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Hot Mess Mom » I may be PMSing..., Ramblings, Uncategorized » There’s a chance THIS IS MINE!!! {half explanation and half angry rant}

There’s a chance THIS IS MINE!!! {half explanation and half angry rant}

 

Hello!! My name Inigo Montoya, you kill my father.. prepare to die.

No, wait.. that’s not right..

Hello!  My name is Hot Mess Mom!  I am the sole owner of Hot Mess Events & Entertainment.  I write a blog.  I hold events.  I sell merchandise.

One morning in 2012, I got out of the shower, wrapped in a towel and said to myself

Self? You know what would be funny?  Water bottles with “there’s a chance this is vodka” written on them.  Ha Ha Ha!! You are soooooooo funny!

So, I called my printer, ordered a few cases of bottles and had him print them.  My invoice for this order was $1500.   I had no money and no guarantee that they would sell, but I went out on a limb and did it.   It took me 6 months to sell those first cases.  SIX MONTHS!  At this time, I contacted the #2 Trademark attorney in the U.S. and began the process of trademarking that phrase on all drinkware.  I believed it had potential and would catch on.

My attorney ran an extensive search, going back TEN YEARS…  there was not a single item ANYWHERE ON THE INTERWEB other than hotmessmom.com that contained that slogan.  I decided to proceed.. paid another $2500 and waited another 6 months for my trademark application to be approved by the UNITED STATES PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE.

In the meantime, sales continued to grow and I was now stocking up to $20,000 of merchandise at a time,  in my home!!

Since this time, there have been dozens, if not hundreds, of “there’s a chance this is vodka®” items popping up all over the internet.  I’ve been called a bully and other super-flattering names for attempting to defend my trademark.  NOT by the people who are making the knock-offs, mind you.. by other random FB pages and people with nothing better to do.

This is the letter I send to each ETSY shop when a violation is found.  (Note.. this letter comes from ME, not my attorney, cuz I’m fucking nice ;)

Hi there.

I am so sorry to contact you this way. I am the owner of Hot Mess Events & Entertainment and we hold a registered trademark in the U.S. for the slogan “there’s a chance this is vodka” on all drinkware.

My attorney runs violation searches monthly, but I asked that he let me contact you personally instead of sending a legal cease & desist letter. I am a huge supporter of many Etsy shops.. I do NOT hold a trademark on any other beverage slogan other than “vodka”…. so you are free to continue selling all of your other items.

Please remove the “there’s a chance this is vodka” drinkware from your product offering. I appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,
HMM

Both Zazzle and Cafe’ Press have shut down shops that were offering knock offs, and continue to do so as more crop up.

I honestly believe that MOST of the violators just see a pic on Pinterest, think “Oh, that’s cool” and then make it.  95% of these folks apologize immediately and take the product off of their listing.  However, the other 5%… it’s the other 5% that cost me thousands of dollars each year in additional attorney fees to defend something that I OWN.  I OWN it.  It was MY idea.   It’s been on the interweb so much and gone so viral over the past year, that you may think to yourself.. ‘but I’ve seen this around forever!!”.   You haven’t.  Remember.. we did a 10 year search.  My slogan was not ANYWHERE on ANY item..

Why am I writing this?

I have no idea..  I’m tired of defending myself to assholes who say “you can’t trademark words“.  Really?  Cuz the US Government says otherwise and if I could trademark “you’re a douchecanoe twatwaffle fucktarded cuntholio” I totally would.

If you see a shop on Cafe Press selling these mugs, do you know what it takes for them to do that?  An email address.  That’s it.  They have no stock, no risk, no inventory.  Cafe Press owns the product, and the shop-owners receive $2.00 for each item sold.  My packaging cost is more than $2.00 per item!

I decide every month if I’m going to pay my mortgage on time or order more inventory.  (Again.. because I’m using my profits on attorney’s fees defending my own idea).   I spend about 60 hours a week PACKING AND SHIPPING orders.  I do it 100% myself.  No staff, no help, no warehouse.  ME.  So, yes, I get a little pissy when some Tom, DICK, or Harry enters an email on Cafe Press and starts profiting off of my idea.

