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 Post subject: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Bill Reel at Mormon Discussion Podcast has just received a letter from a paralegal named Megan McGrath with the "Correlation-Intellectual property" arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It appears very much a form letter, and I am wondering if other webpages with the name "Mormon" in it have received similar letters.


Quote:
Hello,

It has come to our attention that intellectual property managed by our office is being used in the on these websites. "Mormon" is a trademark owned by Intellectual Reserve, Inc., a non-profit corporation affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (the "Church").

We would like to have you add a disclaimer to your websites stating that you have no affiliation with the Church. Please add the disclaimer in a prominent location, in a legible size, font, and color. An example of disclaimer language is below.

"The products (services) offered by [name of User] are neither made, provided, approved nor endorsed by Intellectual Reserve, Inc., or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Any content or opinions expressed, implied or included in or with the goods (services) offered by [name of User] are solely those of [name of User] and not those of Intellectual Reserve, Inc., or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

We offer licensing options for Church owned materials, including "Mormon" and images. Permission may be requested at https://permissions.LDS.org. If you would like more information about licensing, you may call (800) 453-3860 x 3959 or email permissions@ldschurch.org.

Any future use of the Church's intellectual property will likewise require written permission from this office, which can be requested at the above website.

Please respond to this letter by November 29, 2017, confirming your compliance.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your help protecting Church-owned intellectual property.

Sincerely yours,

Megan McGrath
Paralegal
Correlation-Intellectual Property
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
50 E. North Temple Street, COB 13
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-0013
Office: (801)240-2399



My understanding is that the LDS Church applied for a trademark at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on the name "Mormon" in 2002 but it was rejected as being too generic.

The LDS Church abandoned the attempt to trademark the name "Mormon" in 2007.

If that is so, I wonder why church legal is claiming to have such a trademark.

(I bolded the relevant language in the letter.)

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:08 pm 
Apostle
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You had me going with the thread title. I thought that the vultures had finally started circling and that his "end game" was falling into place.

Any further follow-up from your stake president?


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Just looked this up in the USPTO databse. There is an entry for Mormon as a service Mark registered to IRI. It was renewed earlier this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:10 pm 
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I take it a "service Mark" is something different than a trademark?

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
Just looked this up in the USPTO databse. There is an entry for Mormon as a service Mark registered to IRI. It was renewed earlier this year.


Thanks for doing that, RI.

Looks like a "service Mark" is a trademark used in the United States to identify a service rather than a product.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Do you happen to know the legal effect of obtaining a "service Mark" on the word Mormon?

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:18 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:
I take it a "service Mark" is something different than a trademark?


The difference is technical. A trademark is placed on goods. A service mark is used for services. Bill should consult an IP lawyer.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:19 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:
Res Ipsa wrote:
Just looked this up in the USPTO databse. There is an entry for Mormon as a service Mark registered to IRI. It was renewed earlier this year.


Thanks for doing that, RI.

Looks like a "service Mark" is a trademark used in the United States to identify a service rather than a product.

Oh, and did I ever get Mormoned (serviced) the first 20 some years of my life. :rolleyes:


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:20 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:
Do you happen to know the legal effect of obtaining a "service Mark" on the word Mormon?


LOL. Just enough to suggest Bill consult an IP lawyer.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:22 pm 
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You are no doubt correct, RI!

But I have a hard time taking too seriously a form letter from a paralegal.

What's the line from Apocalypse Now?

"You're an errand boy send by a grocery clerk to collect a bill."


Or something like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:27 pm 
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moinmoin wrote:
You had me going with the thread title. I thought that the vultures had finally started circling and that his "end game" was falling into place.


Me too. Consig is just a tease.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Just as an FYI, IRI submitted two applications for the service mark in 2002. One was approved in 2007 and the other was abandoned. Here’s a link to the one that’s live. http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield ... vjpqg.2.25

Sorry I can’t offer any legal advice. If I received that letter, I’d call an IP lawyer. (Is my butt sufficiently covered now?)

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:47 pm 
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The folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation may be of help. Here’s a brief they filed in the Mormon Match case. https://www.eff.org/files/2014/05/30/amicusbrief.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:50 pm 
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Thanks so much for your help! Yes, your butt is most well and truly covered! I wonder if they try to pull the same crap with the book of Mormon musical?

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
The folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation may be of help. Here’s a brief they filed in the Mormon Match case. https://www.eff.org/files/2014/05/30/amicusbrief.pdf

Brilliant! Do you know if that case has been resolved? And if so, what the resolution was? In other words, was it dismissed as EFF moved?

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:12 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:
Thanks so much for your help! Yes, your butt is most well and truly covered! I wonder if they try to pull the same crap with the book of Mormon musical?


Don’t think so. Trey and Parker have a copyright for The Book of Mormon.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:13 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:
Res Ipsa wrote:
The folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation may be of help. Here’s a brief they filed in the Mormon Match case. https://www.eff.org/files/2014/05/30/amicusbrief.pdf

Brilliant! Do you know if that case has been resolved? And if so, what the resolution was? In other words, was it dismissed as EFF moved?


The case was settled. I don’t know what the terms were.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:12 pm 
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Quote:
It has come to our attention that intellectual property managed by our office is being used in the on these websites


where is Yahoo Bot to tell us what great writers legal professionals are? How does this even get written let alone used on a business form letter? And it's in service of the Church. How come the Holy Ghost doesn't help the person write it better?

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:39 pm 
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As if the LDS church believes in copyright law.

https://nbherard.com/business/mormon-ch ... suit/20351

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:21 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
Don’t think so. Trey and Parker have a copyright for The Book of Mormon.


Just an unrelated side note, it's actually (Trey) Parker and (Matt) Stone.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News--LDS Church Sends Letter to Bill Reel
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:02 pm 
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I'd really like some lawyers to chime in, because a lawsuit about this would be interesting. It seems to me that the Church would have to argue that Mormonism isn't a religion and is rather simply a business in order to avoid asking the court to define who is a Mormon and who isn't, because then there would be a 1st amendment problem.

It would be one thing to slap "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (or a variant) on a building and then charge an admission fee, but using "Mormon" surely is something else and is a religious identifier that is part of public language. Have they tried this tack against Mormon Stories? What about a shady website I heard about once called mormondiscussions.com? If Bill Reel self-identifies as a Mormon, and his podcast includes a discussion of Mormon things, then I can't imagine what more descriptive name there could be. Nor could I imagine how a court would say that self-identifying Mormons cannot so self-identify without the Church's permission, which would be equivalent to endorsing the Church's view on who is and who is not a Mormon, which would be equivalent to an endorsement of a religious claim and therefore a violation of the 1st amendment.

Lawyers, please tell me how I am mistaken.

If I'm not, then I look forward to the Church admitting in court that it is not a religion.

karl61 wrote:
As if the LDS church believes in copyright law.

https://nbherard.com/business/mormon-ch ... suit/20351


So that's what happened! Actually, the Church had the Scourby Bible for free on iTunes. I was going through the whole KJV over several months when all of the sudden it went from Alexander Scourby's narration to some bloodless drone with a Utah accent and no sense for the aural/oral aesthetic of the KJV. Cheap and greedy bastards who have no sense of beauty—that's the Church all right.

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