If you follow us on Twitter or are a Fan of one of our Facebook Pages, you’ve probably seen some posts about our frustration and concern with the possibility of losing our logo. In the past 10 months we’ve been in a tough litigation battle with Best Buy Inc., because Best Buy felt that they should be the only corporation entitled to use a “Tag-Style Design” in their logo. Best Buy was also “concerned by Tag Sell It’s use and registration of its Tag Sell It Tag Design Mark in light of the mark’s similarities in appearance and commercial impression to Best Buy’s well known BEST BUY and Tag Design and Tag Design Marks.” Best Buy was also “concerned by Tag Sell It’s use because, like Tag Sell It, Best Buy uses its Tag Design Mark with the online retail sale of used and refurbished items at its website and eBay site.”
Best Buy went on to say “Best Buy’s concerns with the Tag Sell It Tag Design are not limited to concerns about consumer confusion. Best Buy has invested considerable resources in making its Tag Design Mark distinctive and to uniquely identify its stores and services to consumers. Tag Sell It’s use of a similar tag design with the online sale of used merchandise, however, threatens to undermine these efforts and diminish Best Buy’s rights in it’s mark.” They were was also concerned “that your use and registration of the Tag Sell It Tag Design is likely to dilute the distinctive quality of Best Buy’s well-known Tag Design Mark in violation of federal and state trademark dilution laws, laws which expressly exclude any requirement to prove any confusion is likely.” Oh and to top it off, they said, “Your registration of the Tag Sell It tag design mark sets a harmful precedent on the register and poses serious damage to Best Buy’s ability to protect its Tag Design marks against further encroachments by third parties.”
Really, Best Buy? You’re that insecure about your logo? In our own defense, the tag design was generic and ubiquitous. Our logo looks ten-times better and you’re saying your company “invested considerable resources in making its Tag Design Mark distinctive and uniquely identify its stores and services to consumers.” What do you have to pay to draw a Tag Design logo, color it yellow and write Best Buy in big black letters? Tagsellit.com welcomed a Graphic Arts Intern to our team in 2008 and said we’re a new startup, have no money, but willing to pay you in pizza and beer to help us design a cool company logo to fit our business. Our Intern loved the idea to get his foot in the door with the opportunity to have his work be published for a company. He even landed his first big Graphic Arts industry job because he had something great to show for the initial work he had done with our company.
- Avery has used tag-design for over a century
- A simple Google Images search for “tag design” reveals over 433,000,000 hits.
This unnecessary and expensive ordeal obviously caused many headaches and a lot of unnecessary work on our end to fight to keep our logo. Our logo is really important to our business and our online recognition that we’ve established since launching our site. Fortunately, we learned in early October that Best Buy had formally withdrawn from all legal action against Tag Sell It Inc.
Best Buy’s performance hasn’t been stellar lately in this economy. Their year-to-date stock price was down nearly 50% in October 2011 from last October. Perhaps they were afraid word would get out to investors that they were investing resources in unnecessary expenses and to fight off small companies like Tag Sell It who had the least-bit threatening logos because of the company’s own insecurities of perhaps winding up like Circuit City one day? Logo confusion? Doubtful in Tag Sell It’s opinion. See the logo comparison below. Was Best Buy undermining the intelligence of their own consumers when it came do distinguishing logos? Who knows? Let their consumers decide.
We are glad we put up a good fight and didn’t lose our logo.
We are so very grateful for the support of our Tagsellit.com users and followers, and especially to Steve Bereit, our Attorney, who worked so diligently on this matter for us. Patent and Trademark Law can be tricky, as we’ve learned, but on the bright side, what a great learning and business experience. (We hope we don’t have to deal with this nonsense again)