Witchy Wednesday - Trademarking Yule

This week I want to use my blog to call attention to something I recently learned about.  A member of the Pagan community has decided that Yule belongs to her. Yes, you heard me kids. The owner of Sage Goddess, has filed a federal Trademark request to make YULE her trademark. She is also already sending cease and desist letters to other vendors who use the word Yule in their product names.

Here's a screenshot from Tradmarkia.com.  It appears that she is filing for this under the Cosmetics and Cleaning Products category, which I believe would include body wash, bath salts and scrubs or cleansing/ritual products. I know many of us have products in that category.


Screen-cap from trademarkia.com
So what exactly is a trademark?

trademarktrade mark, or trade-mark[1] is a recognizable signdesign, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others,[2][3] although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks.[4][5] The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings.  -Wikipedia

I found Sage Goddess, Inc on the web and a contact form.  I did leave her a message asking her to reconcider her application.  You can find her contact form here.  If she doesn't reconsider, we do have other options.  You can write an email to this link to oppose her hijacking our holiday.  Also, here's a link to a petition created by Charissa Iskiwitch for consumers who oppose it and this link for seller's who oppose it.

Remember to be considerate and professional when reaching out to these pages.  We want to be sure that we are heard and shouting usually results in the volume being turned down so speak clearly, eloquently and professionally.


We also need to consider that there is precedent here.  Meaning that other Pagan holidays have been Trademarked prior to this one. A quick search on the Trademark index found six entries for a trademark on Samhain.


Screenshot - TESS

I have to say I did sign the petitions.  I am writing the blog to call attention to this cause but after my participation in the discussions on Social Media Sites, I'm pretty sure that it is a moot point. Other holidays have been trademarked and nothing was done.  What makes Yule different?

I asked Charissa for a statement as she is the one spearheading this campaign to oppose the trademark of the word Yule.  She had this to say:

As consumers Yule is a standard search word we use to find scented product such as perfume, candles, room sprays, waters, colognes and incense.  Trademarking a word as widely used as this will limit those searches to the product of one company.  It will allow one company to force hundreds, if not thousands of small businesses to take that word out of their product names. 
I do not currently have any products in my business line using the word Yule.  For me personally, because I have not put any money into developing and marketing such a product I can easily choose a different name if I decided to offer a holiday scented product.  However, many small businesses run on a shoestring budget.  They have invested in listing fees, labels, printed marketing material and internet advertising.  It will cost them a significant amount of money and time to make those changes to their product line.  I believe that puts undue hardship on our business community.
My only goal in this is to protect our business community from trademarking generic descriptive words.  As businesses, we should be working together rather than competing.



However this is decided it is certain that people are becoming more willing to get involved in things that they feel violate their rights.  Does the community have a case here?  Will this trademark application be granted?  I'll continue to follow this story.  Feel free to leave your thoughts.


UPDATE


An article on The Wild Hunt indicated the the request for the trademark had been rescinded.  

From the article:
Screenshot from The Wild Hunt

 


Blessings
Sosanna


Renee Olson

Wife, Witch with the Metal Skills of a Dark Elf. I spend my time working with wire, weaving life and magic.

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