Category Archives: Small Business

Billionaire Richard Branson Called a Trademark Bully by the Trademark Law Professors of University of Washington, School of Law

Westborough, MA, 2020-Jul-30 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Virgin has targeted to attack over 300 small companies & non-profit charities. Common sense says that the word ‘virgin’ cannot be owned by one individual or organization but Virgin has deep pockets to destroy those who dare to fight for their rights.

“Opposing trademark registrations in unrelated fields is the classic behavior of a trademark bully,” says Mike Atkins, an attorney at Atkins Intellectual Property who teaches trademark law at the University of Washington, School of Law.

That’s why it came as a surprise that Branson decided to send a threatening cease-and-desist letter (where he tells the small start up to either commit a business suicide right away or else Virgin lawyers will destroy it within 30 days) to I Am Not A Virgin, a small eco-friendly denim label, claiming that the company’s name infringes on his copyright, as the Telegraph’s Laura Hubbert reported on the case.

Richard Branson’s lawyers demanded environmentally friendly start up jeans label ‘I Am Not A Virgin’ to cancel their trademark (a trademark they have been lawfully granted and owned for almost 4 years before they received the threat letter from Branson – reports Ms. HUBBERT in her article.

“I guess I could rename my jeans Not Made By Richard Branson” – comments sarcastically the founder of the brand. Branson also demanded the small business owner cease to sell current stock of the jeans and removes them from the stores which for a small business is a financial suicide and a loss of all start up investment costs essentially leading to the end of a business.

“Common sense says that the word ‘virgin’ cannot be owned by one individual or organization. In other words, it’s stupid to claim a colour of your own, let say a word. Branson, who’s also well known for his support of environmental causes, apparently has failed to see that” – says Anderson Antunes in his Forbes article about Virgin’s abuse on small entrepreneurs.

Attorney at law, Widerman Malek, summaries in his comments: “If Richard Branson has his way, it might be. ” He adds: “Although sometimes considered a bully in the trademark office, they remain unapologetic for their stance.”

According to multiple news reports, in the past several years, the Virgin group has targeted over 300 companies who used the word Virgin in their name, URL or marketing slogan. Unfortunately, many of these 300 companies are small businesses who do not have the resources to fight back against a multi-billion dollar company with hundreds or even thousands of lawyers on their retainer. These small businesses almost always settle simply because they cannot afford to fight.

Widerman Malek brings up some of the companies Virgin attacked:

  • Virgin Vapors – a small vapor company located in California whose owner currently refuses to change its name despite being threatened by Virgin.
  • The owners of domain names virginthreads.com, virginpublishing.com, virginstar.net, and virgincigar.com. The Virgin group alleges cyberpiracy for any company using the name virgin in their domain, even if it is not their business name.
  • Author Cristina Crayn, who named one of her published books, “Tales from the Virgin Vault.”
  • Virgin Valley Cab – a cab company in the Virgin Valley geographic location of Northwest Arizona, who recently came to an agreement with conglomerate to stop using the name.
  • Las Virgenes United Educational Foundation – a nonprofit organization in the Las Virgenes School District. The Virgin Group attempted to block the trademark application. Evidently, any virgin will meet their criteria – no matter which language it’s in and if destroying charities for children is to take place.
  • I Am Not A Virgin – a New York clothing company which specializes in creating and selling denim products.
  • Virgin Air, a small airline in the American Virgin Islands, which no longer exists under this name due to Virgin’s lawsuits.
  • CBS Studios, who may be opposed by the Virgin Group in an attempt to trademark the name Jane the Virgin, which they will use as a sitcom name.
  • Last year, the Virgin group attempted to stop Valle Grande from trademarking a phrase that contained the words “virgin olive oil”, using the argument that Valle Grande currently only sells vinegar.
  • In 2004, the conglomerate sued a tiny apparel retailer called Virgin Threads in federal court in New York; the retailer dropped the name a year later as they could not afford to battle with Virgin any longer.
  • VIRGINIC – Purity Perfected – small cosmetics brand, selling “beyond organic”, handcrafted, allergy-free face creams in small batches. Virgin has been suing them with malicious, aggressive litigations, on the ongoing basis from 2018-2020 in multiple countries to starve them financially to business death, as Virgin did with other start ups. Interestingly, Virgin abandoned selling cosmetics years ago making public statements on their own website that they have no intention to sell beauty products. As of July 2020, VIRGINIC still refuses to be bullied and to give up their name.

