As a matter of fact

We are taking this opportunity to publicly address some reoccurring issues.  It is now a necessity on our part to set forth the facts. It has continuously come to our attention that misinterpretations of Trademark Law have been given to the general public in regards to our trademark, Thread Bears®.  We would like to make this announcement again–if any person has questions regarding our trademark and the laws behind it, please feel free to contact us.  There is no person authorized to give legal advice or interpretations of trademark law other than a lawyer, or the trademark owner.
Certain people have portrayed themselves as being persons of knowledge of this subject. In most cases, this is not so.  Unless they are a CERTIFIED lawyer, or a co-owner of our trademark, they are not one who should be approached on the subject.  Many years ago while communicating to one of these so-called “informants,” we expressed that they are not entitled, nor obligated to speak on our behalf of the trademark.  One of these “informants” guaranteed that she would refer, to us, anyone that approaches her with trademark questions in regards to our business.  At that time, we had a mutual understanding that this person would not interfere with our business or trademark concerns on our behalf.  However, this person still has not fulfilled their guarantee.  They have handed out free legal advice to the general public in regards to our trademark, and has not referred a single inquiring person to us.  Use of our trademark by artists of similar products have been publicly encouraged.  It has been claimed that it is a generic term that anyone can use.  However, if it was a generic term that the general public could freely use, why was cancellation of our trademark with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sought?  This cancellation was denied.  The Board concluded that we own the rights to the term.  Why would they have spent all that time, cost, and efforts of taking legal action in court if it is, in fact, a generic term that anyone could use?
Thread Bears® became a term that distinctively described our products.  It set us apart from competitors, it aided in distinguishing our business.  We created this title to set our products apart from the common, such as bears made of thread.  Artists associated this name with our products.  Confusion had arisen from the opinions of the so-called “informants” and continuous abuse.
We have been accused of being jealous of our competitors(without any evidence).  We have continued to conduct ourselves in a businesslike, professional manner.  We have never slandered anyone.  There is absolutely no evidence of this accusation.  Any information presented on our part has all been for clarification–to set the facts straight.

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What’s in a name?

We began offering crocheted, miniature, fully-jointed animals to collectors over two decades ago.  We decided that Thread Bears® was a name that suited our business.  It was not a term that any artist used at that time to primarily refer to the products that they made.  The common terms bear and doll artists used to describe their products are: crocheted, miniature, bear, animal, doll, made of thread, made of yarn, etc.
Our federally owned trademark, Thread Bears® (Reg. No. 2146208) has been the subject of many discussions through the years. We acquired the much-earned trademark after a long trial process and attempts of trademark cancellation by competitors.  Artists began using Thread Bears® to describe their products, even if the product they made wasn’t a bear!  What they didn’t realize is that in doing this, they ultimately hurt the chances of some prospects finding their product.  If the artist had titled the item as a “bear”, and the possible customer was searching for “dolls,” they would have never seen the item.
The primary goal for the trademark abusers was to ultimately have our trademark deemed as a generic term.  However, since it was not a term that was primarily used to describe these products, it was decided by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that our federally registered trademark was NOT generic, and that any person (who made items similar to ours) was in violation of Trademark Law.  The decision of the Board can be found here:
http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92046025&pty=CAN&eno=25
The only people/businesses who can use the term Thread Bears, other than us, is persons who DO NOT make soft sculpted, jointed, crocheted, knitted, felted, sewn bears, dolls, or animals of textiles–such as yarn, thread, fabric, etc.
Any person using our trademark to describe their items similar to ours will be held accountable, since that would be considered as offering counterfeit items–if it is not a Thread Bear®, do not call it one.  Any website featuring our trademark in connection to an item that was not made by us will be removed.  If the person in violation does not make the necessary adjustments, further action will be taken.  This further action could also consist of a financial obligation on part of the violator.
We do not take these measures to hinder any of our competitors.  We do this to protect what we earned–what we have created and fought to keep.