Everything you need to know about Thread Bears® can be found here--updates, news about our business, featured products, legal information. Be sure to check back often! We are the first to offer to collectors: miniature, fully-jointed animals and bears crocheted from thread.
To us, Autumn is all about pumpkins, spicy colors, warm beverages, and cozy knits. Sue Aucoin's newest PRiMiTeDs bear encompasses everything that we believe this season has to offer.
Please meet CHai-T with his creamy, pumpkin pin cushion!
This small bear (5" tall) is fully jointed and fulled/ felted from 100% wool and slightly weighted. His chai-colored fur was hand-dyed and shaded for a more unique look. He even has a hand-embroidered face. He is keeping the chill away with his cable knit, cinnamon stick-hued scarf, which was handmade from acrylic by Rhonda Potteet. His scarf is pinned on so it doesn't blow away in the Autumn breeze! He comes with his own slightly-weighted, cream-colored pumpkin pin cushion that is 3" in diameter and has the rustic letters of "fall" stitched to it. CHai-T is pinned/posed atop his pumpkin. This bear has been made to look passed down -- A perfect addition to any primitive collection!
Our contest is over and we've had opportunity to put our side of the story out there in doing so. Now that it is finished, we will not be allowing Bobbie, Berta, or any of their friends to give their misinformation and lies on here anymore. We will only allow the truth from now on.
To Berta: Anything you pay your lawyers to say to us is irrelevant. If you are going to share what your lawyers say, why not forward on what they have said to you. We want to see that your lawyer(s) gave you permission to use our marks. Clearly, they haven't given you permission.
And, to all of Berta's friends: how does it feel knowing that you donated for her to initiate litigation with us when she apparently couldn't afford to, though she was somehow able to do all of the of travelling from her country to ours at that time?
How do you feel knowing that know she can afford two lawyers right now?
So, this is our summary of the discrepancies which were pointed out in the contest, in addition to a few other points we want to make very clear.
We have shown you that I never went after Berta, she did all of the attacking. After my first contact with her, which was a complimentary email (as they stated), she had done nothing but attack my character and maligned me all of these years with collectors, artists, and even the USPTO.
We have shown that we were in business a lot longer before Berta was. In their statements, Berta's implied that she was the first to offer these products, and her friends tried to argue that we weren't creating these items before her, but they never included any evidence to support their arguments, even though we gave them opportunity to do so on our blog.
We have shown you that Berta has attempted to take credit for our accomplishments, because being the first in collectibles is important. We are not claiming to be the first to crochet or even crochet bears. However, the idea of miniatures that are jointed and crocheted out of thread, we were the first to bring these out on the internet and in magazines that we know of.
The contest also shows that Berta wasn't the first to call her crocheted bears "thread bears," though for some reason she feels entitled to it. And it has never really been about "thread teds," it has always been about "thread bears."
Berta has copied me and has made it look like she did it first with any idea I had. For example, the contest shows that I sold patterns for these items many years before Berta was even making them, and I even gave many patterns away, though I have been called greedy. And though Berta was aware of my prior pattern sale, she has claimed to be the first to create and sell patterns. She even had people buy my patterns, and one person even asked me to not list another and she put me off, just so Berta could have time to list her pattern.
As far as disclaimers and our trademarks are concerned...the contest shows that Berta and her friends had four different lawyers tell them that they are infringing on our rights if they use "thread bears" in any way because it IS registered, whether or not it's disclaimed in another trademark. Berta and her friends argue that those aren't really lawyers, but we've provided links for you to go to those websites and check their credentials. Even though those lawyers told Berta that legally she can't use the phrase, she has relied on Bobbie's interpretations, even though Bobbie has no credentials or experience with ownership. We have yet to hear whether or not HER lawyer(s) gave her permission to use OUR trademark(s). These lawyers had confirmed everything we've said, including that anyone can use "thread teds" because it is not registered. This also shows that we were not trying to absorb Berta's business, as she has accused us of. We applied for this mark to prevent her from using "thread bears" because she would then be infringing on two marks.
