Category Archives: Business

Virgin hires private investigators to spy and find out where VIRGINIC employees live in the US. VIRGINIC wins with Virgin twice in the UK

Austin, Texas, 2020-Jun-09 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Hypocrisy continues. Richard Branson claims to support small entrepreneurs and yet Virgin lawyers attack and destroy small start-ups.

Jolly Santa figure or a Business Bully?

Common sense says that the word ‘virgin’ cannot be owned by one individual or organization. After suing VIRGINIC, will Virgin now go after British Virgin Islands, the country? Or after Madonna for a song “Like a Virgin?”. Welcome to the Jungle where you can hire the most ruthless and manipulative lawyers, shall your deep pockets allow the cost.

Richard Branson, he of the goatee beard, shaggy hair and permanently fixed grin is not a man who needs to worry about money. His personal net worth is as of 2020 approximately 4.2 billion USD according to Google. The Virgin Group had an annual turnover in 2016 of around 25 billion USD. The Group’s business interests extend, to use the legal phrase, ad coelum et ad inferos. For those of us without a Classical education, that means up to heaven and down to hell, from trains on the ground to telecommunications in the atmosphere around us up to commercial space flight, Virgin has many fingers in many pies.

Of the many classes of goods and services marketed under the Virgin name cosmetics is not one of them. In June 2009, Virgin explicitly announced its intent to not use any mark containing the term “Virgin” in connection with the sale of cosmetics, skincare, and beauty products by announcing that it was “moving away from glamorous adventures in this particular retail sector.” A crystal clear statement of intent that stands to this day as Virgin still doesn’t sell cosmetics under the Virgin name and has long abandoned its mark with respect to cosmetics and skincare goods.

Enter stage right VIRGINIC LLC. Virginic was created two and a half years ago and is a startup specializing in mission-based, allergy-free, chemical-free beauty products with “virginic” level of purity, sold strictly through ecommerce channels. Small company with big ethos of superior standards of ingredients purity and ethics, vegan and unprocessed. Despite the fact that Virgin has no current or future interest in goods of this type, and that VIRGINIC is a different brand name than Virgin, Virgin has been aggressively pursuing a frankly absurd and bullying course of action against VIRGINIC for the past 2 years.

The logos of the two companies look nothing alike, the name of VIRGINIC is not similar and no person is going to think their VIRGINIC face cream has anything at all to do with Virgin Atlantic airline. There is no reason for Virgin to maliciously keep trying to destroy a company like VIRGINIC. It poses no threat whatsoever to Virgin’s business interests or to consumers but it is under attack by an army of lawyers in multiple countries, where employees are spied by lawyers, their linkedin profiles invigilated and people straight abused.

This sad state of affairs began when VIRGINIC LLC applied to register their trademark in the UK. In January 2018 the mark was accepted and published in the Trade Marks Journal in respect of Class 03, which covers cosmetics and skincare goods. The UK IPO governmental trademark officer accepted the trademark as it concluded no marketplace confusion nor even similarity. Virgin opposed it despite the fact that it does not sell cosmetics. As any reasonable person would expect, Virgin’s opposition failed, another senior UK IPO specialist decided VIRGINIC wins for a second time on the basis that the average consumer would not make a connection between VIRGINIC chemical-free cosmetics and Virgin Mobile.

However Virgin has massive resources and aggressive lawyers who appealed to the UK Court claiming that the original hearing officer was incorrect and his decision should be overturned. Additionally, aiming to destroy at all cost and against all merits, the lawyers attacked further demanding $50,000 from VIRGINIC.

Thomas M Monagan from Norvell IP, USA, together with Geo Hussey from A.A. Thornton in UK continued by opening more lawsuits in the USs and UK, serving litigation papers to unrelated companies that managers of VIRGINIC used to work for, all to harass the small company to the extreme point so they give up and destroy themselves on Virgin’s request. Virgin also hired a private investigators, as they disclosed to Court in Wyoming, to find out where employees and managers physically live.

In May 2020 same lawyers served VIRGINIC employees lawsuits via their private Linkedin profiles and to random email addresses found on the internet. Such actions could have been a Monty Python sketch, but sadly these days lawyers are apparently allowed to invade people’s privacy.

VIRGINIC stood strong and refused to be destroyed. A fight with multi billion dollar bully can cause significant hardship to any startup in its early stages. While Virgin has the resources to indulge in frivolous and harassing court cases, VIRGINIC does not.

This could bring any other company to its knees, halting operations and causing the lay offs of valuable and experienced staff, impacting the company and making its people jobless. Malicious lawyers applying a technique of continued harassment to burden financial resources of a smaller company and take an emotional toll on its staff is a technique called bullying. Where VIRGINIC should be concentrating on growing and developing its allergy-free and ethically-sourced products, which could change the face of the beauty industry, it is instead being forced to fight for its very survival even though it has done nothing against Virgin whatsoever.

