Are the penguins stepping on corporate toes?

Currently a fairly large, well estiblished corporate entity is accusing the JGoode “artic bird” of infringing… on the word penguin. Or maybe it’s infringing on being a penguin. I’m not quite sure. It’s all *hearsay* ya know… suppozebly.

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I’m sorry to say it, but I’m actually truly confused. This poor little birdy has no other name.. does it? Maybe something in latin, I’m not sure. I could translate to spanish or french.. or anything but english, if that made a difference couldn’t I?

Do big corporations have the right to own an entire species of animal just because it’s on a t-shirt? Can anyone legally monopolize the market in any given area when the word is common language?

I would think if full ownership regardless of font, features and location were possible, Duncan would not be making doughnuts, Olive’s Garden would be blooming of pasta a little less.. Bad Girl would prevent any other company from selling an image of a rule breaking female on a shirt… and the Old would be out of a Navy because the military doesnt need to be associated with young girls wearing capris and smilie commercials.
blogg2.jpgThere are plenty of other penguins out there… on apparel no less. What are they being called, if not the bird they are? How do they look if they are in fact penguins… like doughnuts?

Where is the line drawn (in theory) when it comes to common use, and common law first use?

How sad would it be to lose an entire population of penguins, just because Mr. CorpUn-named likes to bully and attempt to scare competition away. (Competition!? Confusing you with who? says Mr. JGoode. -wink-)

It’s disheartening, this unexpected situation at hand, I have penguins to doodle and sculpt and dream up… yet the battle needs to be fought. When one does wrong, they need to correct their mistakes, but when one is accused of wrong they didn’t do… one must just hope the right people are listening.

– cross yer fingers.

I’ll keep you posted.

– in the meantime, i’d love your comments. what do you think?

[tags]penguin,trademark,jgoode,cartoon,laws[/tags]

51 thoughts on “Are the penguins stepping on corporate toes?”

  1. Wow. It’s getting ridiculous what the courts & corporations are trademarking – it feels like the design & branding world is moving towards monopoly; ie: the guys with the big money having control of all intellectual and common phrases, ideas, images, etc. Your penguins are uniquely YOU, with a defined style that doesn’t look like someone else’s. Hopefully you win this fight, and that it’s not too painful!

    Reply
  2. Wow. It’s getting ridiculous what the courts & corporations are trademarking – it feels like the design & branding world is moving towards monopoly; ie: the guys with the big money having control of all intellectual and common phrases, ideas, images, etc. Your penguins are uniquely YOU, with a defined style that doesn’t look like someone else’s. Hopefully you win this fight, and that it’s not too painful!

    Reply
  3. Wow. It’s getting ridiculous what the courts & corporations are trademarking – it feels like the design & branding world is moving towards monopoly; ie: the guys with the big money having control of all intellectual and common phrases, ideas, images, etc. Your penguins are uniquely YOU, with a defined style that doesn’t look like someone else’s. Hopefully you win this fight, and that it’s not too painful!

    Reply
  4. NO WAY Jen!
    I have a penguin or two in my shop and no one has said anything… then again I don’t have a shop of just penguins but this is bologna! They couldn’t possibly do this, I mean, I don’t even know who “they” is… I don’t suppose you could say “buuut my first penguin doodle was made before ____ or ____…”? I dunno if that would make a difference.
    I just added a link to the penguin shop yesterday from my new shop: http://www.cafepress.com/greatandsmall
    hrm. I don’t suppose we could all sign a leave the penguins alone” petition or something?
    *sigh* People these days…

    Reply
  5. NO WAY Jen!
    I have a penguin or two in my shop and no one has said anything… then again I don’t have a shop of just penguins but this is bologna! They couldn’t possibly do this, I mean, I don’t even know who “they” is… I don’t suppose you could say “buuut my first penguin doodle was made before ____ or ____…”? I dunno if that would make a difference.
    I just added a link to the penguin shop yesterday from my new shop: http://www.cafepress.com/greatandsmall
    hrm. I don’t suppose we could all sign a leave the penguins alone” petition or something?
    *sigh* People these days…

    Reply
  6. NO WAY Jen!
    I have a penguin or two in my shop and no one has said anything… then again I don’t have a shop of just penguins but this is bologna! They couldn’t possibly do this, I mean, I don’t even know who “they” is… I don’t suppose you could say “buuut my first penguin doodle was made before ____ or ____…”? I dunno if that would make a difference.
    I just added a link to the penguin shop yesterday from my new shop: http://www.cafepress.com/greatandsmall
    hrm. I don’t suppose we could all sign a leave the penguins alone” petition or something?
    *sigh* People these days…

    Reply
  7. I think corporate should take a flyin’ leap if they believe they own the word penquin. It’s scare tactics and strong-arming in an attempt to reduce the competition and it smells bad.
    Just hang in there and know that you have tons of support out in the real world!

