PH lawsuit

So, a few months ago I posted on our Facebook page “we will honor Bookit reading program certificates for a FREE 8” 1-topping pizza" Today I get a threatening email from some attorney agancy demanding I remove the post and post something saying we no longer accept them. They say I have 7 days to do so or more legal action will follow. I emplied it was from Pizza Hut, but never used their name. What would you do?

I don’t see how they could possibly enforce this with any legal action. I would probably call my attorney and ask him but it sounds weak to me.

I would agree, it is always best to contact an attorney to make 100% Certainty, but I do not see how they can take legal action for honoring a competitors coupon.

BookIt! may be a trademarked name. If it is, it is certainly not marked well on the website, but why risk it.

Delete the post and just make a new post to remind people and “now accepting all free pizza coupons from the reading programs xxx, yyy, xzzz schools. Proudly supporting our community!”

This could be awful advice, but keep going. Im sure your local paper would love to pick up an article how Pizza Hut is suing a local independent restaurant for giving pizzas to children for academic accomplishments . That’s advertising you cant buy.

Then again, when this backfires and you owe a ton, wont seem like such a good idea :shock:

I would hope PH trademarked the name for this program. They would have been foolish not to do so.

From the looks of the page, it appears, to me, that it IS trademarked.

I’m no lawyer, but I have some copyright/trademark OTJ experience. Stop using your original wording, and use what Sir Silk suggested above. But, no matter what the legality, thanks for supporting education. Seriously…

I think there are 2 issues…Trademark and accepting coupons…I am sure they can stop you from using the Trademark but I can not see how they could stop you from accepting the coupons…So as previously said, best to re-word your offer so it just “implies” the program and carry on…

PS…Looks like your FaceBook friends are on your side…

Here is my lawyers response to PH’s lawyer.

Dear Atty Martin,
I have been retained by Great Scott’s Pizza to represent them and respond to your
correspondence dated March 26th, 2013 in regard to the PIZZA HUT® BOOK IT! Program. As you are
aware, the mention of a competitor’s tradename and/ or trademark is permissible within the confines of
Title 15, as well as under Wisconsin law, when used in a non-misleading and non-malicious manner.
15 USC §1125 sates in part,
“(3) Exclusions: The following shall not be actionable as dilution by blurring or dilution by
tarnishment under this subsection: (A) Any fair use, including a nominative or descriptive fair use, or
facilitation of such fair use, of a famous mark by another person other than as a designation of source
for the person’s own goods or services, including use in connection with— (i) advertising or promotion
that permits consumers to compare goods or services; or (ii) identifying and parodying, criticizing, or
commenting upon the famous mark owner or the goods or services of the famous mark owner…”
The use of the term “Bookit” in a statement which offers to honor a competitor’s coupon is a
fair use, and in no way infringes on your client’s rights. Any such statement is in no manner misleading
or malicious. Honoring a competitor’s coupons is a common and legal practice, which is protected under
the law. Any legal action brought by your client will be treated as frivolous and appropriate legal
remedies will be sought.
Though my client has no obligation to do so, in an act of goodwill between our clients, Mr.
Chapman has agreed to delete the Facebook post which uses the word “Bookit”. My client, however,
reserves the right to honor competitors coupons. (Which is notably a policy of many Pizza Hut®
Restaurants)
If you wish to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me.
Excelsior,
Nathaniel A. Johnson, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law

You have a tremendous opportunity here. I say fuck them. Post about it every day, and use trademarked names. You are safe under fair use of copyright. Absolutely safe (If you don’t do something stupid, like slander them). The publicity you can gain from getting sued by PH is worth far more than any law suit they could win, and they have no chance of winning whatsoever.

The law is on your side. People will side with you even if it wasn’t. Everyone loves the underdog. Everyone wants to bet on David. This is a golden opportunity for a press release. Mass media will jump on this like camels to a desert oasis.

You will rarely get an opportunity to profit off one of the big guys. Take it and run with it. And I am stealing your idea. I hope they come after me as well.

First clue is that it was an email. A legitimate legal claim is not going to be emailed. Certified or Hand delivered in my experience. They were just trying to intimidate you. That being said, I would follow the advice here and reword.

@MrHowie yeah I was hesitant about it being legit, but the next day I received a copy of letter via FedEx. The negative PR this has brought to PH on my Facebook page is worth the coat of the 1 hour I spent with my lawyer.

Pizza hut tastes like formaldehyde and sugar. Same with dominos, papa johns and cici’s. It’s so sad that millions of people think that is what pizza is supposed to taste like. It’s just awful.

Looking for a lawsuit with comments are you ??? :stuck_out_tongue: