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#45000
ABDLpeople.png
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Rearz Inc., a Canadian-based adult diaper company, submitted a trademark request per an application filing date of October 21, 2017 for the "ABDL" acronym. They are attempting to trademark the community-created acronym and personal identity "ABDL". You can see the submitted application here from the official United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

The mark consists of standard characters, without claim to any particular font style, size, or color. This means that it is not a logo they have tried to trademark, but, rather, the letters themselves on their own.

These are their claims of history of the ABDL term:

"In International Class 005, the mark was first used by the applicant or the applicant's related company or licensee or predecessor in interest at least as early as 09/24/2007, and first used in commerce at least as early as 09/24/2007, and is now in use in such commerce. The applicant is submitting one(or more) specimen(s) showing the mark as used in commerce on or in connection with any item in the class of listed goods/services, consisting of a(n) ABDL Diapers as featured on our website at www.rearz.ca."

Why do they want to trademark "ABDL"?

Money.

Rearz Inc. claims they have no malicious intent on trademarking the identity term, but that they simply want to make a profit through the use of targeted ads for that term. They claim that another company using the ABDL term within their business name has caused them issues with them being able to gain more consumers and make more sells through advertising on sites like Facebook, eBay, and Google.

"Over the last several years we have faced many challenges using the term ABDL in major online marketplaces. We have ads and accounts permanently blocked on Facebook, eBay, Kijiji, Google ads with payment processors and more simply from using the term. These mega corporations have unequivocally defined the term as something unacceptable.

In our efforts to start to fight for the right to use the terminology in major E-commerce, we will need something to stand on. Which would be a registered trademark.
"

The more ads they are able to display, the more traffic they will likely drive to their site. More traffic coming to their site means more consumers making purchases of their goods. Everything really boils down to corporate greed.


What you need to know:

Rearz Inc. is an e-commerce site and company. They are a company. They have a corporate business. This is not a mom-and-pop shop that is owned and operated by one or two people. The ABDL Shop would not be considered a mega corporation in comparison to Rearz Inc.

Rearz Inc. appears to believe that they are the owner of the trademark/service mark sought to be registered. They legally signed the trademark application believing that they own and popularized, basically having branded, the "ABDL" term.

Rearz Inc. seems to be claiming that they created this term on 09/24/2007 and it applies specifically to their brand and their products. There is documented evidence that this term had popularity as an identity by 2002 though!

If the application is approved then Rearz Inc. becomes the legal owner of the "ABDL" term, basically branding it as their own. They gain all legal rights and authority in the use of "ABDL" and prohibit others from using it at their discretion. This means that they can form lawsuits for "unauthorized use" of their term since it becomes their property.

Rearz Inc. would also have the right to sell or give away the trademark to another company, corporation, or business that may offer to buy it from them. That company, corporation, or business may not be as open about sharing the trademarked term as Rearz Inc. currently claims to be for the community.

Rearz claims that the trademark has already been registered to The ABDL Shop in the USA; however, this is absolutely inaccurate in applying to the term "ABDL" alone. They wouldn't even be able to submit a form for the term if it was already owned.
The ABDL Shop is the actual name of a business and, while it is generalized, it is specific enough so that when someone says, "I was shopping at The ABDL Shop," you have an idea of what they mean. When someone says, "I'm an ABDL," do you think of them being owned or connected to Rearz?
Would it be right for Littlespace Online to trademark the term "Littlespace" just because it appears as part of our domain name? Would it be right for Littlespace Online to trademark the relationship identity term "DDLG" just because it applies to many of our members' identities?


Will using the "ABDL" identity be illegal or something?

We don't really know.

Rearz is claiming right now: We are willing to allow others to have free use of the ABDL trademark, like stated above this is to help combat the banning of the term in commerce. http://rearz.ca/blog/abdl-trademark/

When someone owns a trademark then they gain legal authority over the use of that trademark. If they feel someone is financially profiting or harming their trademark in some way then they have grounds to create a lawsuit. They can also sell the trademark at their own discretion.

What does their statement mean though? Are their stipulations to their "willingness" to "allow" others to use "ABDL"? Who are the "others" specifically? "Others" is not necessarily "everyone" or for every situation so does it mean only non-competitors, non-adult diaper creators, or something else? Does a blog post even stand up in court as having gained permission for trademark use? Does that statement mean that there is a payment or fee upfront before the person can use the term freely? Does that mean you can use the term for non-profit things but you can't use it if you were to try to sell an item for the ABDL community on eBay or Etsy? Does that mean that the person should seek explicit authorization from them prior to using it and then they will permit free use since they are now able to monitor your usage of it directly? Talk about a company digging into your privacy for their own corporate greed! There are far too many questions left unanswered, and it seems the only answer they are providing upfront is that they want to make money and draw in more consumers through ads. Hmm...