Virgin’s lack of good faith and attempts of its lawyers to harass and destroy is even more clear looking at Virgin’s long history of trademark abuse. Even a cursory search of online sources will reveal multiple examples of trademark abuse and bullying small start ups.

However, like Pandora’s box, hope and VIRGINIC’s resilience is the one thing that remains. Hope that in Wyoming Court the common sense, merits and fairness will prevail in the law being applied in the spirit it was intended. The law need to let us hope that vindication will come in a win for VIRGINIC and continued growth and success in its pursuits of making the world better, one cream at a time.

Media contact:

Simon Hawley
International Consortium of Investigative Reporters
+1 5408976549

VIRGINIC defends its case and stands up to Virgin after attack on Linkedin profiles of shocked VIRGINIC employees

SEATTLE, Washington, 2020-Jun-02 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Last week Virgin launched a new attack on shocked VIRGINIC employees and threatened in court to serve them lawsuits directly to their Linkedin profiles. Virgin then followed its threats and served its lawsuits to unrelated email addresses of those individuals it found on the internet. Virgin revealed it has been spying on VIRGINIC employees social media and private Linkedin profiles and provided the Court daily screenshots of such profiles as evidence.

“Put it simply, it is bullying and VIRGINIC will stand up to it” – says a former employee of VIRGINIC, Mark Russell.

Thomas M Monagan from Norvell IP is the lawyer hired by Virgin in USA, together with Geoff Hussey from A.A. Thornton in UK to tear apart the business fabric of VIRGINIC and to destroy the start up company and force it to stop selling allergy-free organic creams.

According to Mark Russell, “the harassment Virgin lawyers have been maliciously applying for the past 2 years have adversely and financially affected many workers employed who lost their jobs because of the hardship caused by Virgin. Virgin has been trying to starve a small start up company financially to death for past 2 years and it’s a miracle VIRGINIC is still standing up straight by pure force of resilience, integrity and business pride”.

The former worker adds: “Virgin opened multiple lawsuits in multiple countries and demanded we close and commit a business suicide. VIRGINIC heroically stood up to it. All employees gave their 200% knowing it costs a fortune to hire lawyers in all those countries and a lot of us declared to work for reduced wage to support our mission-based company and stand up to bullying. Everyone with common sense knew Virgin’s claims were not only lacking factual merits but were in bulk part a legal manipulation aiming to attack for no reason, just like Virgin successfully destroyed through litigation many other start ups in the past including small Virgin Olive Oil producers”.

Question remains, should Virgin and its lawyers be held liable for damages they have caused including loss of jobs of VIRGINIC employees and financial hardships caused to many families? VIRGINIC is defending its case vigorously with the limited means it has but the irony is, what wrong did they do at the first place.

VIRGINIC is an honest, cruelty-free and natural-ingredients-only beauty company. The name is different from Virgin. They sell entirely different products. Their logo and branding is different. Customers buying VIRGINIC oraganic face cream jars online are certainly not confused thinking they are buying from Virgin Airlines/Mobile or Virgin Galactic.

Nevertheless VIRGINIC workers who lost their jobs due to high costs of multiple international lawsuits and whose private social media profiles are daily watched and taken screenshots of, are the ones to shoulder the burden. At the event of US Court eventually ruling for VIRGINIC, will the multi-billion dollar giant Virgin be ordered to compensate those employees for loss of income and privacy invasion?

Mark Russell comments: “US judges have a good reputation regarding protecting the rights of their citizens and US companies so despite Virgin’s army of lawyers and their tactics of spying and harassment on privacy, I hope the judge will make things right to VIRGINIC. I hope the saying that the party with more money for lawyers always wins, despite the merits and common sense, will not turn out to be a sad truth here. Maybe Richard Branson will be notified about what’s happening and will make things right”.

He adds: “There comes a point when you have to stand up to behavior of ruthless lawyers, because they destroy people and they destroy lives, just because there is a company with deep pockets willing to pay for it. Bullying like this scares and silences people but we all know this is not an acceptable practice. There needs to be accountability for false and malicious storytelling in courts and daily spying on private profiles and hiring private investigators to find out where those employees live, which is also what Virgin said in Court they did and presented those private investigators findings to Court as evidence. Virgin’s infamous and low litigation and personal harassment tactics are now a part of a public record so everything is out there to be seen and accounted for.”

A former employee who fell victim to this case, finishes by saying: “There is a human cost to this malicious bullying. VIRGINIC has continued to put on a brave face and has been boldly fighting back for the past two years, but I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been to many VIRGINIC employees. They lost their jobs, their privacy was violated. The multi-billion dollar giant attacked a small mission-based start up with no merits, because they could and because lawyers had to justify their fees. All this at the direct expense of many honest and hard working young people, their family income and the better mission-based future they have been building”.

The case progresses and it is unclear how quickly the Court might rule.

