Rearz attempting to trademark the term "ABDL"

Status
Not open for further replies.

RJDodger

Est. Contributor
Messages
270
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Diaperfur
So just found out about this today on /r/ABDL (the claim was filed back in October). Haven't seen it posted here yet (also not sure if this is the right section, but it directly relates to a major supplier), so thought I might as well. Rearz has filed for copyright claims to "ABDL" in the US:

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=8...TION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=statusSearch

I've heard they've filed in Canada as well, though I don't have a link. Its highly unlikely that they win this, but if they did, they could either send cease and desist notices or demand licensing payment from ABU, Wearing Clouds, or pretty much any company that uses the term ABDL anywhere. Think like when The Fine Bros attempted to trademark reaction videos.

They just put out a statement as to why, in which they claim its to protect internet commerce ("We have ads and accounts permanently blocked on Facebook, eBay, Kijiji, Google ads with payment processors and more simply from using the term.") They also claim that The ABDL Shop already has the rights to ABDL (They don't) and deflecting the blame for the reaction on their competitors (supposedly they singled out The ABDL Shop, but edited and removed it from the statement)

http://rearz.ca/blog/abdl-trademark/

EDIT: So the part they edited was them calling out Aww So Cute, who are making a lot of noise of this on social media. Supposedly a class action lawsuit.
 
Last edited:

diapernh

Est. Contributor
Messages
1,183
Role
  1. Adult Baby
Not buying that... it will be a very uphill fight... as the term abdl has been around since I got into the scene in 1996 and was in use long before that.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

RJDodger

Est. Contributor
Messages
270
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Diaperfur
Not buying that... it will be a very uphill fight... as the term abdl has been around since I got into the scene in 1996 and was in use long before that.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Er, not buying that they're attempting to trademark ABDL? Because I just posted the trademark filing and the official statement by the company that that's exactly what they're doing. Doubt it'll happen, but the intent is still there.
 

ArchtopK

Est. Contributor
Messages
898
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
Trademarks are terms used on products. Simply using the term on a product could grant trademark status if they use it with the TM identifier. That would be required, as you need to inform people of your intentions. Of course you can try to register the mark, and if approved that would let you use the R in a circle mark as well as grant you greater protections towards infringement. But none of this would prevent anyone from using the term for what it is known for. But it would prevent anyone else from selling a similar product with that name. Frankly, i don't see the plus side to any of this. I would rather sell something that appealed to a wider group, just from a profit point of view. Why limit yourself to such a narrow niche. Same reason I don't understand why Northshore is openly calling Crinklz Adult Baby Diapers. Why do that? Just call them diapers with animal prints.
 

Little2Roo

Published Author
Company Rep
Messages
991
Role
  1. Babyfur
  2. Little
Does anyone know how long this process could take? How will we know they succeeded in getting ABDL trademarked? I absolutely love Rearz Safari diapers, but might hold off buying more until we learn the outcome.

Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk
 

RJDodger

Est. Contributor
Messages
270
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Diaperfur
Does anyone know how long this process could take? How will we know they succeeded in getting ABDL trademarked? I absolutely love Rearz Safari diapers, but might hold off buying more until we learn the outcome.

Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk

A quick Google search says 6 months to a year. Since the application was filed in October, earliest we'd hear a final result by now would probably be March or April (but again, quick Google search). Like I said though, its highly unlikely they get it. Even if they were in a position to acquire the trademark, the potential blowback and loss of sales in a niche market could force them to drop their claim anyways.

I was in the same position, where I was planning on getting some Safaris before I heard about this. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for, like, 2 hours before they put out their badly written and borderline-libelous statement. I have no integrity and will probably cave anyways. But even if (when) this doesn't go through, its a matter of whether you want to support a company who would pull something like this in the first place.
 

diapernh

Est. Contributor
Messages
1,183
Role
  1. Adult Baby
Er, not buying that they're attempting to trademark ABDL? Because I just posted the trademark filing and the official statement by the company that that's exactly what they're doing. Doubt it'll happen, but the intent is still there.

