© Eric Deschamps. All rights reserved.
Tip for the day: Look after your passwords. Use Password Safe from Bruce Schneier, security guru and BT's Chief Security Technology Officer.
From: Sue Miles [mailto:Sue.Miles@bbc.co.uk]
Sent: 1 April 2009 07:47
Subject: Trade Mark Infringement - Thought for the Day
Dear Mr James
RE: Secular Thought for the Day Website
I am the brand protection manager at BBC Worldwide, the Commercial arm of the BBC. The BBC Corporation is the exclusive owner of various intellectual property rights. These rights include copyright and trade mark rights in the phrase "Thought for the Day" amongst others.
BBC Worldwide licenses these rights internationally and co-ordinates litigation against infringers.
It has been brought to my attention that you are running a website at secularthought.org which relies on our trade marked name "Thought for the Day". This site infringes our intellectual property rights.
You have stated in previous correspondence that by using the name "Secular Thought for the Day" you have managed to avoid infringing our intellectual property rights. This is incorrect. Trade mark law is infringed if first, you have incorporated the phrase "Thought for the Day" (which you admit you have) and secondly the resulting name is considered close enough to the original trade mark name. In my view there is no doubt that you have infringed the BBC's trade mark.
Moreover, there is also the question of international trade mark rights. These trade marks will be infringed in various countries if the mark “Secular Thought for the Day” is considered to be close enough to be confusingly similar. In my view there is no doubt that the court would find these confusingly similar given the very close similarity between our trade mark name and yours. I also think that the nature of your site means it is highly unlikely that a court would have much sympathy for your argument.
Furthermore, we consider it wholly inappropriate that a website of this nature should be on the internet. Although you claim that your site is secular, the majority of our listeners, who have a faith perspective and regularly engage with the comments and ideas expressed by our programme, may encounter your site while searching for the genuine Thought for the Day website and be denied their uninterruped interlude of spiritual reflection.
Given that you are infringing our rights in the manner set out above, we now require you within the next seven days
Should you fail to comply with these requirements, I will be recommending that we consider taking legal action against you for your infringement of our intellectual property rights.
If you are in any doubt as to the contents of this letter I suggest that you take professional legal advice.
Tip for the day: Get a lawyer ;)
© Copyright 2009 - Pulaski - All Rights Reserved
Tip for the day: http://pulaskiband.com
The contributions have been streaming in, and now we're ready to launch.
The first "thought" will be posted at about 08:00 on Wednesday. I haven't decided yet which submission will be first, but every one I've received so far has been excellent, and every one of them deserves to be the first post.
So, between now and Wednesday please let as many people as you can know about this site. Blog about it, talk about it, write to your local paper about it. Spread the word. And of course remind people of the purpose behind it: to demonstrate to the BBC that a Secular Thought for the Day is just as valid, if not more so, than the faith-oriented intermissions on Radio 4's Today programme.
And if you haven't submitted your "thought" yet, please do so as soon as you can. We need a steady stream of submissions to keep the site running as we build momentum.
Assuming the pledge at PledgeBank is successful then there will soon be a daily posting here of secular thoughts.
We will be providing one thought a day for at least a month. It will be secular and will discuss topical issues from a moral or ethical perspective. Expect logical reasoning and rational arguments.
The site has been inspired by Gavin Orland's campaign to allow non-religious contributions to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day slot, which is broadcast each day at 7:45am within the Today Programme. Here we are demonstrating, in the most practical way possible, that secular contributions are possible and would have something to say.
The thoughts published here will be written mostly by ordinary people who do not claim any particular authority or standing in society. They are not Rabbis or Priests nor are they personalities or household names. Their only authority is that they speak rationally and cogently about whatever subject they choose.