Additional Instructions: Other supporting articles

https://www.casemine.com/judgement/uk/5ca6e7cf2c94e01e252694dd
https://www.dyoung.com/en/knowledgebank/articles/virgin-virginic
https://www.worldipreview.com/news/virgin-fails-to-fight-off-cosmetics-tm-17033
http://www.businessdefencelaw.co.uk/virgin-successfully-opposes-registration-of-virginic-trade-mark/
https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmcase/page/Results/1/UK00003283156 (UK00003283156)
https://classifieds.usatoday.com/press/virgins-history-of-trademark-abuse/
https://bdaily.co.uk/articles/2020/04/20/virgin-demands-small-cosmetic-company-virginic-closes-and-starts-personal-lawsuits-against-its-managers-and-employees

Media contact:
info@thebureauofinvestigativejournalists.com

A New Cryptocurrency – BitcoinPoS – Bitcoin Proof of Stake

Chicago, IL, 2020-Jun-1 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Investing in Bitcoin (BTC) is now expensive, and getting your own through mining is nearly impossible for the average person. However, a new opportunity can be found in Bitcoin Proof of Stake.

BitcoinPoS: The Best of Bitcoin and PoS
Bitcoin Proof of Stake (BTP) was created by a team of developers that recognized the capabilities of the Bitcoin code and sought to improve them. They did this by replacing Bitcoin’s Proof of Work consensus protocol with Proof of Stake, resulting in a new and improved coin called BTP.

Proof of Work has proven that it is a less efficient protocol when compared to PoS, as it moves slower, cannot be easily scaled, and can favor centralization.

To improve upon the unique features of the Bitcoin code, the developers introduced Proof of Stake, thus creating a new coin, BTP, which challenges the boundaries of crypto functionality. If the Bitcoin core goes through an update, then BitcoinPoS will be immediately updated to include the new alterations.

The BitcoinPoS network can create no more than 21 million BTP. The new coins are generated not by mining, but through staking. The supply of BTP is managed from its protocol, which cuts the block reward once every 4 years by 25% every 700k blocks. BTC decreases with 50% of the reward every 4 years.

BitcoinPoS and Its Advantages

Pro-Decentralization Design
Mining is an energy-intensive process, as miners compete to be the first to solve the complex mathematical equations in order to get the block reward. In a Proof of Stake network, the stakers, or validators, can get new coins by keeping a number of BTP in an active wallet.

Due to its design, staking does not demand energy in high quantities, like in PoW systems. Most Bitcoin mining operations are now controlled by big companies, as only they have the capital to invest in many performant mining rigs. This leaves out regular people who cannot afford mining hardware, and thus the hashrate of the network becomes centralized, limited to only a few big mining farms. But with BTP, all users can stake coins, therefore, encouraging participation from more people and distribution of power throughout the network.

Resilience Against 51% Attacks
Centralization in PoW-based coins is an issue, as it leaves the network susceptible to a 51% attack, where one entity takes hold of 51% of the network hashrate. This person then has absolute power over the network and can manipulate transactions and block creation.

BitcoinPoS is resistant to 51% attacks, as the PoS protocol was designed to promote decentralization. BTP also uses a variation of the Proof of Stake model known as Mutualized Proof of Stake consensus, which is almost impossible to breach by an attacker, as it requires a lot of resources.

99% Reduction in Power Consumption
A PoS system does not need users to solve complex algorithms that are energy-consuming. This allows staking to be a more economical process of generating new BTP, using 99% less than Bitcoin mining.

Friendly to the Environment
All PoW mining operations are taxing on the environment because of its high energy consumption. Bitcoin PoS can function and issue new coins without the need for mining farms, and thus it is more eco-friendly.

Universally Accessible to Users
Setting up and managing a mining rig to mine Bitcoin is a big investment that not many people can afford. BTPs can be easily staked by all people, as a laptop or a personal computer is powerful enough to be used in staking.

Bitcoin Proof of Stake (BTP) allows all types of users to easily invest in a more efficient version of Bitcoin that carries with it all the perks of a PoS model.

Logo:

BitcoinPoS logo

Matvil Corp. Continues Its Fight Against Illegal Actions of the Legal System of Moldova

A case of intellectual rights dispute sheds light on the corrupt legal system of Moldova

TORONTO, Canada, 2020-May-15 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — As one of the leading online ethnic TV providers, operating in North America, Matvil Corp. discovered, there is no reliable system in place that protects legal broadcasters from dishonest competition. In their attempts to enter the US and Canadian markets, Internet pirates commit fraud and manipulate data in order to influence the corrupt legal system of Eastern European countries and try to destabilize operations of successful companies, cause financial damage and hurt their reputation.

The case Radio Star Ltd. against Matvil Corp. is a vivid proof of such practices.

On June 8, 2018, Radio Star Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Matvil Corp. in the court of Chisinau, Moldova, stating that the latter illegally broadcasted a number of Russian and Ukrainian channels on the territory of Moldova.