    Reply
  8. I think corporate should take a flyin’ leap if they believe they own the word penquin. It’s scare tactics and strong-arming in an attempt to reduce the competition and it smells bad.
    Just hang in there and know that you have tons of support out in the real world!

    Reply
  9. I think corporate should take a flyin’ leap if they believe they own the word penquin. It’s scare tactics and strong-arming in an attempt to reduce the competition and it smells bad.
    Just hang in there and know that you have tons of support out in the real world!

    Reply
  10. I wish I could say I was surprised, but considering the C&D’s I’ve received over the last couple of months (plus one actual lawsuit. Fun!) I’m really, really not.

    Karyn’s got it right–the corporations are going to do all they can to squeeze out us little guys by using every intimidation tactic at their disposal. And since they have all the money and lawyers on their side, they’ll probably do very well.

    Reply
  11. I wish I could say I was surprised, but considering the C&D’s I’ve received over the last couple of months (plus one actual lawsuit. Fun!) I’m really, really not.

    Karyn’s got it right–the corporations are going to do all they can to squeeze out us little guys by using every intimidation tactic at their disposal. And since they have all the money and lawyers on their side, they’ll probably do very well.

    Reply
  12. I wish I could say I was surprised, but considering the C&D’s I’ve received over the last couple of months (plus one actual lawsuit. Fun!) I’m really, really not.

    Karyn’s got it right–the corporations are going to do all they can to squeeze out us little guys by using every intimidation tactic at their disposal. And since they have all the money and lawyers on their side, they’ll probably do very well.

    Reply
  13. HUGS!!!! Good Luck!

    I found out that my own nickname is not allowed on t-shirts with my dragonflies by a large not-me-naming-names corp whose lawyers do not even bother to answer requests for mailed cease & desist letters on their corporate letterhead instead of sicking CUPS on someone via email (this company happens to sell a lot of tiny waisted dolls that remind me of anorexic girls on TV). Good thing my poor Grandmother is dead or they would be probably be sending her cease & desist emails for writing my nickname on birthday or Christmas cards to me.

    I guess we will all be getting cease & desist letters for featuring your adorable artic birdies …. oh that’s right – they probably own artic and birdies too?

    And they are closing down all the zoos because the zoos advertise penguins, lions, tigers, bears, polar bears, monkeys, zebras, giraffes, whales, sea lions, walruses, otters and assorted other animal breed names?

    And the dictionaries, thesauruses and encyclopedias have to be removed from libraries and the Internet too – that would not be fair use to provide facts, correct spelling or pictures of these birds and animals.

    I think I liked the world better before personal names & animal named animal cartoons like your adorable penguins suddenly became “corporate breaking the law” offenses to call a penguin a penguin or a Barbara a Barb-e or a dragonfly a dragonfly. At 55 years of age – I would not want to wear a doll on a t-shirt to have my name on one.

    Penguin is a proper noun for a specific species of bird – we can call them doughnuts … with chocolate sprinkles even … but what happens when the chocolate sprinkle doughnuts send out the cease & desist letters?

    I want to sign the petition to save the JGoode penguins and let the penguins be penguins, not doughnuts with chocolate sprinkles!

    Reply
  14. HUGS!!!! Good Luck!

    I found out that my own nickname is not allowed on t-shirts with my dragonflies by a large not-me-naming-names corp whose lawyers do not even bother to answer requests for mailed cease & desist letters on their corporate letterhead instead of sicking CUPS on someone via email (this company happens to sell a lot of tiny waisted dolls that remind me of anorexic girls on TV). Good thing my poor Grandmother is dead or they would be probably be sending her cease & desist emails for writing my nickname on birthday or Christmas cards to me.

    I guess we will all be getting cease & desist letters for featuring your adorable artic birdies …. oh that’s right – they probably own artic and birdies too?

    And they are closing down all the zoos because the zoos advertise penguins, lions, tigers, bears, polar bears, monkeys, zebras, giraffes, whales, sea lions, walruses, otters and assorted other animal breed names?

    And the dictionaries, thesauruses and encyclopedias have to be removed from libraries and the Internet too – that would not be fair use to provide facts, correct spelling or pictures of these birds and animals.

