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"Subway" Trying To Trademark "Footlong", sending cease and desist letters to local sandwich shops
WSJ ^

Posted on 05/18/2010 6:58:04 AM PDT by Thurston_Howell_III

The Coney Island Drive Inn, a restaurant in Brooksville, Florida, has been selling 12-inch hotdogs — the restaurant calls them “footlongs” — for more than 40 years. Its Web site is gotfootlongs.com.

Last week, the restaurant got a letter from a lawyer representing Subway, which, as you may have heard, sells 12-inch sandwiches for five bucks.

After explaining that Subway “has applied for the trademark FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches,” the letter says:

You are hereby put on notice to cease and desist from using FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches. You must immediately remove all references to FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches.

(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: footlong; lawsuit; sandwich; subway
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As a side note, best sandwich I've ever had called "The Al Roker" and it was from a local shop in Oswego, NY.

In the comments section to the article someone wrote: "Subway lawyers have also sent a cease-and-desist letter to the MTA. The MTA must now refer to that thing underneath the streets of New York as an “Underground Railroad.”

1 posted on 05/18/2010 6:58:04 AM PDT by Thurston_Howell_III
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

The Al Roker... was the a 1’ diameter sandwich?


2 posted on 05/18/2010 7:00:09 AM PDT by maddog55 (OBAMA, Why stupid people shouldn't vote.)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Last time I ate a Subway sandwich I had the runs for a day-and-a-half.


3 posted on 05/18/2010 7:00:33 AM PDT by scory
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

So, when I was a kid, and we bought footlong hot dogs, and simply called them footlongs... we were infringing on Subway’s future rights?!

Who knew?


4 posted on 05/18/2010 7:00:36 AM PDT by brownsfan (The average American: Uninformed, and unconcerned.)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Coney Island is an American Institution. Subway is dog food.


5 posted on 05/18/2010 7:01:11 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

They were not the first shops to sell 12” sandwiches.


6 posted on 05/18/2010 7:02:09 AM PDT by GeronL (Political Correctness Kills)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Coney Island is an American Institution. Subway is dog food.


7 posted on 05/18/2010 7:02:32 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

I think they’re going to have problems, “footlong” hot dogs having been part of the public vernacular for a VERY long time. And I assume a hot dog in bun qualifies as fitting into the category of “sandwich”.


8 posted on 05/18/2010 7:03:24 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: massgopguy

If your dog eats Subway sandwiches, you should look for a more discriminating pet.


9 posted on 05/18/2010 7:03:31 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: massgopguy

Yabbut a dog wouldn’t touch it.


10 posted on 05/18/2010 7:03:34 AM PDT by tgusa (Investment plan: blued steel, brass, lead, copper)
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To: GeronL

7-11 stores tried the same thing with a small grocery store owner in Iowa. The grocer had called his store 7-11 since about 1948. The company paid him for the right to use 7-11...


11 posted on 05/18/2010 7:03:36 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III
NPR called Subway, which admitted it was a clerical error. Kevin Kane, a Subway spokesman, told Goldstein that it’s only trying to trademark “footlong” for sandwiches, not for other foods.

Subway thinks this makes their claim less ridiculous?

12 posted on 05/18/2010 7:04:33 AM PDT by FourPeas (God Bless America)
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To: GeronL

“They were not the first shops to sell 12” sandwiches.”

If they win this, I hope some lawyer takes a tape measure with him or her, and sues the first time they get an 11” footlong. False advertising.


13 posted on 05/18/2010 7:04:40 AM PDT by brownsfan (The average American: Uninformed, and unconcerned.)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III
The fact that someone "has applied for the trademark" doesn't mean much.
14 posted on 05/18/2010 7:05:41 AM PDT by frankenMonkey (I can see November from my window...)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III
"Subway" Trying To Trademark "Footlong"

Maybe Sonic Drive Ins will sue Subway. They've had foot long hot-dogs since I was in high school.

Who ever heard of trademarking a measurement?

What's next? A license to say 'inchworm'?

Geesh!

15 posted on 05/18/2010 7:05:51 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am not a administrative, corporate, collective, legal, political or public entity or ~person~)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Subway has already recanted on this. They are only trying to trademark “footlong” when it is used in regards to sandwiches. Still, I’d deny their request if I worked in the trademark office. A quick check with Google reveals several other companies using footlong in regards to sandwiches.


16 posted on 05/18/2010 7:07:17 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: brownsfan

I’m going to trademark the word “the”. For now on, anyone using “the” will have to submit royalties or be prepared for a law suit.