It should be noted right away that in support of its demands, Radio Star (Moldova), knowingly and deliberately used various methods to circumvent technical protection measures undertaken by Matvil Corp., and subsequently presented them as evidence. Using ExpressVPN program, accomplices or employees of Radio Star (Moldova), (which in this case is a media “pirate”), physically located in the Republic of Moldova, created user accounts and, using American IP addresses, with location in New Jersey, USA, registered on the Matvil Corp website, thereby creating the illusion of receiving services offered by the company.

It should be clarified that ExpressVPN program is a virtual tunnel that virtually changes the physical location of a computer or other electronic device, assigning this device a virtual IP address, indicating a virtual location anywhere in the world (at the choice of the user of this program), while physically, the electronic device is located in its territorial space.

Matvil Corp is a respectable media provider that provides online TV broadcasting services in Canada and the United States. Subscription access to the service for users from the countries of former USSR and Russia is strictly prohibited and unavailable.

However, malicious desire for illegal enrichment pushes such adversaries as Radio Star (Moldova) to resort to illegal actions, falsification, fraud and the commission of crimes using IT technologies.

Moreover, as it became known already in the framework of the trial, Radio Star (Moldova) does not have exclusive rights at all to broadcast Russian and Ukrainian television channels in the territory of the Republic of Moldova. Radio Star (Moldova) is just an agent for the distribution and conclusion of contracts with the end consumer and with a limited duration of contractual agreements.

In addition, Matvil Corp did not receive any claims from the copyright holders, and Radio Star (Moldova) did not provide any evidence that authority was granted by the copyright holders to protect their interests.

Despite all of the above, on January 18, 2019, Chisinau Court of First Instance, Judge Oksana Parfeni, ruled in favor of Radio Star, accepting all their fabricated evidence as reliable, but denied Matvil Corp representatives the right to hear IT experts / specialists and also denied the right to hear those persons who allegedly gained access to the service.

If the court were objective and impartial, then these adversaries would be asked only one question: “For what reason and why did they use ExpressVPN program, used American IP addresses, with location in New Jersey, USA, and did not try to log in on Matvil Corp website under valid Moldovan IP addresses? ”

On February 2, 2019 lawyer Matvil Corp appealed the decision of the first instance, however, even here Matvil Corp had to face partiality.

On April 5, 2019, that is, after 2 months, Chisinau Appeal Chamber issued a Decision, which decided to return the appeal because it was filed by an unauthorized person. The reason for this decision was a banal and completely illegal motive: the power of attorney issued to the company’s lawyer was allegedly not legalized in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova.

It should be noted that this Decision was not sent to Matvil Corp lawyers until May 15, 2019 (apparently it was concealed in order to have the appeal dates expire). Only after applying with an official statement and demanding to indicate at what stage the filed appeal was, the court deigned to issue this Decision.

On the same day, May 15, 2019, the lawyer filed a protest against the Decision dated April 5, 2019, where it was decided to return the appeal, and on June 6, 2019, the Higher Trial Chamber of the Republic of Moldova ruled that the power of attorney was legal, and therefore obliged the Appeals Chamber to consider on its own merits the appeal about the decision of the first instance of the Court.

Thus, the first ray of hope for the objectivity and honesty of the Moldovan Judicial System appeared.

November 14, 2019 – The Appeal Court acknowledged the fact that Radio Star (Moldova) does not have any exclusive rights to broadcast TV programs and does not have the authority to protect the interest of copyright holders and, as a result, reversed the decision of the first instance and dismissed adversaries’ lawsuit.

It seemed as though that justice has triumphed!!!

However, the miracles of the legal / judicial system of Moldova continued.

Just by accident and thanks to the vigilance of the lawyers, it became known that Radio Star submitted cassation appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice on January 14, 2020.

This information appeared on the court’s website, but until today, neither Matvil Corp nor the company’s lawyer have received a copy of this complaint and have not been officially informed of its existence.

Moreover, on March 18, 2020 this complaint has already passed the admissibility procedure, and the review itself is scheduled for May 20, 2020 and, what is noteworthy, without the participation of the parties!

This series of non-compliance with the requirements of the Law by the system itself, which was created to protect it, shows that it serves the interests of a certain group of people.

Using the Moldovan judicial system, unscrupulous competitors try to destabilize the business and cause serious financial and reputational damage to American and Canadian companies that do not conduct and did not intend on conducting business in Moldova.

There is a possibility that a decision will be made to satisfy the decision of the first instance of Court and unreasonably blame Matvil. The company will be deprived of the opportunity to do anything in its defense due to the fact that this will be the last court hearing if the case is not returned to the Court of Appeal.

Given the unreliability, doubtfulness, and bias of the Moldovan judicial system, which allows for the concealment of information or neglects objective facts (visible to the naked eye and not requiring special knowledge), Matvil is not convinced about the objectivity of examination of this completely falsified court case.

