October 24, 2001
Completely bogus. The trademark registration indicates that "THE SHOPS AT" is
not part of the trademark, EXCEPT in the specific graphic logo presented.
Further, "The Shops At" is untrademarkable (is that a word?) because it's a
description. Your site represents your personal reviews of the shops at
Willowbend. Note, the trademark does not indicate "WILLOW BEND" rather
"WILLOWBEND". Since Willowbend or WILLOW BEND is a location, there is nothing
to restrict you from using that location as a description.
Further, even if they make it a problem for you to keep the domain, you can
still run a subdir /shopsatwillowbend which is the review site, or even
further, ReviewsOfWillowBend, etc...
Further, the photos and layout cannot be part of the trademark or copyright
since their visible image was made a part of the public domain by their display
in plain and open site (ie, a picture of someone holding a book isn't the same
as reprinting the cover of a book).
On the downside, the advertisement was visibly a direct jab and an average
person would see it as such, regardless of whether it was your g/f, dad, best
friend, etc. Non-commercial is the way to go.
I like the "You will refrain from referring to such trademarks." Aka, trying
to make a legal agreement to abridge your freedom of the press AND freedom of
As for the process server, that's BS. You wouldn't have to pay for it UNLESS
they won, in which case you'd have to pay damages.
Anyway... Grrr. Evil bad people suck.