17 posted on 05/18/2010 7:08:23 AM PDT by bgill (how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the POTUS)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Here’s a link to a related blog post on the issue. Seems they agree numerous other companies are using footlong in conjunction with sandwiches.

http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com/legal_blog_watch/2010/05/subway-says-other-footlong-sandwich-sellers-violating-its-trademark.html


18 posted on 05/18/2010 7:10:01 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: MamaTexan

“What’s next? A license to say ‘inchworm’?”

I just applied for a trademark on “INCHWORM” therefore I hereby order you to cease & desist... or alternatively put 5 bucks in my paypal account every time someone reads your post :-P


19 posted on 05/18/2010 7:10:12 AM PDT by AussieJoe
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

It’s BS like this that will lose them business in the long run too.

When people see Subway throwing their legal weight around against little shops that have been using the term footlong for decades before there even was a Subway it makes them think twice before walking through the door.

Attempting to increase your sales by hurting smaller competitors has never worked out well once John Q Public hears about it in this country.


20 posted on 05/18/2010 7:10:25 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: massgopguy
Subway is dog food

That would be animal cruelty. I love my dog more than that.

21 posted on 05/18/2010 7:10:36 AM PDT by rightly_dividing
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To: bgill

the

Sue me!


22 posted on 05/18/2010 7:11:23 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: brownsfan
...we were infringing on Subway’s future rights?!

So, you admit it, huh? ;)

23 posted on 05/18/2010 7:11:57 AM PDT by TankerKC (R.I.P. Spc Trevor A. Win'E American Hero)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III
Sorry Subway, "Footlong" has been a part of American culture for over a centurty.

You may as well try trademarking "Sandwich"

24 posted on 05/18/2010 7:12:09 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 481 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: GeronL
"They were not the first shops to sell 12” sandwiches. "

Not that I am defending them - I am not - but they obviously the first to think about copywriting the term "footlong", so that will make it theirs, by law anyway.

And hey, you know those poor lawyers need to have something meaningful to do besides whiplash and asbestos poisoning, so they are chasing down "footlong" merchants and sending "cease and desist" letters.

I think Subway should be boycotted for using its National standing to harass and financially damage the small businessman.

Any rational American associates the word "footlong" with a hot dog, not a sub.

The Subway company are bullies...I'm switching to Quiznos.
25 posted on 05/18/2010 7:12:37 AM PDT by FrankR (Standing against tyranny must start somewhere, or the future belongs to the tyrants.)
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To: Abathar

Abathar: “Attempting to increase your sales...”

That’s the ridiculous part of this. Who doesn’t already know that Subway sells footlong and 6” sub sandwiches. How much business does the corporate office think they are going to gain by squashing small shops that use the same term? How much business will they lose by bad press? Probably more than the former question.


26 posted on 05/18/2010 7:14:22 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

I doubt that they were registered trademarks, but foot-long hot dogs from any number of sources pre-date Subway by many decades.


27 posted on 05/18/2010 7:15:54 AM PDT by luvbach1 (Stop Barry now. He can't help himself.)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

I think John Holmes was the first to coin the phrase “footlong sandwich.”


28 posted on 05/18/2010 7:17:54 AM PDT by decisis
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

I have trademarked the term “foot” and “long” separately, Subway is about to get sued for Bazillion dollars.


29 posted on 05/18/2010 7:18:11 AM PDT by Brett66 (Where government advances, and it advances relentlessly , freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Reminds me of Spike Lee trying to own the name Spike (he lost). Spike Jones had it first.


30 posted on 05/18/2010 7:18:45 AM PDT by luvbach1 (Stop Barry now. He can't help himself.)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Subway could probably trademark “Lettuce Sandwich” and no one would object to that reality.


31 posted on 05/18/2010 7:19:03 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Ostracize Democrats. There can be no Democrat friends.)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III
Their quick, short reply should be:

"No."

32 posted on 05/18/2010 7:20:18 AM PDT by CT-Freeper (www.ctf.org)
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To: Wonder Warthog
I think they’re going to have problems, “footlong” hot dogs having been part of the public vernacular for a VERY long time.

"Footlong" IS a Trademark. It is not a Registered Trademark, but has been used openly by many entities for decades. Subway's trademark registration should not be allowed, and the eatery should get a lawyer and turn on Subway. If they get the right lawyer, they could cause Subway a world of hurt. Subway wants the Trademark, and does not want to buy it from the people using it, so they resort to barratry. Of COURSE Subway is aware of the prior uses.

Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead 1 77658312 $5 FOOTLONGS TARR LIVE 2 77752328 FOOTLONG TARR LIVE 3 77324328 FOOTLONG TARR LIVE 4 76586913 2939541 FOOTLONG EXPRESS TARR DEAD 5 75308314 2161133 FOOTLONG EXPRESS TARR DEAD 6 74597430 1948530 WONDERDOGS FRANK FOOTLONG KNOCKWURST TARR DEAD

The first several are not germaine to hot dogs. The last did not specifically claim the use of "footlong".

However, if it already in current use, they have no more right to it than I do for Windows™.

IANAL, I just pay them,

33 posted on 05/18/2010 7:20:51 AM PDT by Gorzaloon (CNN:AP:etc:Today, President Obama's stool was firm and well-formed. One end was slightly pointed. ")
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To: null and void
You may as well try trademarking "Sandwich"

You colonial ruffian! I must protest, sir!


34 posted on 05/18/2010 7:21:25 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: AussieJoe
I just applied for a trademark on “INCHWORM” therefore I hereby order you to cease & desist... or alternatively put 5 bucks in my paypal account every time someone reads your post :-P

Okay, okay.....Here's your 5 bucks

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

but YOU have to figure out how to get them into Paypal!

-----

neener-neener ;-)

35 posted on 05/18/2010 7:21:38 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am not a administrative, corporate, collective, legal, political or public entity or ~person~)
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To: FrankR

I just don’t think you should be able to trademark something like that, a common word.

I got dibs on ‘The’


36 posted on 05/18/2010 7:21:52 AM PDT by GeronL (Political Correctness Kills)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Subway is ok in a pinch...But because of the idiocy of this idea...Quiznos will get my business.


37 posted on 05/18/2010 7:22:56 AM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: CitizenUSA
Who doesn’t already know that Subway sells footlong and 6” sub sandwiches. How much business does the corporate office think they are going to gain by squashing small shops that use the same term? How much business will they lose by bad press?

I agree.

What a stupid corporate move. Their advertising has given them the "footlong" association they want.

Taking it this far will only lose business for them.

38 posted on 05/18/2010 7:23:35 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

The porn industry might have something to say about this.


39 posted on 05/18/2010 7:24:45 AM PDT by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: Constitution Day

Awhile back, I saw a news bit on a lawsuit about McDonald’s suing an eating establishment in Scotland over use of the name “McDonald’s”. It showed a bearded fellow standing in front of what looked like a hunting lodge. He said he was the Earl of McDonald (or something like that) and that that establishment had been serving food and wee drams for hundreds of years. He said “I should sue them!”.


40 posted on 05/18/2010 7:25:46 AM PDT by blackd77
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To: Constitution Day

My Name is Earl?


41 posted on 05/18/2010 7:26:19 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 481 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: null and void

Ha. Absolutely!


42 posted on 05/18/2010 7:26:51 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: bgill

Darn I I called dibs on ‘The’ but I accidently posted in on a thread about unemployed pastors.

darn.

I guess I’ll trademark.... ‘trademark’


43 posted on 05/18/2010 7:26:55 AM PDT by GeronL (Political Correctness Kills)
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To: Dallas59

Their meatball isn’t so bad.

The problem is, the sandwiches we make at home are just as good.


44 posted on 05/18/2010 7:27:50 AM PDT by GeronL (Political Correctness Kills)
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To: CitizenUSA

Oh, now you’ve gone and done it!

Please forward your name, address, phone number, your mother’s maiden name, your first dog’s name, birth date and social security number.


45 posted on 05/18/2010 7:27:58 AM PDT by bgill (how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the POTUS)
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To: Gorzaloon
barratry

There's a word that should be used much more often.

46 posted on 05/18/2010 7:28:55 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 481 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Asinine! I like Subway, but I can just as easily get good FOOTLONG subs from somewhere else, and will do so if they persist with this. I hope its laughed out of court!


47 posted on 05/18/2010 7:29:32 AM PDT by Tatze (I reject your reality and substitute my own!)
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To: Thurston_Howell_III

Hustler Trying To Trademark “Footlong”, sending cease and desist letters to local Porno shops


48 posted on 05/18/2010 7:30:13 AM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: MamaTexan

LOL! Oh how I wish we could pay lawyers in that manner.


49 posted on 05/18/2010 7:31:24 AM PDT by Brett66 (Where government advances, and it advances relentlessly , freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: MamaTexan

Nice rack.... ;^)


50 posted on 05/18/2010 7:32:05 AM PDT by AussieJoe
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