If the Supreme Judicial Chamber of Moldova decides in favor of Radio Star Ltd, this will be another glaring evidence of the complete collapse of the Moldovan judicial system.

Media contact:
Mykola Skrynnyk
nick.s@matvil.com

Virgin adds to VIRGINIC case new groundless litigation against 3 more small startups

MIAMI, Florida, 2020-Apr-29 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group do not trade in… Virgins! Furthermore the word ‘virgin’ is itself a common word and an arbitrary one when used in connection to Virgin’s various business pursuits. For context purposes, here’s some more fun with trademarking Apple.

The word itself, Apple, is a common word and contrary to popular belief it is possible to trademark a common word. This is allowed because the word is arbitrary when used in connection to the manufacturer of iPhones and computers etc. Apple doesn’t sell apples, and neither does the Apple Rubber Co and many others who also own the trademark to the word ‘Apple.’ Multiple companies can own the trademark to the same common word, as long as the products they sell aren’t so similar that they cause confusion for consumers.

In spite of being a globally recognized brand, Virgin is currently pursuing a court case against a small online beauty company named VIRGINIC LLC, attempting to force them to close their store and demanding a hand over of their website domains and social media accounts to Virgin Group.

VIRGINIC LLC is a startup with a visionary desire to keep creating chemical-free, allergy-free, raw face cream formulas, for the direct benefit of an organic-minded female consumer. VIRGINIC brand name is to recall beyond-organic level of purity with no chemical additives and a holistic approach to ethical and all natural sourcing. Their production practices are mindful of protecting the planet through sustainable packaging materials and supporting local farming for ingredients sourcing. Yes, they are lovely people with an ethos that we can all support as it’s hard not to.

As for Virgin, they don’t sell cosmetics currently and neither do they have any intention to do so in future. From our common sense lesson in trademark law this should be an open and shut case, should it not? It seems crystal clear that two companies selling completely different products with names using a common word in an arbitrary manner, no virgins being sold, should both have the right to trademark that word.

Or in this case an invented word similar to that word, it would be like Apple vs Appleic. What’s more in the UK where this case started 2 years ago, a quick search reveals many companies trading under the word ‘Virgin’ offering various services. They’re able to do so for the reasons already stated above.

So why would Virgin target a small startup that doesn’t even use the name “virgin” and doesn’t trade in phones, planes and spaceships but natural face creams? It appears to be nothing more than pure speculative spitefulness by certain lawyers needing to justify their retainer and earn exorbitant fees from their client.

One can almost imagine those lawyers idly examining new trademark applications looking for marks that look somewhat similar to their client’s, no matter how tenuous the connection and salivating over the thought of the juicy fees to follow.

This sort of behavior is no better than the ‘ambulance chaser’ stereotype that looms large in the public’s imagination. In fact, under common law there was historically an offence referred to as ‘barratry’ referring to people who are “overly officious in instigating or encouraging prosecution of groundless litigation” or who bring “repeated or persistent acts of litigation” for the purposes of profit or harassment. Sadly for VIRGINIC, this is no longer an offense in England and Wales. Now the turn is for the US court system to judge on the merits vs manipulative discourse of Virgin’s lawyers justifying their retainers.

Some of the investigative journalists following VIRGINIC case point out that the actual litigation is indeed pointless and harassing in nature. Furthermore it is destructive and punitive. VIRGINIC was already denied the appeal in UK, Virgin got paid £35,000 but since that wasn’t enough, Virgin’s lawyers proceeded to open more lawsuits against VIRGINIC in more countries, including countries where VIRGINIC doesn’t trade.

VIRGINIC refused to commit business suicide and close the shop, just because Virgin said so. Virgin’s lawyers responded by opening personal lawsuits against key employees and managers of VIRGINIC in both US and UK, using an alter ego theory as a legal crutch. In David vs Goliath cases, a big corporation can starve a small company financially to death, break their spirit by forcing them to give up simply because a small company is no longer able to afford piling up legal fees (in this case internationally) – a common tactic of a common bully.

Virgin opened personal lawsuits against shocked and distressed key employees and managers of VIRGINIC calling them in Wyoming court an “alter ego” of VIRGINIC company itself. When VIRGINIC and its management heroically kept refusing to be destroyed, more personal lawsuits were opened in the court of England.

VIRGINIC stated on their website that they felt it was morally wrong to close the business and stop making natural cosmetics for people with allergies that asks for them every day, just because a multi-billion dollar attacker has such a wish. In response to that, Virgin’s lawyers just recently added to the ongoing lawsuit 3 unrelated to VIRGINIC start up companies (in both court of both Wyoming, US and London, England) – companies where VIRGINIC employees used to work based on same “alter ego” legal crutch theory, causing even greater surprise to all spectators and a real financial damage to other small entities that stated no connection to VIRGINIC.