The statement raised by all victims by Richard Branson and Virgin Group seem to be constant: they don’t feel it’s morally right to give up their start-up brands, hard work and dreams, just because there is a bully that says so.

“Why is Richard Branson trying to put us out of business?” – denim jeans company founder Peter Heron asked in this video posted to YouTube where he reads the harassment letter he has received from Richard Branson.

His video got over 13,000 supporters signing under it with their own name, encouraging Mr. Heron to not give up. Sadly, his brand was forced to surrender a year. Well done, Virgin lawyers, one more target destroyed.

Media contact:

Andrew Griffin
info@thebureauofinvestigativejournalists.com

Virgin’s unethical business practices against small start ups and non-profit foundations

Louisville, Kentucky, 2020-Jul-16 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — When it comes to big business versus small business, the deck is, and always has been, heavily stacked in favor of the giants, making sure it stays that way. Yes, there will always be David and Goliath stories held up as the reason for hope in these battles, but reality dictates that they are almost insurmountable obstacles in the path of a small entrepreneur.

There is, however, a more insidious and corruptive side to the competition that few, if any, really see or understand at all. The legal teams.

Companies like The Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson retain the type of law firms that see no ethical issue in destroying anything and anyone on their way, no matter the cost, the merits and the human lives and dreams destroyed along the way.

Take billing, for example. Virgin Enterprises uses Norvell IP and A. A. Thornton, type of companies that sees fit to charge by the half hour for anything that they do, including a single phone call, running up bills of around $300 per call. Yes, you read that correctly…$300 PER CALL! Equally absurdly, they charge the same to write a letter, to attend a meeting or to send an email!

 

Ok, so Virgin and Sir Richard is worth billions, they can afford these costs and who cares? It’s their choice and their wallet, right?

Well, no. They make their pray pay for it.

The thing is, as the relentless (and oftentimes frivolous) stream of trademark infringement lawsuits are filed across the globe, those costs are, almost exclusively borne not by Virgin, but by the small business that they are making their claim against.

Take the case of Wyoming start-up, VIRGINIC LLC. Virgin decided, as they have done on so many occasions in the past, that they were unhappy with the UK Intellectual Property Office awarding VIRGINIC LLC their own brand trademark “VIRGINIC”. For a little context, let’s not forget that this is the same company that sued a Virgin Olive Oil producer, the TV show “Jane The Virgin” and even a Non-profit Educational Foundation, “Las Virgenes” for children, staffed entirely by volunteer parents! If you’re like most people, this alone can leave anyone speechless. Clearly, Virgin is not afraid to throw their litigation budget around even against non-profit children care foundations.

So, Virgin took umbrage to the idea of a company VIRGINIC LLC, regardless of the fact that the UKIPO had already awarded their trademark for their name to them. Virgin attacked and yet again the UK courts decided that there was no case to be heard and VIRGINIC should keep their own trademark.

Virgin lost the case, and the subsequent appeal, with VIRGINIC being awarded the princely sum of £300 in costs, and that, in any sensible judicial process, should have been that. However, Virgin’s lawyers managed to get the UK High Court of Appeals to agree to review the appeal of the case which, upon doing so, intrestingly awarded in favor of Virgin this third time around.

And here is the fun part; When VIRGINIC, a small “David” went up against the behemoth “Goliath” of Virgin and managed to not only show that common sense is still alive and well in some legal systems, but managed to do it on a shoestring budget, whilst a mammoth task and stupendous result given the odds, it appears that the ultimately necessary penny-pinching that all start-ups are likely to be forced to adopt, is the largest chink in their armor.