    I think I liked the world better before personal names & animal named animal cartoons like your adorable penguins suddenly became “corporate breaking the law” offenses to call a penguin a penguin or a Barbara a Barb-e or a dragonfly a dragonfly. At 55 years of age – I would not want to wear a doll on a t-shirt to have my name on one.

    Penguin is a proper noun for a specific species of bird – we can call them doughnuts … with chocolate sprinkles even … but what happens when the chocolate sprinkle doughnuts send out the cease & desist letters?

    I want to sign the petition to save the JGoode penguins and let the penguins be penguins, not doughnuts with chocolate sprinkles!

    Reply
  15. HUGS!!!! Good Luck!

    I found out that my own nickname is not allowed on t-shirts with my dragonflies by a large not-me-naming-names corp whose lawyers do not even bother to answer requests for mailed cease & desist letters on their corporate letterhead instead of sicking CUPS on someone via email (this company happens to sell a lot of tiny waisted dolls that remind me of anorexic girls on TV). Good thing my poor Grandmother is dead or they would be probably be sending her cease & desist emails for writing my nickname on birthday or Christmas cards to me.

    I guess we will all be getting cease & desist letters for featuring your adorable artic birdies …. oh that’s right – they probably own artic and birdies too?

    And they are closing down all the zoos because the zoos advertise penguins, lions, tigers, bears, polar bears, monkeys, zebras, giraffes, whales, sea lions, walruses, otters and assorted other animal breed names?

    And the dictionaries, thesauruses and encyclopedias have to be removed from libraries and the Internet too – that would not be fair use to provide facts, correct spelling or pictures of these birds and animals.

    I think I liked the world better before personal names & animal named animal cartoons like your adorable penguins suddenly became “corporate breaking the law” offenses to call a penguin a penguin or a Barbara a Barb-e or a dragonfly a dragonfly. At 55 years of age – I would not want to wear a doll on a t-shirt to have my name on one.

    Penguin is a proper noun for a specific species of bird – we can call them doughnuts … with chocolate sprinkles even … but what happens when the chocolate sprinkle doughnuts send out the cease & desist letters?

    I want to sign the petition to save the JGoode penguins and let the penguins be penguins, not doughnuts with chocolate sprinkles!

    Reply
  16. Tell ol’ WhatsHisFace, “Let my penguins go!”

    No one can stop those Goode Lil’ penguins! The world needs them. We will not allow tyrants to deprive us of cute, happy, and wonderful. They cannot take the penguins.

    Fight the good fight, Jen. We’re here for ya.

    Reply
  17. Tell ol’ WhatsHisFace, “Let my penguins go!”

    No one can stop those Goode Lil’ penguins! The world needs them. We will not allow tyrants to deprive us of cute, happy, and wonderful. They cannot take the penguins.

    Fight the good fight, Jen. We’re here for ya.

    Reply
  18. Tell ol’ WhatsHisFace, “Let my penguins go!”

    No one can stop those Goode Lil’ penguins! The world needs them. We will not allow tyrants to deprive us of cute, happy, and wonderful. They cannot take the penguins.

    Fight the good fight, Jen. We’re here for ya.

    Reply
  19. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this Jen–I hope it’s resolved soon in your favor. I really don’t understand the reasoning behind not using “penguin”?? How can anyone trademark the proper name of an animal? That makes me a bit concerned, and as you say, where does it stop…

    I had several designs pulled a few months back too after the lawyer for a big car company threatened CP and me because a few cars I placed my dogs and cats in were the distinctive shape of one of their models of car 🙂 This even though there were several designs by others I stumbled across later that used the actual name of the car in their designs. Go figure, lol.

    I also recently had a cease and desist “request” by a woman who threatened a lawyer if I didn’t close one of my shops because she’d applied to register a trademark on the name I was already using and selling under. Fortunately, I was in the right on this one and she went away, so it does happen. I hope it also goes successfully for your Pingwins 🙂

    sharon
    http://tailsntiles.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  20. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this Jen–I hope it’s resolved soon in your favor. I really don’t understand the reasoning behind not using “penguin”?? How can anyone trademark the proper name of an animal? That makes me a bit concerned, and as you say, where does it stop…

    I had several designs pulled a few months back too after the lawyer for a big car company threatened CP and me because a few cars I placed my dogs and cats in were the distinctive shape of one of their models of car 🙂 This even though there were several designs by others I stumbled across later that used the actual name of the car in their designs. Go figure, lol.

