URGENT PROPOSAL (1) My wife and I own Denver Urban Homesteading and our Facebook page was shut down by the Dervaes Institute. THIS FB page on which we are communicating could be taken down and as insurance against that we want anyone who is interested in helping to continue our struggle and that of other homesteading groups and authors affected by the Dervaes Institute takedowns to email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can remain in contact in case we lose this page. (NOTE that this is for storage of emails only and I will not respond. If you need a response from me my email address is below.)
(2) We plan to file a petition to cancel the trademarks of the Dervaes Institute and we want to find others who can simultaneously file petitions. We believe this is necessary because (a) Dervaes Institute is shutting down internet access for us and for others and because (b) if their trademark which is currently registered on the Supplemental Register remains for five years it may become registered on the Principal Register after which time it will nearly impossible to challenge it. According to the US Patent and Trademark Office “A petition for cancellation may be filed by any person who believes that he or she is or will be damaged by the registration of the mark.” Since the Dervaes Institute has stated that anyone using these homesteading terms must acknowledge their trademark, it seems that a petitioner could include anyone. Thus, we would hope to see petitioners fit into the following categories:
(A) Parties who used the terms “urban homesteading” and “urban homestead” commercially prior to the date of the trademarks, which is November 10, 2007.
(B) Parties who used the terms “urban homesteading” and “urban homestead” commercially after the date of the trademarks, which is November 10, 2007.
(C) A nonprofit group of homesteaders to be formed, perhaps here in Colorado, perhaps elsewhere, that would include any person who believes that he or she is or will be damaged by the registration of the mark.
I have been an attorney for more than 25 years, although currently I do not make a living practicing law - I run an urban homesteading center! If other attorneys show up and want to help, that will be great. While I will represent my company, other attorneys could represent other parties. I will make my filings available to all.
(3) I understand that some people are interested in helping contribute so we will set up a paypal account to receive funds in my attorney escrow account or the account of a nonprofit corporation that I will use to pay for the costs or expenses of the legal filings pro-rata with any others filing concurrently and any excess to be used as directed by the nonprofit.
Any comments, suggestions or other proposals are welcome. My wife and I – indeed the entire City of Denver, Colorado – have a lot to lose if we are unable to refer to our business as one that promotes urban homesteading.
James and Irina Bertini
Denver Urban Homesteading
200 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80223