how it feels
to talk with the representative of a powerful organization and be told
I couldn't use their name. The feeling isn't good.

> Being a graphic designer who actually CREATES corporate identity
> and long familiar with the legal issues of infringement, I have to
> agree with Petzl's position.

Tell me more, oh wise graphic designer...
[n.b. consider further legal education 'cause you're running low on
credibility in this field]

> The issue here is whether a new logo is similar enough to a Registered
> or Trademarked Logo to be confusing to the average person to the point
> of possibly reflecting poorly upon the primary company. OK, the PUTZL
> logo could conceivably fit into this niche,

Are you on drugs? The Putzl graphic is such an obvious play on
Petzl's logo that my dog would recognize it as such. Also, what makes
you think is matters if the use reflects poorly on Petzl?

> As for your "my cousin's dog is a lawyer"-Deadagonia story, I might
> side on the T-shirt maker to maybe win that battle if it went to court.

All the laywers at Microsoft couldn't win this case for the T-shirt
maker.

> -Rex "damn lawyers love to debate the grey areas" Pieper

Sorry, but this ain't no gray area. Besides which, neither of us are
laywers.

Ken

Karl Lew

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to

>Trademark dilution is - unfortunately in this case - serious business
>and a company must be able to prove that they have vigorously defended
>their trademark if they want to keep it. The Xerox/Kleenex example is
>indeed a completely different issue.


i need a lawyer to file a seize and dezist ordur
agin petzl for using the wurd "climbing", wich
enfreenjes (gasp) on my trad marked logo. help me
pliz.
--climer

MadBolter

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Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
Ken....@alumni.cs.cmu.edu wrote:

> madb...@aol.comXSPAMX (MadBolter) writes:
> > Trademark infringement (thru similar/but not identical logos)
> > in no way poses a threat to PETZL *losing* exclusive rights to their
> > name. That could be caused if the name PETZL became synonymous w/
> > one of their products which became incorporated into the English
> > language (i.e. Xerox, Kleenex) Completely different issues.

> Thanks for your legal opinion, Rex, but you are flat out wrong.

Bullshit Ken. A registered trademark is protected whether or not a
company decides to pursue each and every infraction they encounter.
I will agree that trademark dilution IS serious, but maintain that
they don't lose their rights to their registered logo if they don't sue.

> Trademark dilution is - unfortunately in this case - serious business
> and a company must be able to prove that they have vigorously defended
> their trademark if they want to keep it. The Xerox/Kleenex example is
> indeed a completely different issue.

> I have seen trademark enforcement from both sides: Through my cousin's


> description of the deadagonia T-shirt phone call; and as president of
> the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh (not affiliated with The Explorers
> Club) when The Explorers Club found our website. I know how it feels
> to talk with the representative of a powerful organization and be told
> I couldn't use their name. The feeling isn't good.

That's why most companies (the smart ones) do a legal name and logo
search. This process finds out if a proposed corporate name is available
and if a proposed logotype is confusingly similar to an existing one. If
your logo had a pair of wings on it, you'd receive a huge report showing
virtually every logo with wings. The logos that are deemed similar
are noted. I have copies of these documents, and deal with name/mark
searches all the time. You were pretty foolish to create an actual
organization with the same name as an existing, multi-national
group. Of course you got stomped.

Sidenote:
The Putzl T's aren't a company, they're more of a freedom of expression.
Art even. Ever hear of the company FUCT? The owner has made buckets
of cash over the years selling "SUE ME" logo ripoffs to the surfer/skater
punk crowd. There's a loophole somewhere gang, otherwise he'd be
out of business. I saw a pic of the singer Bjork once wearing a FUCT
T-shirt that had a Coca-cola logo ripoff on it which read "Enjoy Cock"
that looked EXACTLY like the "Enjoy Coke" logo. I laughed my ass off.
I know a few women who'd love that T....

> > Being a graphic designer who actually CREATES corporate identity
> > and long familiar with the legal issues of infringement, I have to
> > agree with Petzl's position.

> Tell me more, oh wise graphic designer...
> [n.b. consider further legal education 'cause you're running low on
> credibility in this field]

Tell me more oh wiseass. I said Petzl had a point. I agreed with their
stance. At least *I* work in the field, and have for 14 years. I actually
deal with lawyers on the issue (as opposed to just being related to
someone who was involved in ONE case). What are your credentials
again?

> > The issue here is whether a new logo is similar enough to a Registered
> > or Trademarked Logo to be confusing to the average person to the point
> > of possibly reflecting poorly upon the primary company. OK, the PUTZL
> > logo could conceivably fit into this niche,

> Are you on drugs? The Putzl graphic is such an obvious play on
> Petzl's logo that my dog would recognize it as such. Also, what makes
> you think is matters if the use reflects poorly on Petzl?

I said I agreed with Petzl's position, Ken. Even your dog could see that.
I was just referring to the standard "yardstick" that this issue is
measured by. That is, is it similar enough that the average schmo might
see the similarity and become confused as to which is the real company.
In this case..yes, in your Deadagonia example, I doubt it.

The possibility of a "rip-off" reflecting poorly upon a company is the
real reason these things are pursued. Companies spend billions on
public awareness campaigns and branding to pump up their image. They
don't want someone to come along and possibly hurt them in their
market.

> > As for your "my cousin's dog is a lawyer"-Deadagonia story, I might
> > side on the T-shirt maker to maybe win that battle if it went to court.

> All the laywers at Microsoft couldn't win this case for the T-shirt
> maker.

I wouldn't think that Microsoft's lawyers would be the one's I'd call
if I needed legal defense. Their track record for WINNING cases these
days is as poor as YOUR credibility on this issue. Stick to climbing Ken.

> > -Rex "damn lawyers love to debate the grey areas" Pieper

> Sorry, but this ain't no gray area. Besides which, neither of us are
> laywers.

Yes, copyright infringement DOES have a lot of grey areas. Why else
would we need fucking lawyers that do nothing BUT name/mark searches
and pursue litigation? Our legal system is ALL about grey areas.
Maybe YOU should take the classes before you start talking out of your
ass again.

-Rex Pieper

Michael Riches

unread,
Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
In article <ur9qd4...@alumni.cs.cmu.edu> , Ken....@alumni.cs.cmu.edu
wrote:

>Thanks for your legal opinion, Rex, but you are flat out wrong.

>Trademark dilution is - unfortunately in this case - serious business
>and a company must be able to prove that they have vigorously defended
>their trademark if they want to keep it. The Xerox/Kleenex example is
>indeed a completely different issue.
>
>I have seen trademark enforcement from both sides: Through my cousin's
>description of the deadagonia T-shirt phone call; and as president of
>the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh (not affiliated with The Explorers
>Club) when The Explorers Club found our website. I know how it feels
>to talk with the representative of a powerful organization and be told
>I couldn't use their name. The feeling isn't good.
>

I found a website once called Roadkills-R-Us. The guy didn't have
anything to do with any company, just set up a personal website and started
a legal war with the toy company Toys-R-Us. They sent him several very nasty
letters threatining legal action and demanding that he cease and desist. I
agree with the system, and think that every company has the right to protect
thier interests (it's a dog eat dog world), but I think Petzl way
over-reacted. If any of the Petzl people (and appearently they had) had been
reading the build-up on the group for the shirts than I think the Pres.
would have wanted to order one for himself. Oh well, another great idea shot
down by the "those-that-have"!

Watch out Ratigonia........they're coming after you next!


The Rockrat


Joey

unread,
Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to

Serves you right. I'm sure you would not appreciate it if it were your
company...Copyright infringement is a serious offence. Companies shell out
thousands of dollars for that because of people like you

Michael Riches

unread,
Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to
In article <36fa...@news.nwlink.com> , "Joey"
<shredhea...@hotmail.com> wrote:

Hey Joey, Lighten up a bit......The whole thing was never meant to hurt
Petzl, It was a joke. Lets not start another war over a large corporations
inability to distinguish humor from Trademark infringements.....

The Rockrat (cabin fever, I suspect)


Steven Cherry

unread,
Mar 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/25/99
to

>Serves you right. I'm sure you would not appreciate it if it were your
>company...Copyright infringement is a serious offence. Companies shell out
>thousands of dollars for that because of people like you

Ooooh, thousands of dollars. That's just two or three orders of magnitude
less than (i.e., .1 to 1% of) the most expensive press event I've ever
seen ($2+ million by IBM at a Comdex a few years ago). If the President of
Petzl returns to the motherland just once by Concorde instead of coach on
a regular flight, that's your thousands of dollars right there. Grow up.