    I also recently had a cease and desist “request” by a woman who threatened a lawyer if I didn’t close one of my shops because she’d applied to register a trademark on the name I was already using and selling under. Fortunately, I was in the right on this one and she went away, so it does happen. I hope it also goes successfully for your Pingwins 🙂

    sharon
    http://tailsntiles.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  21. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this Jen–I hope it’s resolved soon in your favor. I really don’t understand the reasoning behind not using “penguin”?? How can anyone trademark the proper name of an animal? That makes me a bit concerned, and as you say, where does it stop…

    I had several designs pulled a few months back too after the lawyer for a big car company threatened CP and me because a few cars I placed my dogs and cats in were the distinctive shape of one of their models of car 🙂 This even though there were several designs by others I stumbled across later that used the actual name of the car in their designs. Go figure, lol.

    I also recently had a cease and desist “request” by a woman who threatened a lawyer if I didn’t close one of my shops because she’d applied to register a trademark on the name I was already using and selling under. Fortunately, I was in the right on this one and she went away, so it does happen. I hope it also goes successfully for your Pingwins 🙂

    sharon
    http://tailsntiles.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  22. Hmmm, shall they go after Linux next? Or are they Linux? I do hope it isn’t Linux cause there is something unholy about an advocate of Open Source claiming Penguin ownership…

    Wonder if San Diego and Lincoln Park Zoos will change penguin to “bird who must not be named”

    Reply
  23. Hmmm, shall they go after Linux next? Or are they Linux? I do hope it isn’t Linux cause there is something unholy about an advocate of Open Source claiming Penguin ownership…

    Wonder if San Diego and Lincoln Park Zoos will change penguin to “bird who must not be named”

    Reply
  24. Hmmm, shall they go after Linux next? Or are they Linux? I do hope it isn’t Linux cause there is something unholy about an advocate of Open Source claiming Penguin ownership…

    Wonder if San Diego and Lincoln Park Zoos will change penguin to “bird who must not be named”

    Reply
  25. (((Jen))) The world has gone mad!!!

    I have been collecting penguins for over 30 years now. I have them in every conceivable form there is – from penguin cookie jars, penguin jewelry, books about penguins, penguin t-shirts and a host of penguin figurines, etc… I even have antique penguin figurines.

    I have bought penguins all over the United States – I look for them everywhere.

    In each and every instance they called the bird – object what it was, a penguin.

    So, I have to wonder, in what twisted world does any person or company think they have the rights to the penguin?

    Am I supposed to start calling my collection – the not to uttered name of bird who lives in colder regions? I think not!!!!

    It is pure and simple – ridiculous.

    I shall shout it to the roof tops – free the Penguins!!!!!!

    Vicki Hatfield – proud penguin lover!!!!

    Reply
  26. (((Jen))) The world has gone mad!!!

    I have been collecting penguins for over 30 years now. I have them in every conceivable form there is – from penguin cookie jars, penguin jewelry, books about penguins, penguin t-shirts and a host of penguin figurines, etc… I even have antique penguin figurines.

    I have bought penguins all over the United States – I look for them everywhere.

    In each and every instance they called the bird – object what it was, a penguin.

    So, I have to wonder, in what twisted world does any person or company think they have the rights to the penguin?

    Am I supposed to start calling my collection – the not to uttered name of bird who lives in colder regions? I think not!!!!

    It is pure and simple – ridiculous.

    I shall shout it to the roof tops – free the Penguins!!!!!!

    Vicki Hatfield – proud penguin lover!!!!

    Reply
  27. (((Jen))) The world has gone mad!!!

    I have been collecting penguins for over 30 years now. I have them in every conceivable form there is – from penguin cookie jars, penguin jewelry, books about penguins, penguin t-shirts and a host of penguin figurines, etc… I even have antique penguin figurines.

    I have bought penguins all over the United States – I look for them everywhere.

    In each and every instance they called the bird – object what it was, a penguin.

    So, I have to wonder, in what twisted world does any person or company think they have the rights to the penguin?

    Am I supposed to start calling my collection – the not to uttered name of bird who lives in colder regions? I think not!!!!

    It is pure and simple – ridiculous.

    I shall shout it to the roof tops – free the Penguins!!!!!!

    Vicki Hatfield – proud penguin lover!!!!

    Reply
  28. My daughter thinks Penguins are called “Happy Feet” anyway.
    But I think that’s taken too!!!

    What happened with the threat back in February?

    Denise, the knitter

    Reply
  29. My daughter thinks Penguins are called “Happy Feet” anyway.
    But I think that’s taken too!!!

    What happened with the threat back in February?

    Denise, the knitter

    Reply
  30. My daughter thinks Penguins are called “Happy Feet” anyway.
    But I think that’s taken too!!!

    What happened with the threat back in February?

    Denise, the knitter

    Reply

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