VIRGINIC announced on their social media that directly due to high legal fees causing hardship to its business half of their employees had to be laid off. At the expense of a great personal toll to those individuals and at a great loss of human capital in general, Virgin is further magnifying the damage caused.

If any business case is the personification of vicious, pointless litigation that only serves to enrich overpaid lawyers then this is it. Let us hope that a fairytale ending lies in store for the good folks at VIRGINIC and their spirit of not giving up on their dream, with a deserved comeuppance for the villain of the piece.

Media contact:
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
PO Box 76421
London EC2P 2SH
https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/

Virgin Demands Small Cosmetic Company VIRGINIC Closes and Opens Lawsuits Against its Main Employees

New York, NY, 2020-Apr-23 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — One of the greatest challenges currently facing the business world is the relentless pursuit of ownership of brand names, logos, typefaces, slogans and even colors! The judiciary are constantly inundated with cases regarding the alleged illegal or improper use of any, or any combination, of these.

But how much of this is a waste of the court’s time? How often is a case being brought simply because an in-house legal beagle needs to justify their salary? How many cases are brought that should simply, in any real world of common sense, never make it out of the split second of foolishness of that very thought’s creator?

Now, the idea that somebody really believed it necessary to protect their idea/investment/invention by receiving confirmation that it was indeed theirs, does, of course, make some sense. Invent the perfect diet in the form of a single daily dose tablet and you should be able to protect that invention and make as much money as the marketplace deems it to be worth until somebody comes up with a way of simply breathing in the perfect diet, and your invention becomes worthless.

And there is, in and of itself, the answer to many of our questions, whether or not we really knew that we had them. Money. Without this fiendish instrument of perceived wealth, where would we be? Would anybody, anywhere ever need to know who invented something of great use to the general populous? Would anybody give you the pats on the back and the “attaboys” that your genius deserved? Well, maybe, and, more likely the case, maybe not.

But would you care? I mean, let’s be honest, if you honestly did all this just for the kudos, you wouldn’t have needed the patent application form in the first place, right? You did it for the money, as is your absolute right to do, and you are simply protecting your investment and the value that your invention has.

Trademarks are, however, a whole different ball game. Take the example of Odysseas Papadimitriou’s company trademark application for his WalletHub brand, a brand that offered a website able to compare various offers such as insurance, loans, mortgages etc. The trademark application for his logo, a white “W” set in a green square, was disputed by, of all things, Major League Baseball! The claim was that the MLB had not one but TWO similar logos that would be infringed upon were the application allowed. One of these is a logo that has not been used in baseball since 1960, the year that the Washington Nationals became the Minnesota Twins whilst the other is a flag that the Chicago Cubs fly in their stadium if they win!

How are either of these “uses” threatened in any way, financial or otherwise, by a website that offers financial documentation organization services? Are WalletHub suddenly getting calls from angry customers, unable to get seats for the game? Are the MLB getting calls asking for financial advice?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the key to this whole mess…IS THE CONSUMER CONFUSED ABOUT WHO OR WHAT THEY ARE ENGAGING WITH FOR GOODS OR SERVICES? That is the acid test. That is the reason the law uses to justify its very existence. That is the fly in the inhouse legal beagle’s ointment…Can they PROVE that this brand confusion would exist?

A perfect example of this is the case of Virgin Group PLC v VIRGINIC LLC (you already see where this is going, right?!). VIRGINIC is a young start-up specializing in all-natural, organic beauty products. Not trains. Not planes. Not telephones.

In fact, not any product that is even similar to anything that the Virgin group does or even has ever produced. Clearly there can be no confusion here. But what’s that, I hear you cry? The name is similar? Surely name similarity is not enough. For example, Ford once manufactured a car called the Capri. Now we have the Capri Sun brand all over the world. Is there an issue? Are people buying juice boxes worried that they are made in a car factory? Of course they are not. That would be silly, wouldn’t it?!

VIRGINIC was dismissed by a judge in the UK at the THIRD time of asking, having already beaten Virgin’s trademark infringement case on two previous occasions.The virtue of the freedom of speech that we protect so rigorously, is not an objective virtue any more in the common legal sense, apparently.

For as long as there exists a particular judge able to be swayed by vague and ridiculous arguments, such as those employed by the Virgin lawyers, on a particular day, in a particular place, we will carry on down this absurd legal rabbithole, wasting both the time and money of the taxpayer and of both businesses in question, meanwhile doing nothing for the consumer other than limit their access to the products that they may actually wish to purchase.

And are those not the people that these very laws were enacted to protect in the first place?

Trademark case numbers (UK00003283156)

Nest Boutique in Pacific Grove Celebrates its 20th Anniversary with Special Shopping Events in November

Phyllis Davis is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her women’s wear shop Nest Boutique in Pacific Grove and she says she owes it all to the love and support of her loyal customers.

Pacific Grove, CA, October 31, 2019 — Phyllis Davis is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her women’s wear shop Nest Boutique in Pacific Grove and she says she owes it all to the love and support of her loyal customers.

