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vs Berthold

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In the middle of August we received a letter from the american company Berthold Types Limited. Melissa M. Hunt, Vice President & General Counsel, informs us that Berthold registered the trademark "CITY" a long time ago and she accuses us of 'colorable imitation' of this TM. Berthold assumes that our fonts and site names create confusion in the marketplace and constitute trademark infringement. Berthold requests changing the names of our fonts and web site removing the character combination "CITY" from them.

The whole complaint text is here.

You can acquaint yourself with the Berthold Types Limited here.

We don't agree with this accusation at all:

1. We created our own unique style including typefaces (the character shapes), their names, description texts, music, animation, pictures, the color palette and so on. We invented the word "FONTCITY" for naming our site.

2. We consider a name is a SINGLE WHOLE and can't be divided into any words, syllables, letters or any other parts: the names "Vice City" and "City of Angel" are absolutely different and don't cause any confusion.

3. Legality of registration of the generic term or the word that is in common usage as a trademark arises doubts. Conventional words that don't possess any originality can be included into a TM only as unprotected elements if they don't have a dominating position in it.

4. Berthold's rights for trademark "CITY" can't mean any prohibition of using of any OTHER words, for ex., "velocity", "simplicity" and so on, and moreover of the NEWLY CREATED word.

5. The word "city" is used in our fonts' names as a GENERIC NAME ("a business center of a town") and can't be deleted or substituted without distortion of the name's sense.

The whole text of our answer is here.

We understand very well that unfortunately our position is based on emotions, not on law. Nevertheless we are intended to countinue our activity until we get the court resolution.

The expert opinion is here.

The opinion of the Intellectual Property Attorney is here.

You also can visit the internet-law.ru's forum, typographi.ca's forum, typophile.com's forum.

Recently we got information that Mrs Hunts filed a complaint against many other companies in the whole world. Some of them published their position on their web-sites. For example: Sad story really, Jamie Nazaroff story, Nick Curtis' story.

If You are interested in this problem, You can enter your own opinion. To do this please fill in the following form and click the "Vote" button. The questionnaire is anonymous: fill any fields only if You want. Thank You.

I have got acquainted with FontCity and Berthold Types Limited goods.
I think FontCity does not infringe Berthold's rights.
I think the Berthold Types Limited is right.

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