JKVawter

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
What, no humorous climbing gifts for sale? Where's czarina, your trusty
shill? You're the second T-shirt selling newbie to cop an attitude here
this month. Is this a technique you guys learned at a sales seminar?
Here's a technique: lurk more, post less.

JKVawter

Kevin Benoit

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
I think that I may possibly be the cause of this action by Petzl, my cousin
is an employee of Petzl (a sales rep) and I showed him the graphic because I
thought it was funny. He didn't think it was funny and he said he was going
to contact someone about it, this was all about a week a go and I think that
is how Petzl found out about it. I just called him when I saw this thread
and he told me that he indeed did talk to his supervisor and a report was
filed. So I apologize if this was my fault and I won't be showing him any
posts in the future.

Kevin

GeoffCJ

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
>You're the second T-shirt selling newbie to cop an attitude here
>this month. Is this a technique you guys learned at a sales seminar?

I'm sorry, was this directed at me?- because if it was...WHAT???
Newbie?
Sales Seminar?
I merely thought I would provide, at NO PROFIT, a chance fro some climbers to
get a humorous T-shirt. It wasn't even my idea, I was merely a medium.
Based on the many positive responses, I think I had quite a bit of
support....So chill...
=/
Geoff

Jeff

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
Kevin Benoit <k...@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
LpGK2.573$JG6.2...@news2.mia...

If this is the truth, then your cousin is indeed a penis of tiny
dimensions. Godammit! I want a Putzl T! (pout)

Jeff


Mike Yukish

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
On Fri, 26 Mar 1999 07:10:35 GMT, "Kevin Benoit" <k...@bellsouth.net>
wrote:

>I think that I may possibly be the cause of this action by Petzl, my cousin
>is an employee of Petzl (a sales rep) and I showed him the graphic because I
>thought it was funny. He didn't think it was funny and he said he was going
>to contact someone about it, this was all about a week a go and I think that
>is how Petzl found out about it.

They probably thought it was a rip on Petzl, rather than an inside
joke among "the few, the proud, the putzl".

I remember a while back reading about how some small group referred to
themselves as a "Skunkworks", which through time has evolved to
generically mean a small group of highly motivated engineers focused
on pushing the edge. Lockheed Martin sent them a legal-gram with all
of the right "cease and desist" words stating the same sort of thing,
that they own the "Skunkworks" moniker, and thou shalt not dilute it.
So even respectful rip offs are frowned upon by corporate america.

Somebody pass me a kleenex, er ..., I mean a facial tissue. Anybody
for fruit flavored colored gelatin?

So the key is to infringe on some trademark that has absolutely
nothing to do with climbing, like "tidy bowl" or "jello" or "Toys R
us" or "crayola", and maintain plausible deniability by depositing
checks to a swiss bank account and mailing the T-shirts from a drop
box in Tijuana.

Color me a Putzl.

Jeff

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
<Begin Rant>

You know, I've been thinking a bit about this so - called "copyright
infringement," and "dilution of trademark" (or whatever the stupid
legaleze term is)...why does it seem to be so vehemently defended by
some companies (like McDonalds or Petzl), when other companies don't
even seem to care? For instance, how about the take on Volkswagen's
logo - "Funkengruven?" Or more specific to our group, "Climbengruven?"
That sure as hell sounds and looks pretty close to "Farvergnugen" to me,
but I would never confuse them. Doesn't see, to have put VW out of
business either. As far as I see it, Petzl stood to gain more exposure
amongst their very own crowd for free if they decided to let the T
shirts go through, but instead decided to be corporate fuckholes, and
whine and bitch, and threaten one of their own potential customers. The
more I think about this, the more pissed off I get. Like anyone's gonna
think to themselves, "Hmmm. This Petzl Ecrin Roc is real nice...and at
a wonderfully low price of only $75.00!!! Think I'll buy it....oh wait!
I FORGOT - the PUTZL's are on sale...now where are they....?" I'll tell
you what...I will conciously avoid Petzl products in the future. And
I'm willing to bet the the amount of business lost right there is more
than they could have ever stood to "lose" by letting the T shirts be
made in the first place.