“I’m just amazed and feeling very blessed,” says Davis, when asked about her thoughts on celebrating 20 years in business. “Somehow in this world of online shopping and big box stores, a little family boutique has survived. A lot of it is due to our wonderful customers. Without them, we wouldn’t be here. I love showing my clients designer fashions that are fashionable, flattering and fun!”

With that in mind, Davis and Nest are hosting two special events in November to celebrate its 20th anniversary, a one-night-only shopping event for VIP customers and a weekend event in which a percentage of proceeds from sales go to three local charities.

The event for VIP customers will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, where VIP customers will be treated to a night of shopping and mingling with bubbles and nibbles, a special 20th anniversary gift for all attendees and a drawing to win a $200 gift certificate — every shopper is eligible! The drawing will be held at 7:30 p.m. and you must be present to win the gift certificate.

In addition, for every $100 spent during the month of November, VIP customers will receive a $20 gift certificate to shop in December only. The certificate would be valid December 1 – December 31, 2019.

The community event supporting Nest’s 20th anniversary and its charity partners will be held all day Friday, November 15 through Sunday, November 17. Each charity partner will receive 20% of all sales for the day:

•Friday, November 15, I-Help, Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program •Saturday, November 16, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

•Sunday, November 17, Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP)

On Sunday, AFRP will have a table and adoptable animals in front of the shop from 12 – 2 p.m.

Customers will get a chance to meet someone from the charity, pick up some information on the organization, shop and support a good cause with their purchase.

To RSVP for any of the events, call/go to xxx.

“This celebration is to show our customers what their patronage has meant to us,” she says.

Nest started life in The Barnyard Shopping Village in Carmel in 1999, and moved to its current Grand Avenue location in Pacific Grove in January 2005. Davis and her husband Mitch and her mother and stepfather Bonnie and Milt became partners in the venture. In fact, Davis’ mother came up with the name for the boutique.

“My mom was all excited and she asked me, ‘Can we call it Nest?’, ” says Davis about starting the business venture. “I asked her, ‘What does that have to do with women’s fashions?’ ‘Well, we want it to be a warm and welcoming place don’t we? Like a nest.’”

Her mother loved clothes and had a background in retail, owning and running both The Attic on Cannery Row and The Cottage Collection in The Crossroads Shopping Center. She was very close to her mother, whom customers called “The Bulldog” for her dogged enthusiasm, and likening their relationship to Lucy and Ethel of the “I Love Lucy” TV show.

With her mom’s sales acumen, her stepdad’s knack for woodworking and cabinetry, her husband Mitch’s business mind and her jack-of-all-trades skills, Nest thrived, allowing her and Mitch to also pursue their other love: the theater.

“I started acting at age 14, my first show on the Monterey Peninsula was nine years later in 1978, and I met Mitch in a production of ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ at the Outdoor Forest Theater,” she says. “Nest is my daytime passion, theater is my nighttime passion.”

While Nest started out as a women’s wear boutique, it has earned a reputation as the place to go for special occasion wear — weddings, formal events, and so forth.

“We have everyday casual wear, all the way to bridal wear and everything in between, that’s why our slogan is ‘From Blue Jeans to Bridal, Nest Has It All!’ ” she says. “Mitch calls it the ‘world’s smallest department store.’ ”

As for whether there are any plans in the future for expansion or other measures, Davis says they just want to keep serving the community as best they can.

“We’re happy, so we want to keep it simple and easy,” she says. “We don’t need a lot of drama, we’ll leave that to the stage!”

About Nest Boutique

For the best selection of women’s clothing and formal wear, come to Nest Boutique! Opened in 1999 by Phyllis Davis, her husband Mitch, and her parents Bonnie and Milt, their shop is the perfect place for all your clothing needs. Phyllis was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula. She and her husband enjoy performing in many local theater productions. Phyllis runs the shop and enjoys helping customers or ordering new merchandise! Trust our friendly team to do whatever we can to make you happy!

Nest Boutique

229-B Grand Ave.

Pacific Grove, CA 93950

nestinpg.com

831-333-9184

phyllis@nestinpg.com

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.nestinpg.com

Sip, Buy and Save a Furry Friend! Raise a glass of De Tierra wine and help animal welfare charities in Monterey County

Buy a bottle (or two!) of De Tierra’s 2016 Frannin Red Blend and 10% of all purchases go to a rotating list of animal charities, including Animal Friends Rescue Project; Peace of Mind Dog Rescue; Max’s Helping Paws; and Birchbark Foundation.

Monterey, CA, October 29, 2019 – Buy a bottle (or two!) of De Tierra’s 2016 Frannin Red Blend and 10% of all purchases go to a rotating list of animal charities, including Animal Friends Rescue Project; Peace of Mind Dog Rescue; Max’s Helping Paws; and Birchbark Foundation.

