YourAnonNews Trademark: What's Up?
by Susan Basko
The only entity that would legally be able to own the trademark on the words "Your Anon News" or YourAnonNews is the entity that owns and has been running the twitter @YourAnonNews. I believe that is led by someone named Jackal. That is because that group was first to use the name and came to acquire the use of the trademark or service mark by the legal act of "dominating the field." That is, Jackal and company's use of the mark dominated the field, became so overwhelmingly known as YourAnonNews. That group is legally in a position where they can stop any other person or entity from using "YourAnonNews" for any website, group, service, domain name, corporate name, etc. To preserve the mark, however, they must patrol it and stop others from using it.
On June 4, 2013, someone named Bahareh Shalchi-Moghaddam filed an APPLICATION for a trademark on the words "Your Anon News" on the basis that she intended to use the name in the future. You can read that application HERE. ALSO SEE IT EMBEDDED BELOW. Of course, the real YourAnonNews could claim the name at any time, because it is rightfully theirs.
The application was never approved by the US Trademark Office, and in an Outgoing Office Action, which can be seen HERE, (ALSO CAN BE SEEN EMBEDDED BELOW) the Trademark Examiner stated that the following things had to be addressed before the application could be considered. The application had been done seriously incorrectly.
- Partial Refusal – Recited Activities are not “Services”
- Identification Requires Clarification
- Requirements Regarding Multiple Class Applications
- Information Regarding Services Required
- Foreign Certificate of Registration Required
It would have been extremely unlikely that the errors or misinformation could have been cured, and it is extremely unlikely this applicant could ever have been awarded the trademark, especially considering the mark was already in use and dominating the field by @YourAnonNews.
As made sense, Shalchi-Moghaddam filed an Express Abandonment. It would not have been possible to acquire the trademark or service mark, so this is what is done. The Express Abandonment can be seen HERE, OR EMBEDDED BELOW.
One curious thing, though, is that Shalchi-Moghaddam states in a note that she reached a "settlement" with someone. See HERE and embedded below. There would not have been anyone it would have been necessary to settle with, so this is puzzling. Also, the trademark was never awarded, and of course, could never be "transferred." Thus, it makes sense that it was abandoned. Now, the rightful owners will be able to file for the trademark, if they wish.
The trademark is wide open to be registered by the rightful owners, @YourAnonNews. Jackal or whoever owns that account, time to get busy and register before someone else tries to usurp your rightful name. Once you register, you'll be able to keep anyone else from using the name in such things as a domain name, website, corporation or LLC, etc. So -- Get busy. You'll need to choose the registration category carefully and fill the form out properly.
The whole trademark process takes a year. Once it is done, you'll have something valuable and worthwhile.
THE APPLICATION: (It was rejected non-finally and then abandoned.)
OUTGOING OFFICE ACTION - Tells which items must be cured if application is not to fail. It would have been extremely unlikely or impossible for this application to succeed. In any case, the twitter account @YourAnonNews already owns rights to the (unregistered) trademark for first use and/or dominating the field. The application was later expressly abandoned.
EXPRESS ABANDONMENT: The application is sure to fail, so applicant formally abandons it.
CURIOUS ITEM: Applicant seems confused. The trademark was never awarded, so how could there be an "acquiring settlement agreement"? And the only rightful owners would be whoever owns the @YourAnonNews account. What's going on? Maybe @YourAnonnews can address this topic.
AND FINALLY, this Pastebin by @fawkxy, obviously the same person who applied for the trademark, explaining that @YourAnonNews was "acquired. We don't know about that, but it appears that Jay Leiderman, Dell Cameron and Nicole Powers have formed an LLC and are using the YourAnonNews name. By legal right, that name belongs to those running the @YourAnonNews Twitter account. So just what is going on? Is this trio somehow taking over @YourAnonNews? If so, how and why, and if not, why is @YourAnonNews not asserting its legal right to the name?