So, what is trademark infringement?

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.

That's right, if Rearz is approved and you create an item on Etsy and use the keyword "ABDL" when you don't have "authorization" from Rearz then they can claim that you are causing confusion with their brand.


Why you care and how it affects you:

Only you can determine if you actually care about this, but we're going to throw you a few questions.

As a consumer, it's hard enough to find quality little and adult baby items. We all know that as fact.
What if it was even more difficult though? What if one of the main keywords in identifying the products through search engines like Google suddenly all only applied to one company? How would those Etsy sellers designate that their product was for you and your friends? How will you find products that are for the youngest age regression spectrum and not older littles?
What if your favorite Etsy seller was taken to court for having profited off of the "ABDL" term?

How would you feel if your other personal identities were trademarked and owned as a property by a company? How about your gender-identity being owned? What about your sexuality being owned? These are identities of real people. Real people who should be recognized as valid, not as owned property of a corporation or a money-making commodity.

They are claiming ownership over "ABDL". If that's within your identities then are you owned by Rearz Inc? Is your identity owned by Rearz Inc?

Is "ABDL" a brand to be sold or is ABDL a type of person in our community?


What you can do:
  • You can file a notice of opposition to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • You can submit a Letter of Protest for serial number 87654755 to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    • Select both "Mark as generic" and "Mark as is merely descriptive or misdescriptive, or should have an element disclaimed on that basis" on the initial submission page.
    • Explain that this is not item, product, or service associated. Here is an example of some things to say:
      ABDL is not an item, brand-name, or service. It has existed firmly and popularly to describe a community of adult babies and adult diaper lovers (generally persons who wear them for comfort versus medical purpose). The term was coined prior to 2002 and popularized online as a personal identity by the end of 2002, as per proof within this piece of online history with the ABDL community: https://web.archive.org/web/20021209184 ... ssary.html

      The acronym ABDL is not brand or item specific. It is not a consumer product at all. It is actually a group of people and a personal identity much like "transgender" or "lesbian" are personal identities. It can equate to a descriptor word like "plus size" products since it describes the consumer base and broad. It is generic, not denoting of any type of product, service or company at all. It's in reference to people, as individuals and as a group.
    • When requested for evidence, product a JPG screenshot or PDF file of information you have about what the term ABDL is and how long it has existed. We have included the archive of Understanding Infantilism from December 2002 for some quick evidence of it existing and being recognized prior to 2007:
      Image
  • You can fill out a petition on iPetition to bring it to Rearz Inc. awareness that this is not acceptable for their consumers and potential consumers.
  • You can stop buying products from Rearz Inc. in boycott fashion until they respect the community persons as individuals. You can cancel orders and shop elsewhere. There are other adult diaper companies that you can buy from.
  • You can contact Rearz Inc. directly and tell them that it is not okay to trademark an identity, especially not for their own company financial gain.
    • Rearz Inc. Phone Numbers (9:30am-6PM EST weekdays): 1-519-745-1000 or 1-888-745-1008
    • Rearz Inc. E-mail Address: [email protected]
    • Rearz Inc. Physical Mailing Address:
      656 Colby Drive
      Waterloo, Ontario N2V1A2
      Canada
Attachments
Rearz_Statement.png
Rearz_Statement.png (148.42 KiB) Viewed 4726 times
#45003
I might not be a user of said products, but I with say that this sort of thing is exactly why we raise awareness. A comment mentioned 'Plus sizes' as an example of trying to get you to see what is happening. I see this as a way to not only profit, but to attempt to DISBAND the community. I say that because websites would have to pay royalties if it listed 'ABDL' even if you're not trying to sell anything. If this passes, then you can bet lots of sites will need to reword 'ABDL' into some other (and less known/recognizable) term, or be at the mercy of Rearz.inc. This is how corporations monopolies and capitalize ... by taking a well known terms/phrases and making it their slogan, or in this case their very name.
#45025
What im surprised to find out: the term in the states already has been trademarked, as we know, this term tends not to make or break an abdl based company as i know of many that rarely even engage in using this term what so ever, will it be bad for us? As individuals, the simple answer is no, we will still be able to use the term freely, what upsets me: i believe that rears is trying to make it so that when someone thinks of abdl they think of the company rears... theres many better companies, ive been doing this for 10 yrs, i have prided myself on trying every product on the market including non abdl diapers and ive yet to have any encounter with rears. They claim the information was released by a competitor, my true belief is the intent of this company is that of a simple sales tactic.
#45031
Rears inc. has since stated that the us tm was filed and approved for the abdl shop. The abdl shop returned with the exact tm that they filed... guess what it was? THE ABDL SHOP! Rears inc. has not only requested the tm in CA but in the US as well on the same date, guess what that date was? Oct 31, it takes approximately 3 months for one of these types of filings to be approved, if they do not get approved it will be an absolute race from every company to try to win the tm to the term ABDL, but there are a lot of misconceptions to this as well, i do not believe any individual will be effected, we are abdl thats that, no one can take our identity, but if you are someone who runs a company and uses the term abdl within the confines of that company, then you have something to worry about, the question is going to be will rears or who ever wins this tm enforce this in the way we are thinking, because according to them this is to un-sully the term abdl in the commerce world... whatever that means, the case is classified as yet to be assigned to an examiner, boy if someone is able to find out who that person is will they get an earfull, likely about something they have never even heard of, idk, maybe i will just call myself a... abdl-a adult baby diaper lover..adult, idk, until someone trademarks that then i will be an abdb adult baby diaper Butt... ill work on those.

Update:
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#45036
I don't feel that trademarking an alreadly-licensed business name is the same as trademarking an identity. What I mean is that Rearz has claimed that "ABDL" has already been trademarked in the United States but that is not accurate from what I see online. "ABDL" alone is not trademarked as far as I can tell on the United States Patent and Trademark Office online.

The ABDL Shop trademarked "The ABDL Shop". So, "ABDL" does appear within their name and within their trademark but they did not claim that ABDL alone was their entity as far as my understanding. Now, perhaps I'm wrong about this but when I do a search through the USPTO then that's what displays for me on my end.

ABDL-trademark-USPTO-database.png
ABDL-trademark-USPTO-database.png (103.54 KiB) Viewed 4614 times

In my viewpoint, based on my basic understanding of this situation, it would be the same as LittlespaceOnline potentially trademarking "LittlespaceOnline" or "Littlespace Online". It isn't trademarking "littlespace" but, rather, a specific name that refers to a specific entity, which would offer a service/goods (this community website). We're not doing that though.

I think a good recognizable brand that is extremely generic but specific at the same time is Great Value. Both of these words together are still quite generic but a person generally has the idea of what you mean when you say, "I bought the Great Value pizza from Walmart," versus, "I bought a pizza that was really a great value!" I think The ABDL Shop has attempted to do replicate that type of situation with their generic name.

Even if I am completely misunderstanding the website and "ABDL" is technically trademarked by The ABDL Shop then Rearz did not have to file a second attempt to trademark that identity term alone. They could have proceeded with steps that I explained above, like filing a notice of opposition and/or submitting a letter of protest. That is what they should have done, and that is what they should do if they sincerely disagree with The ABDL Shop trademark. That would have been what was right and caring for the community. Instead, they went the most greedy way, treating us as if we are cash cows and not people.
#45040
I did see that supposed retraction as well, but I am certainly hesitant about believing it since it was not as cordial and official as the other one (which personally identified as to who specifically posted it and also hashtagged for ease of locating it).

Laurie Diwakar is the president of Rearz Inc. and who was assumed to have signed (Posted by Laurie on 2018 Jan 2nd) the original "notice" to address their attempt at the trademark. It's a little unpleasant to know that she wasn't so forward at publicly signing on this company statement as well. So, she can put her name on the trademark application and the public statement notifying the community that they are seeking a trademark on the community, but cannot take ownership over the retraction of the attempt or brief apology provided.

I also believe they should have truly provided a deeper apology. It was not so much "stress" as absolute devaluation of an entire group, an entire community, of people who have literally financially supported them and their online business for years.
#45041
Yes, and im 100 percent onboard with that, but in the midst of all this, i think sometimes our minds picture these companies being bigger then they actually are, i can say with some level of certainty that usually there not, u have a pr guy a ceo type guy (or girl) a shipping dept. person and maybe a few to help them but thats about the jist of it, if they were to go back on that comment then that would be the absolute certain end of rears inc. heres the thing tho, being what it is now, basically a wars been started, if they dont get it fine. But this application already went into all the databases and all that, so someone else will be next in line to see its potential success, then we could be in real trouble, so the way i see it maybe they should follow thru, dont get me wrong they screwed up the second they started all this, but i think a lot of the people in the know how are really pissed because maybe it really wont be that easy for them to go back on without still having some sort of public backlash, its the definition of being between a friggin rock and a hard place at this point. And it sucks for them cause now everyone knows who made it that way. And 1 more thing thats just personal opinion, i mean in reality, we dont benefit at all from losing a abdl company, they are rare still, they know what makes us us, theres no doubt in my mind that they probably make a product i could really get on board with even tho i dont think ive ever had there products, so.. Of course especially in my position id have a soft spot for any company thats an abdl company, but when you do something like this, its just... silly. No one could really know if they would do right by us, even if they truely had those intentions things can shift in the business world. This is still what they did pictured below:
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