From Mountain Xpress, two local small businesses are dealing with corporate trademark actions.
West Asheville’s Small Terrain was informed by Urban Outfitters that UO held the trademark for “terrain” in several categories. Meanwhile, Amazing Savings of downtown, South Asheville and Black Mountain has shut down its website and searches for a new name after a trademark action from New York-based Simply Amazing, LLC.
Small Terrain sells supplies for the urban homesteader, including organic bulk herbs, cheesemaking equipment, leaf composting bags and equipment and supplies for vegetable gardens, keeping chickens, and rainwater catchment.
Amazing Savings is a family-owned local chain re-selling mostly organic food from other vendors.
From a Mountain Xpress article:
Amazing Savings Markets has shut down its website and is currently searching for a new name, a process co-owner Danette Hopey describes as “painful.” New York-based Simply Amazing, LLC, runs the Amazing Savings merchandise chain throughout the Northeast; the company took issue with the local business’ name.
“They evidently have a trademark for the word ‘amazing’, and they’ve started an action against us,” Hopey tells Xpress. “The paperwork they sent us was to never use that name again. We’ve been really suffering from this for about a year. We’re hesitant to just change the name to anything else; names are important.”
“Only two weeks after opening the doors, I received a cease-and-desist letter from Urban Outfitters’ attorney, informing me that they have the word ‘terrain’ trademarked in multiple categories,” Small Terrain owner Natalie Pollard writes in a December newsletter. “They argue that my little shop’s name will cause confusion and unfair competition for their garden center in Pennsylvania.”
Read the full Xpress article here.
From the Small Terrain newsletter:
Guess I’m finally letting the cat out of the bag on this one, albeit reluctantly. Only two weeks after opening the doors, I received a cease and desist letter from Urban Outfitters’ attorney, informing me that they have the word ‘terrain’ trademarked in multiple categories. They argue that my little shop’s name will cause confusion and unfair competition for their garden center in Pennsylvania, Terrain at Styer’s. While aware of their business and its name, I feel quite strongly that their argument is ungrounded. There is no confusing my business with theirs. The entire ethos of my shop defies what they are made of. Not to mention the hypocrisy of their claims as their company is notorious for lifting ideas from designers and artists. And I won’t even get into the reasons why I would never want my business to be associated with theirs, so here’s a link to cover that. As it stands, I am waiting to hear a reply from my response to their claims and remain hopeful that there will be a reasonable conclusion. To be continued…
To be honest, I have wondered about Amazing Savings (and asked a few folks) because I had gone on line, and saw the Northern A.S. and products are really similar (although I hear the places up north have a lot more household stuff and clothing than ours.) So I WAS confused as to whether they were actually related. I’m not confused about the out-of-date dairy items – I don’t buy them!!!!
Regarding trademarks in general – while I’m not a lawyer from what I understand, if 2 businesses are similar and there can be confusion then, yeah trademarks are violated. If you wanted to open up a store called Terrain that was selling maybe food – farm to table?, U.O. would probably not object. But the restaurant Plant would be pissed off. U.O. might be objecting to Terrain bc maybe since they have a presence here, maybe someday down the line they might want to open another Terrain.
I think a more serious issue is that “The Store Formerly Known as Amazing Savings” sells food seriously past expiration dates. I’m not talking frozen food (even though we don’t know if that food dated for August 2012 was frozen prior to date or prior to the day I am in the store) but stuff in the dairy case that is a week, two weeks and sometimes more past its expiration date/last date of sale. Anyone ever hear of botulism or listeria?
Luckily for you, if it bothers you, you don’t have to shop there! Neat how that works, isn’t it?
You can call the local Urban Outfitters store and explain to them how much damage this will do their reputation in Asheville. 828-232-4153. No need to get into a debate with them. Just add your voice and hope that it encourages Urban Outfitters to back off.
I don’t think explaining your thoughts on the matter to the 20-something clerk at the local Urban Outfitters is really going to accomplish what you want. Take your grievances to the top — 1.800.282.2200
eat shit urban outfitters
Does that mean that Home Depot owns the rights to “home” or that Autozone can stop me from using “auto”? Just because they are attempting this bullying doesn’t mean they would win. Of course, they know this and know that these small businesses don’t have the ability to fight it.
Auto Zone used to be Auto Shack. Yes, Radio Shack sued them.
just because big business is bullying them, doesn’t exactly mean they are right.
Its too bad they can’t fight it. What would happen if they didn’t cease and desist?
another example of bastard-big-business-bullying!really, does thhis mean i can never use the word “amazing” if i own a business? hell, it’s “amazing” that small businesses even survive against the onslaught of corporate america.