In my efforts to create the “rear-ended” bumper sticker from my last post, I also created another design that I thought was a little more “globally acceptable.”
I uploaded the image to CafePress to create the stickers, and almost immediately the image was flagged as being a “possible violation of the Content Usage Policy.” This meant that I could not create any products using the design. There was no indication that it was merely ‘pending review’ by any further CafePress team members. I was directed to read the “CUPS” and change my image accordingly.
Here’s the image in question:
I immediately wrote the company requesting further information on what possible copyright I could be infringing.
I received the following response:
With regard to your pending image, we have set the image to pending status due to the use of the term “caution” in your design. In accordance with our Intellectual Property Rights Policy, the owner of the â€œCautionâ€ trademark, has notified us that the use of the word â€œCautionâ€ in product titles, product descriptions and/or in products potentially infringes upon the â€œCaution!â€ trademark.
Although we are not in agreement with all of the contentions, we are not in a position to evaluate the merits of an infringement claim made against you by a third party. In order to best protect ourselves from risk, we must take all allegations of infringement seriously and take action in removing the content from our site.
Accordingly, images which utilize the â€œCaution!â€ trademark have been set to â€œpending statusâ€ which disables said content from being displayed in your shop or purchased by the public. You may review the content set to pending status by logging into your CafePress.com account and clicking on the â€œMedia Basketâ€ link. The content set to pending status will be highlighted red.
If you believe that you hold the rights to the content alleged to infringe the rights of the third party, we encourage you to contact the alleged rights holder directly for a resolution to this matter. Below please find the contact information for the party bringing this allegation of infringement to our attention.
Caution Brand Apparel
P.O. Box 4802
Covina Ca 91723
We apologize for any inconvenience that our actions may cause you. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
Now I don’t know about you, but I have a problem with the idea that the word “Caution” can be trademarked. You’ll notice that I have no exclamation mark on my image. If you go to the Cautionwear website, which by the way leaves a LOT to be desired, you’ll see these examples of their logos:
I’m not an expert, but I don’t see a similarity between their logo and mine. The only conclusion I can reach is that the WORD itself has now been trademarked. Here’s a screenshot of their site confirming this conclusion:
If you haven’t already noticed, I’d like to point out the first product that is listed on this particular page:
So if you’re following along, you’ll see that the word “Caution” has been trademarked by a company that makes and sells “Scratch-and-Sniff Underwear.”
If anything ever needed a caution sticker, it would be scratch-and-sniff underwear.
So in the spirit of commercialism and profiteering, I’d like to offer the following list of words that I wish to declare my own registered trademarks:
Make your checks payable to Paul Harris. I also accept Paypal.
Oh, and in the spirit of non-infringement, I altered the bumper sticker design. Get yours now at my CafePress store.