Monday, July 27, 2009

WAR = Copyright Infringement?

Okay - last week WAR really hit the big time. You won't believe it, but I actually got a letter informing me that the Wednesday Urban Assault Ride was infringing on a copyright.

So, cut back on those Wednesday night beers, because we are starting a fund to hire Johnnie Cochran. "If the bike don't fit, you must acquit!"

Here is the letter I received:
How’s it going? I was just checking out your site. Thanks a lot for promoting our event and coming out to participate!

I need to ask you a favor. For 7 years and over 30 events we’ve produced the Urban Assault Ride and established a name for the event. We trademarked the name and have worked hard to create an understanding of our concept.

I see that you’re running a site called the “Wednesday Urban Assault Ride”. As much as I really like what you’re doing, I have to ask you to
not call it the Urban Assault Ride. Not only could it be confusing to potential UAR riders, but there’s also the potential for bigger issues. If a rider were to get hurt or worse on one of your rides and it was publicized, the public would see that there was an accident on an Urban Assault Ride in Austin. You can imagine how this could effect our event, sponsorship. Insurance, etc.

I have no problem with you call your ride the WAR – Wednesday Assault Ride, but the Wednesday Urban Assault Ride is just too close.

I hope you understand and that you’ll make the necessary changes to correct the issue.


So, our ride is now officially just the Wednesday Assault Ride. But, we keep our fancy acronym, WAR.

I'm poking a bit of fun at the letter we received, but understand the point. Plus, what is the point of fighting someone who support bikes and beer anyway? Although we do have a lawyer that regularly attends the ride, he usually ends up drunk at the end like the rest of us, and probably couldn't provide that much assistance.

But, that said, consider the towable music box with ground effects patented!


Jason said...

Technically it's "trademark" infringement, which is what they currently hold for the term "Urban Assault" as it relates to "...planning, organizing and producing competitive sporting event containing multiple sports, teams, modes of transportation, and a format that requires teams to reach checkpoints and complete and physical challenges..."

Whether your event steps on this or not is up to y'all, but it doesn't seem so bad on your end, just a case of an overzealous corporate whomever targeting the little guy. Ah well, I'll try to make the ride soon, urban or not.

dougmc said...

If that's all the letter said, I think you gave up too easily. (Unless there was more correspondence that wasn't mentioned.) Bullies are bullies, even if they ride bikes and hide behind lawyers.

In any event, I'm sorry to say you might have a hard time hiring Johnnie Cochran for your defense ...

Carter said...

What's real funny is that I know the guy that wrote that letter. I'm sure it was Josh. I worked with him at Ozone Bikes when I help start that shop. I showed him how to get sponsors back in 1998. I see his point but there is NO WAY we are going to hurt his business. If he's worried about a lawsuit, I have an insurance agent that will sell him quality insurance to cover his paranoid ass.