De Tierra co-owners Dan McDonnal and Alix Bosch not only embrace sustainable winemaking, they are passionate dog owners who are committed to helping the health and welfare of our four-legged friends. Their 2016 Frannin Red Blend is inspired by and named after their two beloved dogs, Freya and Annin, De Tierra’s official, four-legged ambassadors who are considered local celebrities in dog-friendly Carmel-by-the-Sea, and who can be found greeting visitors at the De Tierra Tasting Room at Mission Street and 5th Avenue.

De Tierra will kick off this tail-wagging campaign by hosting four separate parties through October 2020, at its tasting room in downtown Carmel. At each event, individual charity partners can reap extra rewards. Wine and animal lovers will be able to sip and save by attending events during these months:

Animal Friends Rescue Project will be having an adoption night from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at De Tierra. The event includes complimentary nibbles, and all wine purchased during that night will benefit Animal Friends, which will receive double the rewards for every purchase.

Peace of Mind Dog Rescue will hold its double-the rewards adoption night on Feb. 7, 2020, at De Tierra Tasting Room in Carmel.

BirchBark Foundation will hold its double-the rewards adoption night on August 2, 2020, at De Tierra Tasting Room in Carmel.

For more Information call (831) 622-9704, or go to www.detierra.com.

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.detierra.com

Shopping at Goodwill Central Coast Stores Provides Thrifty, Stress-free Options for Thanksgiving decor

We all know the purpose behind Thanksgiving is to spend time with loved ones — not to stress over holiday entertaining and tablescapes.

Salinas, CA, October 28, 2019 – Goodwill Central Coast would like to remind the community how easy it is to turn donated, marked-down items into the perfect party with eye-popping, fall-themed decor. Shopping at Goodwill can alleviate both stress and the annual strain felt on pocketbooks.

Savvy Goodwill shoppers have always found it exciting to see what’s new, and what’s possible to make out of items donated by others. It’s the epitome of responsible upcycling since money through the sale of donated goods helps support and grow Goodwill’s critical community-based programs and services. The bottom line? The environmental and social impacts cannot be denied.

Turn baskets into cornucopia-style table centerpieces, use natural candles to add warmth, elevate artificial flowers with a quick spray-painting, or stock up on critical kitchen tools and accessories.

The possibilities are endless when shopping at Goodwill Central Coast stores. And all the bits and pieces shoppers buy help strengthen their own communities.

Donations

Remember, if you’re not in the shopping frame of mind, you can donate new and gently used items to Goodwill — all treasures for someone else to find and turn into jobs. From home pick-ups to tax write-offs, Goodwill makes donating as easy as possible. Find out more at www.ccgoodwill.org.

About Goodwill Central Coast

Goodwill Central Coast, a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, began in 1928 in the city of Santa Cruz and today has expanded into three counties: Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo. Goodwill Central Coast now employs more than 600 people, including employment training professionals, sales personnel, donation center attendants, warehouse and distribution workers, and administrators. Its programs strengthen communities by improving job growth, the lives of individuals and families, and the health of our environment. Each year Goodwill assists more than 9,000 job seekers get back to work and reclaim financial and personal independence. Goodwill provides a positive learning environment that creates brighter futures through connecting people to meaningful work.

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.ccgoodwill.org

Abalonetti Bar & Grill on Fisherman’s Wharf the Perfect place for Holiday parties and Gift finds

It’s a debate that rages every year when summer ends and the leaves begin to fall: When are we allowed to start thinking about Christmas?

Monterey, CA, October 12, 2019 — It’s a debate that rages every year when summer ends and the leaves begin to fall: When are we allowed to start thinking about Christmas?

Abalonetti Bar & Grill on Fisherman’s Wharf believes it’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit, especially when it comes to party planning.

Whether some of us are ready to accept it or not, December is right around the corner. Plan your holiday parties early, and get the best seat in the house at Monterey’s favorite seafood restaurant since 1951.

And for those foodies searching for the perfect gift, Abalonetti has you covered. Abalonetti specializes in Monterey Bay calamari — dressed in house daily and prepared in a dozen varieties, including its exclusive Buffalo Calamari. So how about one of the restaurant’s famous Got Squid? T-shirts?

Or perhaps consider buying someone special Abalonetti’s vintage The Joy of Cooking Squid poster, complete with diagrams and instructions on how to properly clean this famous, fast-swimming, elongated cephalopod with eight arms and two tentacles.

The holiday gift-giving fallback is always a gift card, and Abalonetti has you covered with its unique electronic gift card (eGift) system. Go to www.abalonetti.com and send an eGift to any recipient via email or text message. You choose the value and the recipient can use that value to make purchases at Abalonetti Bar and Grill.

During the holiday season, Abalonetti is open for Thanksgiving, but closed on Christmas Day to allow its employees to enjoy the festivities with their families.

Contact:

Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455

http://www.abalonetti.com