[registration-issues-wg] [gnso-rds-pdp-wg] "Thanks" is Trademarked!

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 01:13:39 UTC 2016

I hold no brief for Reuters. I looked at the PTO database and saw all you
said. And quite frankly if I were an IP lawyer in the trenches and on the
clock,  I probably would be encouraging these fellas to fight.

All that aside, howsoever you slice or dice it, granting exclusive
commercial rights to [qualified] "thanks" or "thankyou" seems over the top.


On Fri, Jun 10, 2016, 5:13 PM Greg Shatan <gregshatanipc at gmail.com> wrote:

> Not sure anyone needs to be tarred and feathered here.  But let's get the
> facts straight. (Perhaps those who don't get the facts straight are the
> ones who should be tarred & feathered, etc., but that seems rather harsh.
> I prefer to educate rather than vilify.)
> Citi did not sue AT&T for "using the word in a commercial." Citi sued AT&T
> for apparently seeking to brand its new customer loyalty program as AT&T
> THANKS when Citibank already has a longstanding (since 2004) customer
> loyalty program branded as CITI THANK YOU, with about 15 million members in
> the US, and a trademark registered since 2011 for "Promoting the goods
> and services of others through administration of incentive reward and
> redemption programs by distributing rewards for credit and debit card use,
> and for banking and wealth management customer *loyalty*".  And AT&T
> didn't merely use the THANKS brand, they applied for a trademark
> registration for AT&T THANKS for "Providing incentive award programs for
> customers for the purpose of promoting and rewarding loyalty."
> It seems like an entirely reasonable claim that consumers could be
> confused between a THANK YOU brand loyalty program and a THANKS brand
> loyalty program.  Without opining on the likelihood of success, it's an
> entirely reasonable claim of infringement.  Indeed the subject matter of
> this email demonstrates such confusion -- THANKS is not "trademarked" by
> anyone, in spite of the attention-getting headline.  CITI THANK YOU is a
> registered trademark of Citigroup.  AT&T THANKS is the subject of a pending
> application by AT&T.
> If AT&T had merely "used the word in a commercial" and not as a trademark,
> there would be nothing to object to, and no claim, and this email wouldn't
> exist.  The actual facts are significantly different.
> That's the problem with suggesting tarring and feathering, and other such
> actions of a mob mentality.  They are based on incorrect facts and a desire
> to inflame people, rather than to inform them.  Unfortunately, information
> can come too late to save the victims of such an attack (hot tar causes
> serious and often fatal burns).  Thankfully, all that was suggested was a
> rhetorical tarring and feathering, so no one actually suffered at the hands
> of an ill-informed, intemperate mob.
> Hope that is informative.
> Greg
> [Caveats: (1) I am a CITI THANK YOU cardholder and use my THANK YOU points
> regularly on Amazon where they are available as dollars. (2) From around
> 1999 to 2004, the firm I was with represented Citigroup in trademark
> matters, though I personally didn't do very much of that work.  I have not
> had any professional relationship with Citigroup since 2004 (3) This should
> not be construed as legal advice.]
> On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 3:15 PM, Carlton Samuels <
> carlton.samuels at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ..and Citi sues AT&T for using  the word in a commercial!  It also owns
>> thankyou.com as well!
>> I checked the USPTO database and it was a revelation; lots of "thankyou"
>> there, dead and alive. See:
>> http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4803:ku1j42.1.1
>> So I ask you, who're the halfwits that need to be tarred, feathered and
>> put in stock in the village square for a quick kick in the butt from every
>> passerby?
>> http://www.reuters.com/article/us-at-t-citigroup-lawsuit-idUSKCN0YW1K3
>> -Carlton
>> [Disclosure: I'm partial to AT&T on account they paid for graduate
>> school.]
>> ==============================
>> Carlton A Samuels
>> Mobile: 876-818-1799
>> *Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*
>> =============================
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