The reason for this is simple: Virgin lose and the judge awards costs in the order of £300 to the start-up. £300 which Virgin never actually saw fit to pay, regardless of the fact that they spend so much time in courtrooms arguing that their rights are being infringed upon and crowing for justice. This in itself is a pointer towards where this all goes wrong. You see, they cry foul and plead for justice as if the courtroom is a sacred place where all shall find their truth. In reality, when that truth is contrary to their opinion, they simply disregard the orders of the court and find somebody else to cry to.

Now, what happens when, at the third time of asking, they manage to find themselves a “friendly” judge? Well, their costs are awarded against VIRGINIC in the sum of…

Ready for this…?

£33,000 + £10,000!
With no right to appeal any further, conveniently.

So, Virgin “loses” and the bill is £300. I would guess that the lawyers charging $300 to make a phone call would probably be happy to pay that off themselves with the cash that they dropped down the sofa last night. However, when VIRGINIC loses, all those cups of coffee that the world’s most expensive secretaries were making suddenly add up to a sum of £43,000, so exorbitant, so utterly defiant of anything even approaching a reality that is in any way sustainable, that all suddenly becomes so very clear.

Virgin and, more importantly, Virgin’s lawyers LOVE finding random reasons to drag volnurable, small businesses (and apparently non-profit foundations too) into a courtroom because it is a no-loss situation for them. They literally don’t even bother paying the measly costs generated if they lose (Virgin pays) whilst running up such absurd bills themselves that, if they win, the small business is basically financially crippled to the point where it either ceases to exist or exists only for the purposes of paying off the legal bills. Small educational foundations like “Las Virgenes” for children, staffed entirely by volunteer parents are a no match with this malice legal practice backed by deep pockets of Virgin.

Is there a happy ending here? VIRGINIC is well off its knees trying to write one as we speak. Keep your fingers crossed and maybe the Wyoming case will prove more uncorrupted justice system in the US than the UK one.

Media contact:

Zac Andrews
International Consortium of Investigative Journalism
Louisville, Kentucky

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

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)

Clan Gordon driven to provide the best letting experience in Edinburgh for both tenants and landlords

EDINBURGH, United Kingdom, 2020-Jan-30 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — A LEADING Edinburgh letting agent has added a record number of properties to its portfolio in the last year – thanks in part to stronger legislation impacting the sector.

Clan Gordon, which focuses on high quality homes in or near the city centre, has seen its properties under management now exceed 500, growing by three per week on average – with 152 additional homes on its books in the latest 12 months to December.

The surging growth has largely been the result of switches from other letting agents where landlords were either unhappy with the level of service they were receiving or sensed a lax approach to the new regulations governing the sector.

Growth has also been driven by properties taken over from letting agents which have been forced to exit the sector as they were unable to meet the requirements of the new Letting Agent Code of Practice or, in one case, had been forced into liquidation.

Jonathan, who founded the business alongside his brother, Andrew, in 2008, believes it is a clear sign that the industry must continue to drive up standards – and that by protecting and respecting tenants, landlords can enjoy an improved and more profitable outcome.

He said: “It’s nothing less than a pivotal time for the sector – and with the approach Clan Gordon has taken we can only see our market share continue to expand.

“Edinburgh continues to see demand for long-term rental increasing while supply simply can’t keep up.

“While some landlords and agents may look to maximise short-term gain, a healthy relationship with the tenants, which we strive for at Clan Gordon, can produce a far better outcome for all parties. It creates fewer issues, cuts unnecessary turnover and typically results in a greater long-term financial return for the landlord.”

The latest Letting Agent Code of Practice and Letting Agent Registration introduced by the Scottish Government is seeking to increase professionalism in the sector.

It means that both landlords and tenants can challenge poor practice – and enforce it through a tribunal if necessary. Agents must now ensure all owners and managers are trained and have a qualification at (or at the equivalent of) Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 6 or above.

As a Firm of Surveyors which has been regulated by the RICS (Royal Institution of Surveyors) since they started almost 12 years ago, Clan Gordon already met all of the requirements of the new Code of Practice and goes above and beyond this by ensuring all employees – not just managers – are qualified to this level.