Soooo..  I’m sorry for the rant.  But God Bless.. I’m at my wits end.

Anyhoo..  Here is a pic of the LEGAL “there’s a chance this is vodka®” merchandise.   I continue to add items as my bank account allows.  If you see one that is not shown below, it’s not mine, and therefore an illegal knock-off.

Now, I’m off my soapbox.   Let’s get back to the funny!

tactiv2

photo (17)

 

(And don’t vote for me down there on that banner.  I’m not even on that site anymore.. I just can’t figure out how to remove the banner cuz I’m an idiot)


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Filed under: I may be PMSing..., Ramblings, Uncategorized

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43 Responses to "There’s a chance THIS IS MINE!!! {half explanation and half angry rant}"

  1. Fuckers, cut ‘em all down!

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      i don’t know how to make a heart, but if I did……

  2. Cindy Key says:

    I happen to think your slogan is hilarious! In the pilot episode of “Trophy Wife” the main character could have used such a warning because what she drank was not water. It was, dare I say, hilarious!

    Hot Mess, keep up the good work. The randomly timed blog posts. The rants. And of course, all the things that really make the rest of us laugh out loud. You’ve got chutzpah and I like that in a person!

  3. ashleigh says:

    That is pretty crappy! I have actually seen someone offering an hand written coffee cup on fb…I actually actually sent her a message that you sold this, and she needed to stop ;)

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      thank you so much! if you send me the link, I can handle with a love note.. Soo appreciate the support!

  4. There's a Chance This is not rad says:

    Preach!!!
    Let’s trademark “Kim of the year” for Ann. And Cox.

    1. Ann says:

      I resemble that remark.

  5. Reba Ortiz says:

    You should go on shark tank.

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      ha! i have friends that have been on there!

      1. Reba Ortiz says:

        I feel like they would love you, and you’d definitely get a deal lol

  6. Aimee says:

    I have personally left comments on things I see that aren’t yours. Keep fighting the good fight and I’ll keep my eye out for you.

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      thank you! I have the best readers! y’all always have my back!

    2. Hot Mess Mom says:

      thank you!! y’all are the best!

  7. Jill P says:

    I just reposted this on my FB page:

    DON’T MESS WITH HOT MESS!!! Read this and then maybe you’ll just want to order one just to spite those ripper-offers! ;)

    http://hotmessmom.com/theres-a-chance-this-is-mine-half-explanation-and-half-angry-rant/

    For your ordering convenience! http://hotmessmom.com/store/theres-a-chance-this-is-vodka-drinkware/

  8. That slogan is HILARIOUS! Way to defend what is rightfully (and legally) yours!

  9. Sam Millus says:

    You fucking rock. Trademark THAT! Also, I will be ordering a shirt, just because I need one more reason for the people in this tiny backwoods town to judge me. I adore you and dream of meating IRL (slow motion on a beach perhaps?)Too much? Keep up the great work, or I will run out of cups. Xo

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      ha!!!!! Get your ass to the MMM next year!!!

  10. Sandy Ramsey says:

    I run an Etsy shop with my daughter and we are careful but we did make the mistake of using a logo we weren’t aware was trademarked. We got the letter and stopped immediately. So I’m proud not to be an asshole! You own it, you defend it! I actually saw the drinkware yesterday for the first time and am so ordering it for my best friend who actually forgot she put vodka in her water bottle over the weekend and grabbed it on her way to volunteer at her son’s school. She got there and took herself a big fat swig. HA! You see why I have to get her one. With her it’s a really strong probability! For the record, the tee shirt idea rocks! I’d buy one in a second!

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      lol! love it! And honestly. most of the Etsy shop owners are wonderful and understanding! Going to check out your blog.. thx for the support!

  11. Carrie says:

    First off. You ain’t an idiot.

    An idiot wouldn’t even have a clue on how to do all that crap you’re doing. You’re pretty friggin’ brilliant if you ask me.