Jeff

<End Rant>

Michael Riches

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
In article <JVLK2.45$Yy4.24...@dca1-nnrp1.news.digex.net> , "Jeff"
<jwr...@telogy.com> wrote:

Not only that, but being an inside joke it wasn't really a slam, and the
only people that would know what Putzl was would be the ones in on the joke.
So with that in mind every time I proudly exhibited my Putzl I would be
reminded of just generous the Parent company was in allowing us the
privilege of having our little inside joke and buy more gear. I guess the
next Helmet will have to be a Kong. Damn I really liked my Ecrin Rock.

The Rockrat (So if I paint Putzl on the back of my helmet will the more
Italian of the sales reps from Petzl seek me out?)


Joshua Hadley

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
Kevin Benoit <k...@bellsouth.net> wrote in a message
>(about ruining everybody's fun by telling his cousin about the PUTZL post)

to which Jeff replied:


>If this is the truth, then your cousin is indeed a penis of tiny
>dimensions. Godammit! I want a Putzl T! (pout)
>
>Jeff


Regardless of penis size, there's very little to prevent you as an
individual from getting one of those inexpensive inkjet printers and using
that special iron-on paper to make your own T's. If you have a scanner (or
perhaps a friend with a scanner, or Hey! maybe even a member of a NG with a
scanner who could scan it and e-mail an image file to you) you wouldn't even
need to be much of an artist to accomplish it.

But from the sound of things, you probably wouldn't want to, er, "advertise"
your efforts here on WreckDotCliming.

Josh


John Byrnes

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
Michael Riches wrote:
> ...(So if I paint Putzl on the back of my helmet will the more

> Italian of the sales reps from Petzl seek me out?)

No, but you might be chased by hordes of young jewish boys who
want to put Putzl stickers on their yarmulkes.

- Lord Slime, I'll take a Shmokzl T-shirt, please.

JKVawter

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
Absolutely not. I liked your idea and it pains me to see it squashed by
Petzl's corporate legal nail-biters. In fact, I think you ought to do it
anyway, privately.

I was referring to "Dennis" who after posting much spam about his
T-shirt company earlier this month, flamed Karl when he (Dennis) failed
to comprehend an inside joke. Like Dennis, "Joey" (shredhead22) is a
newbie who has posted virtually nothing but spam about his "humorous"
coffee, fishing, chocolate, bowling, skydiving and rodeo T-shirts. Sorry
for the confusion.

JKVawter

cj...@my-dejanews.com

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
In article <36fb85ab....@news.psu.edu>,
may...@psu.edu wrote:

> So the key is to infringe on some trademark that has absolutely
> nothing to do with climbing, like "tidy bowl" or "jello" or "Toys R
> us" or "crayola", and maintain plausible deniability by depositing
> checks to a swiss bank account and mailing the T-shirts from a drop
> box in Tijuana.


Fuckin Gonuts!
Cheers,
Christian ;?)

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Zippo

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
I just had to chime in on this one....

Post the logo to a web page on geocities or some other free service.
(don't use your real identity) Those who really want the shirt can grab
the logo and print it to one of those iron-on sheets. One white t-shirt
and poof!, instant t-shirt.

Either that or find somebody with nothing to lose to distribute the
shirt. Does it do them any good to sue a poor guy?

Just my 2 cents.

Back too lurk mode.

Zippo

--
- Zippo zi...@cyberspace.org

Karl Lew

unread,
Mar 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/26/99
to
Kevin, thank you for coming forward and explaining what happened.
The outcome is unfortunate, but these things happen. For me it's
actually quite sad, because I really do like Petzl equipment and
appreciate what the company has done for climbing enthusiasts
everywhere. The "Putzl" shirt was for me a statement about myself
and not about Petzl, in the sense that it says, "I am a putz who
wishes he were a Petzl" It's a shirt I would wear with pride as
I clank around with my Petzl stuff. So it's sad that this company
that I otherwise admire should turn around and stomp on what, for
me is actually a humorous statement of loyalty to that same
company.
--Karl *sigh*

Kevin Benoit wrote in message ...


>I think that I may possibly be the cause of this action by Petzl, my cousin
>is an employee of Petzl (a sales rep) and I showed him the graphic because I
>thought it was funny. He didn't think it was funny and he said he was going
>to contact someone about it, this was all about a week a go and I think that

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