I meant I'm not buying that they are doing it for the betterment of the community, there is likely a ulterior motive to doing this, likely to be able to stop other manufacturers and businesses from using the term.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

RJDodger

Est. Contributor
Messages
270
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Diaperfur
I meant I'm not buying that they are doing it for the betterment of the community, there is likely a ulterior motive to doing this, likely to be able to stop other manufacturers and businesses from using the term.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Ah yeah. For sure. I'm no copyright lawyer, but IIRC, if you don't protect your copyright you end up losing it, so even if they were going to allow free use of it they'd probably end up losing it and filed for no reason anyways.

Its more likely that they're attempting to squeeze licensing fees out of other companies rather than just shut them down, though.
 

Argent

Est. Contributor
Messages
2,725
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Incontinent
Disgusting.

So being shafted by mega corporations means they need to join them in being asshats?

I could understand using the abbreviation ABDL and then seeking the communities help if they were attacked by The ABDL Shop but not this.

Anyone know if any other diaper brands have ABDL printed on them or the packs or the advertising?

Rearz is now off my shopping list.
 

wackoreese

Est. Contributor
Messages
202
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Babyfur
  3. Diaperfur
  4. Little
Rearz was unjustifiably expensive but this is the nail in the coffin. Never bough from them and sure won't now.
 
N

NeverKnow

Guest
I haven't read everything that has been said about this, but is it possible that Rearz is just really legally incompetent? I mean, if they were lying through their teeth when they said The ABDL Shop already had the copyright, then they would know that the claim is preposterous and that it would be immediately recognized as false. More likely, they have been having problems with advertising, for reasons which are probably their own fault, and thought that they could do something legally (which they thought The ABDL Shop had already done) to get around it; but, being legally incompetent, they badly misread The ABDL Shop's copyright. I am inclined to think that their defense is too stupid to be a lie.
 

bambinod

Est. Contributor
Messages
10,583
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
Trademarks are terms used on products. Simply using the term on a product could grant trademark status if they use it with the TM identifier. That would be required, as you need to inform people of your intentions.

Now I'm not a lawyer and I may be wrong on this, but I thought "TM" was an indicator of a registered trademark. IE a mark that has been registered with whoever it is they register with. (not sure if that's the patent office or if there's a separate org for that)

I do know that trademarks must be defended to continue to be valid. What this means is that if someone else is "using your mark without permission", you MUST take action. This can be a lawsuit, a restraining order, other court action, or sending registered letters of notice of infringement and courting a negotiated licensing settlement. Just like people that buy things for a dollar, you can license something forever (or for five years etc) for a dollar, and get the same legal effect as if you'd licensed it for $10,000.

If you fail to defend your mark for any length of time, you will either lose it, or it will become unenforceable. This unfortunately means that groups with a registered trademark are often forced to take unattractive actions against groups they really have no problem with and don't mind using their mark, simply because they don't have any licensing agreement in place and if they fail to defend their mark, they will lose it and other that they do not want to be using the mark will be able to, with no legal recourse.

In this case though, "ABDL" has a lot of what is called "prior art", meaning it's been done or used in the past in a public way. Locating and submitting Prior Art is the easiest way to get patents and trademarks invalidated.

Most trademarks also have a limited scope. "Office" is too generic of a word to trademark, even in its field, but when you add a word and call it "Microsoft Office", that is easily trademarked. (and that's why they always spam "microsoft" in front of their products) I think "ABDL" might run into this complication, it may be considered too generic by itself. "Rearz ABDL" on the other hand, would be very easy to get an enforceable trademark on. Also keep in mind that "ABDL" can be a noun ("I'm an ABDL!"!) or an adjective. ("and I'm wearing an ABDL diaper!") I don't know if trademarks can span the two usages at the same time?

