The Sam Adams Cease and Desist Letter
A local radio station has posted the cease-and-desist letter sent to Portland mayoral candidate Sam Adams on his alleged "trademark infringement" in registering website addresses using his own name. It's a remarkable enough letter that I'm reposting it here, retyped verbatim, including the mispelling in the salutation. Thanks to 1190 KEX.
Mr. Andeson [sic],There are two remarkable facts about this: 1) that the brewery didn't bother to do a Google search to see if there was a Sam Adams running for mayor ("Sam Adams Mayor" resolves the question with the first result); and 2) that, having appropriated the name of a historical figure, the brewery now protects its mark against private citizens. It has all the makings of a huge PR blunder.
We are the owners of the famous trademarks SAM ADAMS® and SAMUEL ADAMS®, and we write to you about a matter of serious concern arising from your registration of the domain names www.mayorsamadams.com and www.samadamsformayor.com.
Boston Beer has used the trademarks SAM ADAMS® and SAMUEL ADAMS® since 1984 and is the owner of a number of federal registrations for the marks in connection with a variety of goods and services, including beer, other alcoholic beverages and related merchandise. These trademarks have become uniquely identified with Boston Beer and they and their accompanying goodwill represent a substantial asset of Boston Beer's business.
We recently became aware that you have registered the domain names www.mayorsamadams.com and www.samadamsformayor.com. We believe that the sale of any services or products under this name will cause confusion as to the source, sponsorship or affiliation of such services or products and/or dilute the distinctiveness of our famous trademarks and trade name. Such infringement and dilution may subject you to liability under Sections § 43 and 32(1) of the Lanham Act, including the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
We trust that you do not wish to impair the intellectual property rights of another company or cause confusion as to the source or sponsorship of your services and products. Therefore, we hereby notify you that Boston Beer will take all appropriate action to protect its valuable trademarks and request that you immediately cease and desist use of the domain names www.mayorsamadams.com and www.samadamsformayor.com. Please respond to this letter confirming our request by October 29, 2007.
Very truly yours,
Intellectual Property Manager