Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We "felt" the need to post!

Felting? Fulling? Who really cares what it is called?
Tuh-mey-toh, tuh-mah-toh
Whatever you wanna call it, we are pleased with the results! 
The technique widely known as "felting," is a process of basically making wool thicker, softer, fluffier, more durable, and more solidified. Since last summer, we have experimented with MANY ways to full our products. Unlike needle felting or wet felting, fulled crocheted/knitted bears aren't a commonly offered product. So, since we are always trying to create new characteristics and ideas for our creatures, we decided to full/felt some of our furry friends.
Now, from our experience, there is no exact science that makes each product turn out a certain way. Take into consideration that many variables contribute to different outcomes. Felting/fulling has these basic variables: moisture, temperature, and agitation. Though it may seem simple enough, a certain brand of soap or slightly-off water temperature will give you different results, and many types of wool felt up differently.
Of course, we couldn't just felt/full up a bear and offer it for sale. We have also mastered techniques for dyeing our own wool to give an even more unique look. It's this attention to detail that sets our products apart from the rest. Another great detail of these fulled items is that they are still considered miniature-sized, but don't lose any of the detailing or characteristics. Below is just a few of our fulled bears. Keep an eye out for when these items and more are available!

Friday, February 10, 2012

If you stand in an upright position, you will see over the garbage.

We're sure that Debbie is on here again, publicly complaining, because she recently had posts deleted for trademark infringement on her blog. As she had stated in a message to us: "Nobody is using Thread Bears any more and it's all yours." However, she has had items removed for infringement--not used by mistake--because she already knows that this is a registered trademark. She has claimed that we do business "unethically," yet she continues to give misinformation at our place of business.

Debbie, you can't speak on our behalf because you were not involved in the beginning.  You don't know how long we were permitted to use "thread bears" before we had legally acquired it. Unlike some who use it by "mistake"--we didn't make excuses or try to defend ourselves, or even try to publicly slander the owners when it was brought to our attention. Since we do business in an upright manner, we fixed our mistake in the legal, ethical way. We went to the source with good intentions.

Debbie, you have not only used it for years without our permission, but you have also encouraged others to use it--along with the encouragement from Bobbie and Berta. You and your friends promote abuse, then when products are removed for infringement, you drum up anger against us for policing it. And it's really odd that Bobbie and Berta encourage others to use it, then turn them in to the US Patent and Trademark Office as needing to be policed. Hmm... This info ofthem turning in "unpoliced" can be verified with the following link, beginning on page #240: http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91192706&pty=OPP&eno=47.

Most people who are notified of the infringement are given an opportunity to change it. This policing situation is extremely exaggerated. People are always able to re-sell an item in compliance--unless they simply refuse to stop using the trademark--such as our worst violator.

Now, Debbie, just because we try to protect what is legally and rightfully ours--it doesn't mean that we don't have forgiveness... though I'm sure it exceeds "seventy times seven times." And we still continue to forgive.  As you can see, we follow Trademark Law and don't knowingly use other's trademarks. Since we do upright business, this shows that we try to live our lives in ways that would be most pleasing to our Lord.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No arrgh-ument here, piracy is bad.

As you may have heard, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Stop Online Piracy Act.  A large portion of the general public worries about how S.O.P.A. would affect their rights.  To those that are worried about how they will be affected--if you aren't purchasing knock-offs, if you don't illegally download music and movies, if you aren't helping others to do these illegal things, then what have you got to worry about?  
It should be as simple as this...theft, no matter what form, is bad.     

Not only is it theft to allow people to freely download a song or movie on the internet, it is also theft to take someone else's photo and slightly alter it, then call it your own. When a person purchases a pattern, then prints out a bunch of copies to hand out or sell, it is a form of theft.  When someone makes items that look, in any way, similar to another's products, then uses that other person's trademark, these items then become counterfeit items--which is also theft.  When counterfeit items are distributed, it not only robs the trademark/patent/copyright owner of potential customers, it also robs them of valuable time in trying to stop the piracy.

Our company has had quite a bit of experience with piracy.  There are still some people who offer counterfeit Thread Bears® products.  As many of you may know, our biggest offender is the same person who continues to battle us in litigation for our trademarks.

In this current trial process, this offender has mailed us documents on 12/07/11, sworn under oath, that claim (again) that we don't police our trademark. They submitted printouts of websites and auctions that use "thread bear" (in any form) in connection to items that are (in any form) similar to our products. She also included one of her own listings as an example of the abuse! She titled this list as "uses of phrase 'thread bear(s); individuals to manufacturers, without being policed." However, in stating this, she is showing that she is aware that this is a registered trademark. She is also showing that she offers counterfeit items.

We have not only contacted this infringer to have the illegal information removed, we have also contacted her hosting service and webmaster to have the information removed. In swearing that we don't police the mark, she is blatantly lying to a Federal Court. In fact, we have kept over 100 policing emails that we have sent in the last three months alone. The only response we get in regards to her website is from her webmaster, which usually includes profanity.  Many people, including her webmaster, may be unaware that aiding someone in the production and distribution of stolen ideas or products is also a serious offense with serious repercussions.  We had discovered that this webmaster had received misinformation from the infringer in regards to our trademark. So, we sent him links for all of the information to verify registration for himself. At this point, he cannot use lack of knowledge as an excuse for non-compliance.

This infringer continues to offer counterfeit items. She has no shame in knowing that she is offering fraudulent items--so much so that she is not ashamed to tell a Federal Court.  If the government needs to step in to stop easy access to websites that are stealing from the actual owners of the trademarks/patents/copyrights, then so be it. Piracy is a big issue at this time--obviously big enough for an Act to be drawn up. There should be resources in place to help the victims of online theft. It shouldn't have to take over 100 emails to cease the selling of pirated items.