Across the new properties, the letting agent took over 12 properties from CMC – after it went into liquidation. A further 20 properties switched from an English agent unwilling to join the new Letting Agent Register. A total of 50 transferred from an Edinburgh agent also unable to meet the new requirements.

A further 70 new properties are the result of switches from other agents, or from new landlords altogether.

Jonathan added: “We’re driven to provide the best letting experience in Edinburgh for both tenants and landlords.

“That means we already go the extra mile. We believe that the vast majority of landlords are looking for an honest, open and efficient service and are pleased to see these efforts to try to drive up standards across the board in the sector.

“We are super proud of the growth in our portfolio of managed properties and with our fantastic team and the philosophy we have put in place we aim to see our success – and reputation in the sector – continue to soar.”

Clan Gordon is one of Edinburgh’s leading letting agents, is RICS and ARLA accredited – and is dedicated to raising standards in the private rented sector for landlords and tenants.

For more information on Clan Gordon, visit https://www.clangordon.co.uk/

Contact details:

Jonathan Gordon
Clan Gordon Ltd
Unit 1,
1 Carmichael Pl,
Edinburgh
EH6 5PH
0131 555 4444

Matvil Corp. Fights the Illegal Actions of the Legal System of Moldova

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

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2019-Jun-22 — /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 the operation 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.

The evidence submitted to court in support of these false accusations were fabricated by the pretense service users: Munteanu Nicolai and Ungureanu Sergiu who accessed the service pages targeted for users based in the US and Canada while being physically present in Chisinau (Moldova). They registered at Matvil website, created user accounts and through ExpressVPN were able to use American IP-addresses.

Through these illegal manipulations they made screenshots of content available only to North American users thus creating a false evidence of copyright infringement that was later submitted to court.

This tactics of deceiving the court was a success and the judge Oxana Parfeni ruled in Radio Stars’ favor, failing to provide the reason for doing so, despite the obviously fabricated proof submitted by the Plaintiff.

This could possibly be seen as a technical ignorance hasn’t it been for the fact that the attempt to appeal the ruling that followed was denied by the Court of Appeal by the judges Marina Anton, Vitalie Kotorobay and Ion Tzurkan who explained that they denied the motion to appeal based on the fact that Matvil’s attorneys did not have the authority to represent Matvil even though previously no such doubts were raised by the judge Oxana Parfeni in trial court.

The suspicions that the judges were biased were first raised when the judge of the trial court Oxana Parfeni denied a request of Matvil’s attorney to interview technical experts who were ready to submit an undeniable proof of the fraud nature of the evidence submitted by the Plaintiff and to incorporate this evidence into the case.

The second fact that caused the suspicions was a failure of the Judge to justify her decision in the verdict.

The third evidence of the failure of Moldovian legal system to comply with the Law is the fact that when the motion to appeal was submitted into the Court of Appeal the decision to deny the appeal was not sent to Matvil’s attorneys who had to find out about this illegal decision only after it was made public thus intentionally depriving Matvil’s attorneys’ of the opportunity to appeal this decision directly in the Court of Appeal which is an outrageous disregard of the basic legal norms.

This series of failures to comply with the requirements of the Law by the very system that is designed to protect it shows that it serves interests of a certain group of people.

Using the corrupt Moldovian legal system dishonest competition is trying to destabilize the operation, harm the reputation and cause financial damage to the US and Canadian companies which have never operated on the territory of Moldova and have no intention to do so in future.

We’ll see if the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Moldova will stop these illegal actions.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact Mykola Skrynnyk at nick.s@matvil.com

Contact-Details:
Mykola Skrynnyk
nick.s@matvil.com

Consultancy Partnership Revolutionizes Agile Project Management

ORLANDO, FL, USA, 2019-Mar-21 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Project management magic is certain to take place when two industry leading agile coaching and consulting companies join forces to bring world-class services to organizations of all sizes and types. AgileDad founder and president, V. Lee Henson explains, “Our partnership with ClarityMinded Consulting is nothing less than a perfect match. This agreement allows us to work even more closely with existing and new clients to provide both technical and non-technical agile project management solutions.” As agile project management continues to prove itself to be the premier solution for all types of products and projects, organizations are saving money by building the right high quality products and services to meet the ever-changing needs of their end consumers. Chuck Ludwigsen, founder of ClarityMinded Consulting adds, “Lee Henson and his team at AgileDad set a new bar in equipping individuals and teams to succeed in the agile landscape. We are honored to partner with him as together we empower business professionals to grow and learn.”