Everything done in this contest was done in defense. I hadn't said anything about these issues for years because I thought that these women would stop if I just ignored them. We fought back in litigation, and even gave Bobbie opportunity on our blog to tell everyone the truth about her misinformation and misunderstandings about trademark law. But, I realized they would only stop if they were made to stop. Hence, our contest began.
God lead us to have this contest to get the truth out there in a very creative way, using their own words, which lead people here to finally read the truth for themselves. And we hope that from this, people would take into consideration the things they say (even on the internet), and learn to read things for themselves. To not just take others' words for it. To do the research yourselves. And, because we had faith that this was all in God's hands, that He was the one leading us in this, we believe he is going to continue to bless our business. We are thankful of what we have learned in this, learning to stand firm on doing what's right and that's never wrong to present the truth. We are also thankful for the friends that we have made in this who have also shared their experiences with us.
We hope that people will move on and everybody get back to business and ignore the nastiness that's been brought on by these women. They've attempted to destroy our business and make us look like we didn't want competition when we know that competition builds business. It makes people want what we are making. And as we've said before, we can't meet the demands for these items by ourselves. We are going to continue to add more snippets of their public comments to all of the contest sections (which can be found on the previous posts in the archive) and to the Gossipers page, just to clarify other things that we've been accused of, if anyone is interested in knowing the whole truth. Those who don't care about knowing the truth, well that's their problem. If everyone would have stopped willfully infringing and giving false information about trademark law, this would've ended.
We are going to continue to do business as usual and make new items, and we will also continue to police all of our trademarks. Anyone using them will be removed because we will protect what is ours.
Contests I and II have ended. These prizes are no longer available.
SECTION 5 ANSWERS:
We are happy to announce that this portion of the contest is over, and the winner (who has chosen to remain anonymous) has been notified, so if you didn't hear from us, sorry you didn't win!!
In post 1 Bobbie says that you've never explained your disclaimers, but in post 2, you explained what the disclaimers meant. Bobbie did know about it, because she commented on the same topic in post 3.
In post 8 Bobbie says that any artist using thread bear isn't encroaching on Thread Bears®, but in posts 5-7, three different lawyers said: -if you make these products, you can't call them THREAD BEARS -if you market yourself as "thread bears" it may be infringement,
-and that the trademark owners have the right to police "thread bears."
Post 1: Bobbie's most recent comment on our blog in regards to disclaimers from 10/3/13
Post 2: Our comment on Teddy Talk in response to a Berta's topic about our disclaimers.
Post 3: Bobbie's comment on that same discussion
To view this whole discussion, you may do so here.
Post 4: A publicly posted question asked by Berta's friend, Debbie
Posts 5-7: Lawyers' Responses to Debbie's question
If you would like to see this discussion in full, you may do so here.
Post 8: Another excerpt from Bobbie's comment on here from 10/3. She's quoting our statement in the first line
Berta had publicly asked a lawyer this question 7 months ago (we've pulled this post out of our final section of the contest, below. Berta is the 'Customer' and KKPC is the lawyer):
We should also point out that she asked her question right after we had clarified what disclaimers are on Teddy Talk (posted in the last section of contest).
Now, Berta has commented on the contest and posted a disclaimer to this answer she received. She is trying to down-play the validity of this answer. However, it does need to be noted that KKPC IS a lawyer and is qualified to give the answer:
Also, we should note that she even PAID for the answer:
So yes, she may have received a disclaimer for this answer. The disclaimer just stresses to the customer that this lawyer is not legally bound to represent in any proceedings. These lawyers are truly lawyers.
Which brings us to our next point. Berta has a lawyer listed on her trademark application. So, why hasn't she asked him about disclaimers??
Well, we are sure she already has the information, since we have already contacted her lawyer. And, we know he forwarded the information and clarified things, because it is what her lawyer would do. And, since she knows the truth, why has she continued to lie about it for the last 7 months??
If you would like to read this entire discussion, you may do so here.