Trademarks can also become watered down. I'm sure there's a legal term or two regarding this but I don't know what they are. Trademarks like Kleenex and Velcro have problems because the word becomes generic in general public use for similar products made by other companies. They start having problems defending their trademarks when the trademark starts becoming an accepted dictionary word.
 

Foxroxsox

Est. Contributor
Messages
481
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Babyfur
  4. Diaperfur
I'd really like to hear Rearz's side of this before I decide if I will ever buy more of their products.

But I won't buy any more Rearz products until I've heard their side and I've been convinced they had a good reason that doesn't harm the ABDL community or any other ABDL vendor in any way.

Rearz has some explaining to do.
 

RJDodger

Est. Contributor
Messages
270
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Diaperfur
I'd really like to hear Rearz's side of this before I decide if I will ever buy more of their products.

But I won't buy any more Rearz products until I've heard their side and I've been convinced they had a good reason that doesn't harm the ABDL community or any other ABDL vendor in any way.

Rearz has some explaining to do.

I linked their official statement, directly from their company website, in the OP.
 

Argent

Est. Contributor
Messages
2,725
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Incontinent
I'd really like to hear Rearz's side of this before I decide if I will ever buy more of their products.

But I won't buy any more Rearz products until I've heard their side and I've been convinced they had a good reason that doesn't harm the ABDL community or any other ABDL vendor in any way.

Rearz has some explaining to do.


I linked their official statement, directly from their company website, in the OP.

I did read that silliness and then decided zero support for Rearz from me.
 

Foxroxsox

Est. Contributor
Messages
481
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Babyfur
  4. Diaperfur
I linked their official statement, directly from their company website, in the OP.

I read it, got angry, posted...
Then i read it again, and started thinking about this kinda sideways...

So maybe this isn't a bad thing. Maybe. And here's why: They claim the term ABDL is banned from a lot of places for being offensive. And that's probably true. You can use LBGT to tag your lifestyle choice in many places, but not ABDL. By getting a trademark on the term, many of the large social media and online markets will be put in a position where they can't ban the term outright without facing face legal action.

Lets use another term to show an example.. If you had a Fried chicken restaurant called "Tasty Cock", you would have a very hard time getting any advertisement space on google. Google is going to see "Tasty Cock" and filter it hard. Your business is never going to make it onto a normal search page, and you'll see your competitors doing much better than you when potential customers search for "tasty chicken restaurants in my area" on Google, or maps, or by asking the Google assistant.

However, if you get your name trademarked, "Tasty Cock®", then you can go to google and tell them to knock it off. They are showing preferential treatment to other restaurants, and hurting your business by blocking your legally registered name. And google would have to stop filtering you out of searches. They can't arbitrarily play favorites. It's the same with Facebook, Ebay, Amazon, etc..

So that appears to be exactly what Rearz is doing. They are turning ABDL into ABDL® so that companies like Google can't filter it out when it's used as a company name or product description. And after reading their statement again, they have stated they will let anyone use the name. that's significant. It counts as an end user agreement to allow you to use the trademarked name. And by putting that out their publicly, it's a done deal. they can't go back and claim exclusive rights to the name now. We all have license to use the ABDL® trademark by their statement:
"**We are willing to allow others to have free use of the ABDL trademark, like stated above this is to help combat the banning of the term in commerce."


This may actually be a very very good thing.
 
Messages
2,229
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
Okay, so, first off, I'm an IP lawyer. So, I'm gonna take a shot at explaining and speculating about what's going on here and also correcting some misinformation or mistaken terminology that's floating around the thread in two pages so far. I wrote kinda a lot, so I've spoilered this post with some topic headings.

BACKGROUND
First, a bit of terminology. This is a trademark filing. Please try not to confuse it with copyright or patents, both of which are different (but people mess them up all the time, so don't feel bad). They each have different uses. Copyrights are designed to protect creativity, so they give authors and artists the rights to control how their work is used and sold to create a financial incentive for people who write, compose, paint, draw, etc.. Patents are designed to further science by rewarding inventors with the right to control how their invention is is produced and sold so they'll have a financial incentive to spend time inventing. Patents are shorter than copyrights because the stuff they protect (inventions) are considered more "useful" than creative works, so they need to become generally available for the public sooner.