Agile project management allows companies to gain better focus on what not to build, thereby affording the chance to have the most qualified teams swarm to limited work in progress and create an expedited feedback loop with the consumer. Business and technology concepts merge using short iterations to accelerate work from ideation, to discovery, delivery, and ultimately release. Alignment of business strategy, customer needs, and relative complexity work item estimates creates an environment helping organizations reduce time to market and focus on building the best product or service solution. Furthermore, agile project management solutions have proven to be an effective way for companies to see substantial cost savings by creating an organizational culture and mindset where innovation is encouraged and the fear of failure is diminished. This leads to innovative solutions at a much lower cost. While Agile is not the silver bullet, one size fits all solution, organizations that embrace the framework can incrementally improve business processes over time and wind up with their own internal agile center of excellence.

AgileDad is proud to provide coaching and training solutions for forty-four of the Fortune 100 companies in industries including: marketing, public relations, entertainment, medical, insurance, banking, finance, investment, retail, government, and technology. Our humanized approach to work and pragmatic approach to process has proven to be a model for long term product and project management success. For more information regarding training and coaching solutions for your organization, feel free to email LearnMore@AgileDad.com.

MEDIA CONTACT

V. Lee Henson
109 Ambersweet Way
Suite 130 Davenport
FL 33897
866-410-1616
LearnMore@AgileDad.com
http://www.agiledad.com

Logo:

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Leading Industrial Contractor and Fabricator Wins ABC National Safety Excellence Award

M. Davis and Sons, Inc. has been awarded the National Safety Excellence Award, which is the industry’s leading safety laurel that honors both merit shop general and specialty contractors.

Long Beach, CA, 2018-Mar-30 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Associated Builders and Contractors Delaware Chapter announced the winners of the prestigious Excellence in Construction award during its 28th annual celebration held in Long Beach, California.

The award was received by the construction and fabrication company M. Davis and Sons received amidst resounding applause.

M. Davis and Sons. Inc. is the leader in construction and fabrication of corporate plants and facilities for Fortune 500 Companies. Their expertise in mechanical, electrical, fabrication, instrumentation, and power distribution equipment create efficient processes for their customers.

Receiving the award has been termed as a milestone for the company as the Excellence in Construction awards program is the industry’s leading competition that honors both general and specialty contractors for innovative and high-quality merit shop construction projects.

Held on March 26, 2018, the ceremony of the ABC’s 28th Annual Excellence in Construction Awards had guests from every corner of the industry.

Talking to them, the 2018 ABC National Chair George R. Nash. Jr., Director of Preconstruction at Branch & Associates in Herndon, VA said,

“I am continually inspired by the amazing talent these ABC members and their employees display every day in the communities they build. It is an honor to recognize their commitment to world-class safety, superior craftsmanship, and cutting-edge innovation. The scope of this year’s Excellence in Construction award-winning projects, from a science museum and luxury apartment buildings to a polyethylene facility and sports stadiums, proves that if it can be built, the merit shop can be built it, on time and on budget.”

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) organizes Excellence in Construction Awards every year and selects winners based on the several criteria such as experience modification rating, OSHA report information, commitment to safe work practices, policy and leadership, and safety vision.

About ABC:
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950. It represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work, and deliver that work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. For more information visit ABC.org.

About M. Davis & Sons, Inc.
M. Davis & Sons, Inc. is a fifth generation women-owned industrial contractor and fabricator located in Delaware that has served customers for more than 145 years in the oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, food, beverage and industrial markets.

Media Contact:
M. Davis and Sons
Elaine Buonopane
19 Germay Drive
Wilmington, DE
Phone: 302-993-3365
Email: Elaine.Buonopane@mdavisinc.com
www.mdavisinc.com