Ridiculous lawsuit affecting a German immigrant in the U.S.A

Myrtonos

Member
Felicia Hofner, a German woman living in the Blue Chip City, has a channel that was called German Girl in America until just now. She started her channel in September 2017 and uploaded her first video in January the following year. I don't know about other countries' trademark laws but the American one distinguishes between descriptive and distinctive ones. In spite of when Feli started her channel, when she upload her first video and how popular she already was in 2019, Karen, who runs a website called German Girl in America, registered the name as a trademark in August the following year, which itself was in spite of the U.S trademark law distinguishing between descriptive and distinctive marks and the name 'German Girl in America' describing young German female immigrants.
Karen is not one by the way but an older woman born the the U.S.A to German parents. Feli was told by a lawyer that Karen asked her to stop using the "trademark". Feli denies that Karen told her that.

A question for lawyers is why would the U.S trademark and patent office regard a name like that as distinctive mark?
 

Led Zeppelin

Active Member
A question for lawyers is why would the U.S trademark and patent office regard a name like that as distinctive mark?
They dont neccessarily always make that determination. If there is an actual lawsuit involved then it will be up to the courts to decide whether or not Karen trademarked website name qualifies for legal protection according to trademark law. Karen would then probably have to prove that her website qualifies as an actual business where she engages in the exchange of goods and services or something like that.

Since her website is basically just some stupid web blog, the whole thing would just be complete waste of fucking time for everyone. The court would deny Karen legal protection and Youtube probably still wouldnt give Feli use the name because it would still be trademarked by Karen.

BTW im not a lawyer. but I do find trademark and patent law fascinating! Major companies are constantly in legal battles with each other over the smallest little things!
 
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Myrtonos

Member
Here are questions to be answered?

  • Why did Karen choose the name 'German Girl in America' in the first place given she is not an immigrant and (it seems) was already older when she founded that website?
  • Why didn't Karen change the name of her website as Feli's channel grew and why did Karen register it as a trademark?
  • Why did the U.S trademark and patent office think it is a distinctive mark rather than a descriptive one?
 

Led Zeppelin

Active Member
Here are questions to be answered?

  • Why did Karen choose the name 'German Girl in America' in the first place given she is not an immigrant and (it seems) was already older when she founded that website?
  • Why didn't Karen change the name of her website as Feli's channel grew and why did Karen register it as a trademark?
  • Why did the U.S trademark and patent office think it is a distinctive mark rather than a descriptive one?
The first 2 questions we will probably never know. For your last question, I guess because its a website. The trick seems to be to tell the trademark office that you want to sell merchandise that is related to your domain name.
 

Led Zeppelin

Active Member
or maybe its the other way around....Im a bit confused myself now.

If you are thinking that "German Girl in America" is to generic for trademark, it's not. At least its not when you compare it to a list of domain names that are trademarked. You can look them up yourself. But a trademark does not guarantee exclusive rights to a name. A court might determine your trademark is not distinct enough to be afforded much legal protection.

From hearing more of Feli's side of the story thru her youtube channel, I am convinced Karen's only other choice apart from threatening legal action was to go ahead and sue Feli for 100,000's of thousands of dollars. Especially after hearing Feli say she told Karens party that she was thinking about selling merchandise.
 

Myrtonos

Member
I do believe a protest will make a difference if enough people join the protest, but many people each think a protest won't make a difference and so don't do it.
 

Led Zeppelin

Active Member
I do believe a protest will make a difference if enough people join the protest, but many people each think a protest won't make a difference and so don't do it.
Well with everything else going on the world I guess they just dont find your issue to be very important.
 

WarK

Active Member
I saw her video about the name change and one of the commenter hit the nail on the head, it's the most american thing that could've happened, she was sued by a fake german for using her accurate description of herself.
 

Led Zeppelin

Active Member
I saw her video about the name change and one of the commenter hit the nail on the head, it's the most american thing that could've happened, she was sued by a fake german for using her accurate description of herself.
I got a $90 ticket once for taking a piss in a dark alley at night in the US.
 

he_who_is_nobody

Well-Known Member
What has that dark alley incident got to do with such a ridiculous lawsuit?!?


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