    Don’t blame you…I get pissed when someone takes a damn pen off my desk. Can’t imagine someone trying to snag my brain power.

    You’re pretty bomb-ish to me. =)

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      lol!!!!! thanks for the support. going to check out your page ;)

  12. Kelly says:

    whats yours is YOURS! Don’t take any SHIT! …..what kind of hours do you need to spend “looking” for these knock offs? SO UNFAIR to take time away from your family and person life.

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      ahhh.. it’s a job.. shit happens.. But thank you!

  13. dana says:

    I think its great that you defend yourself and product. I have personally have had more than 2 dozen site removed from the web for text copyright violation. I will continue to let you know if I see people ripping your slogan(s) off. I support you in this 100%!!!

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      thanks girl.. i appreciate you.

  14. Keri says:

    I’m a marketer by trade, but at this moment, I can’t craft what I want to say so it sounds like a compliment. And truly, not sarcastic. Like heartfelt, even. So, please, read this as about a hero from a minion: wow, what you came up with is so totally, amazingly cool that everyone wants to copy it. And that’s also why it sucks.

  15. Keri says:

    If this merchandise is so in demand, why are you still doing it yourself? I don’t know anything about Etsy, but maybe sell to them wholesale and let them sell retail?

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      etsy is handmade items. i won’t outsource until it’s totally necessary.

  16. jacqui says:

    sounds like some copycat bitches need to be CUT…

  17. Dana says:

    OMG… You are too friggin funny! You might be my sister!
    Go get em!!

  18. I’ve also seen pics on the internet of merch I knew wasn’t yours… and told them who you were and that you had the trademark. I’ll send you the links from now on.

  19. TheBaldOne says:

    I don’t stay current on FB and I miss out on women fighting in a vat of Jello. Well that is how I see it in my minds eye. The only thing all this has done is made me more excited for St. Pats. Keep up the great work. And if you need help getting off err getting banner off let me know.

  20. Kelly from Savannah says:

    You let ‘em have it HMM!!! And you should totally trademark Douchecanoe Twatwaffle Fucktarded Cuntholio, because it would be awesome. Just like you and all your awesome ideas!! It is St. Pat’s yet????? Can’t wait!!! And SO HELP ME!! I will make it to the MMM next year… even if I have to pack myself in someone else’s suitcase!!

  21. Gigi says:

    Dropped by from your mention at DaddyDoinWork and came across this. You SO have my sympathy – I deal with trademark infringement at my company and I know what you are going through. Yes, 95% of the time people aren’t aware of what constitutes trademark infringement and are willing to comply when you send them a “love” note – but the rest of them?

    Oh My God! Those are the ones that will drive you to drink on your lunch hour.

    Keep fighting the good fight. And now that I’m aware I’ll keep my eyes open and let you know what I find…the Internet is a vast place and we all need someone to help us keep up with it all.

  22. Dawn K says:

    I think your concept is funny and awesome. Protect your hard work.

  23. Mandee says:

    I think your idea was awesome cause awesome ideas always happen in the shower. I need to get one of those waterproof notepads and pencil in mine. Ha! I love your slogan and I need to get one to take with me when I walk to the bus stop with my daughter every morning. My neighbors would think I lost my mind. Anywho….love your blog and your idea.

  24. I can understand your anger over the situation. Thank you for sharing your story with us, I’m sure it made you feel just a bit better to tell us all about it! Good luck with your merchandise!

  25. WeezaFish says:

    Man I hate idea stealers. They could have just bought from you surely? Defend indeed! Hear hear. Thanks for the rant, I feel so much better now :) Oh, wait …

  26. Stephanie says:

    I came late, but is this what you mean? Caught this one yet? For shame! Love your blog!

    http://www.zazzle.com/theres_a_chance_this_could_be_vodka_coffee_mug-168382691535361111

  27. Stacy says:

    “you’re a douchecanoe twatwaffle fucktarded cuntholio” – hilarious!!! I’d buy that mug!

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