Which brings us to trademarks, in a roundabout way. Trademarks are NOT for the companies who own them, even though the companies benefit. Trademarks are for us, for the public, for consumers. The core principle behind trademarks is to prevent consumer confusion, to make sure that consumers don't get hurt. The way they do that is they're a protection for a name, logo, catchphrase, or jingle used to sell stuff so that nobody else can counterfeit things and mislead consumers. The classic example is if you see a bright red can with "coca-cola" on it in white script, you know it wasn't just made by anyone, it was made by the Coca-cola Company. And you know it's gonna contain a sweet drink that's safe for you. It won't give you food poisoning or contain bacteria, or taste really disgusting and unexpected because that can design is only allowed to be used by the Coca-cola Company and we trust their overall quality standards.

TRADEMARKS AND LANGUAGE
It's important to note that trademarks don't give ownership over language. They're usually industry and product specific. So, like, if I designed a car and named it the Perseus (TM), that wouldn't stop someone else from designing a dishwasher and calling it the Perseus (TM), and a third person from designing, say, a power drill and calling it the Perseus (TM). The point of the trademark in each of those cases is that the company using it would be exclusive in their industry: you'd know if you were buying the car or the dishwasher or the drill what company it came from, and that you wouldn't get a counterfeit (or, at least, if somebody did start making counterfeits, the company could easily go sue them and shut them down). Sometimes, if a trademark gets really, really famous, it can get stronger. Example here, Mickey Mouse. Mickey is so famous and so closely associated with Disney that calling anything Mickey Mouse, even something totally unrelated to what Disney does like making a power tool would still confuse people into thinking it's associated with Disney, so Disney basically does get to own the name Mickey Mouse in any context. But famous marks are the exception, not the rule, they're for the biggest, most famous things out there, like Mickey, McDonald's, Coke, Luis Vuitton bags, stuff like that.

THE REARZ APPLICATION
Looking at the Rearz application, it's specifically for "Diapers for incontinence; Diapers for incontinents; Adult diapers; Disposable diapers for incontinence; Disposable adult diapers; Incontinence diapers." So, it's a limited mark that would only offer protection for the term ABDL in diaper names and brands. What that means, in practice, is that it would have no effect at all on a place like ADISC that provides ABDL support, or on reddit ABDL or any of the other online discussion places. But where it would have a likely effect would be on other ABDL diaper companies like ABU, Bambino, Aww So Cute, and so on. If Rearz got the trademark, those companies might be prevented from marketing their diapers as "ABDL diapers." This is pretty specific, I'm honestly not sure, for example if "diapers for ABDLs" would violate the trademark even if "ABDL diapers" did violate it. But still, it would create a limit on the sort of marketing and advertising that other ABDL diaper companies would be able to use without violating the Rearz trademark and opening themselves up to lawsuit. Since it's better to be safe than sorry, I'd bet you that most companies would take "ABDL" out of their marketing materials and product descriptions. They'd use something else, either a different abbreviation or writing out the terms perhaps.

SOME PROBLEMS
Rearz actually has some problems here. First off, their application claims that they're using ABDL for their diapers already. Because that application is only for diapers. But...they're not. The diapers aren't under the "ABDL" category on their website. And if you check out the safari page,
for example, it doesn't actually use the term ABDL in reference to the diapers at all. The only time ABDL appears are at the top and bottom of the page to link you away from the diapers. So, applying for a set of diapers where they're not using ABDL is sort of setting them up for failure. Of course, they may have adds and bannners with ABDL in them all ready to go, but lack of regular use up to the present is a big problem for them in getting this trademark.

Second, Rearz is not the only one using ABDL. Remember, trademarks are about avoiding consumer confusion. But if a word refers to a generic product, you can't trademark it. Somebody selling light-bulbs can't trademark "light-bulb" because that's the word for the thing itself, no matter who makes it. Ditto for any common product word. You can't trademark "chair" or "bread" or "diaper" because those words refer to a type of thing regardless of who makes it. ABDL is already in widespread use to refer to a community of people, and is already in fairly widespread use to refer to adult size printed diapers with cartoons or designs in the style of baby diapers. Rearz claiming a trademark suggests that they, uniquely, are using ABDL to identify their stuff and, well, that's not correct, it refers to diapers from lots of different companies. So, this is an issue for them getting the mark.

Third, and related to the above, the trademark process has a system for people to challenge the mark. If somebody applies but a bunch of other companies in the same industry are using the mark too, they can object at the patent and trademark office and argue that the applicant should not get the mark. Given the above issues, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rearz application fail.

SO WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON HERE?
Rearz is doing this for a couple reasons, I think. First, I actually believe them about the ads. ABDL is, I think, associated with a sexual fetish community even though many of us would be quick to point out that it's often not sexual, so having it banned from a lot of Google and similar advertising doesn't surprise me. Having a trademark with the term would provide some justification for its more mainstream use. I don't think this reasoning outweighs the negatives including the likely unfair competitive advantage it would give Rearz over other ABDL diaper companies, but I do think their point is a fair one.

Second though, there was just this year a case in the U.S. Supreme Court granted a trademark to a band named The Slants. This was a big argument about whether one could have trademarks in racial slurs, obscenity,
or derogatory terms, and the Court basically said "yeah, sure, we're not going to ask if it's obscene or a slur, if you're using it to ID a product and people are willing to buy it, then you can get a mark protecting it." That led most famously to the Washington Redskins football team demanding that they get their trademark back even though a lot of Native Americans think that's an offensive name. I think Rearz is seizing on this result, which is from barely 6 months ago, and hoping to try and claim ABDL as a term to represent their business, and their diapers, effectively striding out on their own to tell the world that it's not offensive and that the advertisers are wrong.

And, well, while noble, I think that's misguided. I think they'll fail if they go out on their own and try to turn ABDL from a term associated with the sexual fetish to a term associated specifically with their diapers. And I think the side effects of them ending up with this mark and the likely unfair competition that would result from it outweigh any advantage that this would create for the community.

I could also be a cynic and say that this is all justification for Rearz's attempt to make a bunch of money by being the only company able to call their diapers ABDL diapers, but honestly, I don't think they're that stupid.
I'm sure they're aware of it, and that the possible advantage makes the other justifications sound better to them, but they've got to know that trademarking a term like this is going to generate huge community pushback, and I really don't think they'd do it for a naked cash grab alone, given how much that's likely to backfire.

So, if you skipped all the spoilers, here's my conclusion. I believe Rearz when they explain their justification, but I think they're misguided. I think that them getting this trademark faces some serious uphill battles, and that if they did get it, they'd end up causing more harm and unfair competition among ABDL diaper sellers than any advantage they'd create in making the term ABDL more palatable to advertisers outside of this community.
 

toyboy

Est. Contributor
Messages
308
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Incontinent
I love the sufari nappies but I wont be buying rearz products again.
 

edward321

Est. Contributor
Messages
224
Role
  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Incontinent
Rearz was unjustifiably expensive but this is the nail in the coffin. Never bough from them and sure won't now.

Actually they're cheaper than ABU
Case of ABU Simple (plain white)$105 CAD
Case if Rearz InControl+ (eqalivant to ABU Simple) $85 CAD

And Rearz printed diapers are cheaper and will be more so now that ABU won't have free shipping.

As for the copyright thing, that's the business world for ya.

It's like when Gene Simmons copyrighted "OJ" (as in orange juice for those aren't familiar with it). Family Guy made fun of it before.
 

toyboy

Est. Contributor
Messages
308
Role
  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
  3. Incontinent
Sorry having read the post from foxroxsox I may have to give it some more thorough.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top