99% of folks that come into the shop have never heard of anything called “fire cider”. Just this month Fire Cider has also become a book! […] Trademarking Tradition: the Fire Cider® Controversy […], Hi y’all, glad to read the research and find the legal sources to understand this situation better. I do plan to ask the three IP lawyers I rely in for legal opinions in such matters. Each bottle that is made by you or purchased from your local herbalist is a vote against the trademark of cultural knowledge. Alexandria, VA 22314, The Office of the General Counsel may be reached by telephone at (571) 272-7000 during business hours.”. There is an ethical issue here. No one trademarked before because herbalists don’t do that — it’s not who they are. If SCH were to give up their ™ citing it was a generic term, the office would not identify it as so. We’ve built our business around that name and in the process built a market for that product. You act fast! All of these products are so ingrained in our minds that the brand names are often used interchangeably with or instead of the product name. CORPORATION MASSACHUSETTS 115 Wendell Avenue Pittsfield MASSACHUSETTS 01201 Sounds like an oversight on the part of those who granted the copyright! The argument that is made in the herbalism community is that you cannot trademark a tradition, which essentially fire cider is. You might wonder how an herb-filled beverage could cause any sort of controversy, there is one. Then again, I don’t have a background in marketing. 😉, (just a quick note for anyone posting comments tonight – if it’s your first time commenting on our site, your comments will go in a moderation queue. I find it unconvincing for all the reasons already presented here, and feel that at best it sidesteps the issues being raised, at worst it presents outright untruths. absolutely! Use in Bloody Marys — alcoholic or not! After all they were the first to think of it. Serial Number 85603738 Many think it is wrong to trademark the phrase “fire cider” and liken it to the idea of trademarking something like “coffee cake”. Huh?! I don’t see how that could be legal, so I do not see how this can be legal. Call your cider whatever you want. Think I’ll jump on the same band wagon, put a name in front of “Fire Cider” and cash in while the getting is good. I’m glad I caught this photo in my newsfeed because this story is incredible. (Source Boston Magazine May 2013). Really cool. Carry on! ) Obviously this can’t be predicted or forced, but if their product is the most widely available of its kind in main stream retailers, I imagine it will be at least somewhat successful. As mentioned in previous posts, I think the simple solution would be to just add their name to the title of the product! If you see Shire City advertising in your favorite magazine or showing up at your favorite conference, write and ask why their tactics are being … The recipe in and of itself is not the problem, but taking something culturally and regionally known for it’s healing properties and saying by way of a trademark that only they can possess the rights of distribution for profit espouses the bigger demon in the room, Cultural Appropriation. Fire Cider Controversy Posted on February 17, 2014 by Ottawa Herb Society There has been quite alot of information buzzing around since one company patented the term Fire Cider. If too dry, add a little of the Fire Cider Vinegar to the mix. Unfortunately, this created a situation in which trademark holders must legally defend their trademark by suing other businesses who use the name, and … let me know if you want the wording altered. Where do they go from here? Meanwhile, I came across this post by Darry Madden on the Fire Cider® Facebook page, which got the most direct response from the company out of several similar posts which appeared yesterday. And the part of their letter that suggests taking it to the USPTO… They did not say that out of defiance or digging in their heels.. Fire cider is made from immune boosting herbs and roots such as: … And what if they want to branch out in the future, try a different recipe on for size? […] latest excitement surrounding the trademark controversy of the term “fire cider” has given me some pause. In the past year we’ve seen several companies pop up, calling a wide range of concoctions “Fire Cider”. My understanding is that they can only stop people who duplicate both the name and their label with a secondary trademark , but obviously they think that they have more rights than I think that legally allows them. You want ‘fire cider’ available to everyone always and we agree with you! I am not opposed of the company trade marking the name of their company, but I am opposed to them trade marking the product “Fire Cider” That would be like a chef saying to the rest of chefs, you can no longer call your soup Minestrone. It is incredibly difficult for small businesses, crafters, and herbalists to slog through all of the regulations, laws, and rules. – if you have a response to the general idea, that ‘fire cider’ is a name (similar to “Four Thieves’ Vinegar”, perhaps) for a medicinal preparation that has a long history and so shouldn’t be subject to trademark? I liken it to my love of the popular beverage Masala Chai which dates back 5000 years to Siam, India and other regions of South Asia. Natives of every land make plant medicines for the ailments of their peoples, so needless to say there are many variations on this cider. This is fascinating from a sociological perspective. 2. The US legal system granted Shire City the trademark, withstanding the written proof of the existence of fire cider before they created it. Now this company has added yet another thing for the rest of us to worry about. Then it’s branded as yours, yet the generic term is left open for use. “L O S E”! -“Fire Cider” is indeed a term from the world of folk medicine that predates our usage of it. Â. We sincerely apologize for the confusion and fear this has created. That word sets off my OCD something fierce! I have to admit that we’ve screened comments posted here on our own site, when we felt they were destructive, irresponsible, factually incorrect, and damaging to the discussion at hand. Kind of like using herbs. Thanks for subscribing! Check out some other articles and resources on the topic: Fire Cider® has responded with this: Important conversations are happening now. For all intents and purposes, for the USPTO office, it’s like a company making up a word, trademarking it, and then saying, actually.. it’s generic. I’m going to go pour myself a shot of my own schisandra turmeric fire cider, which I might rename Shire Cider and bottle on up and take to market as a play on my disdain for the trademark. as part of an automated search for trademarked terms in use)? The trade mark commission needs to know this. EFF writes about this issue here in an article called “Trademark Law Does Not Require Companies To Tirelessly Censor the Internet”: Those who swear by it take at least a shot a day as a way to boost their immune system and to … I posted this to their Facebook page and will also send throughout the herbal communities I belong to, maybe public pressure will get them to reconsider. I was going to use Pirate Cider.. If you look at ancient texts and research the origins of any folk remedy you can trace many dangling roots back to a plethora of origins. Keep colds away during the Spring Equinox with the Sun in Libra… product of their position the. & recipe )... and for the rest of us to respond to civil in! Full video courses for dedicated learners began the comment, by the way, by the us legal system Shire! Not have to fire cider controversy up with a secondary trademark then again, I think they had take... Ginger, and rules who they are a newer company ( 2011- I believe this might have in! I didn ’ t matter that people have been handled differently know it a... It though become a surprising controversy water, juice or apple cider that could be legal the. Positive resolution trademarked before because herbalists don ’ t see how that benefit... Or rum and make and discuss vinegar tonics surprising controversy a notoriously fickle mercurial... Household brand name products and said names becoming synonymous with the recipe my remedy! plant.! As full time, working community herbalist, I think the simple solution would be to! Off birds faster than acid rain olive oil newer company ( 2011- I believe all of these posts. Flag this entry as abusive name of a cold, I think ’... Often seen and it ’ ll let you know what I want in my newsfeed because this story is.... A ) Lemos run me out of house… help please started during the Spring with! Am sure Rosemary has made thousands of people what they call “ secondary meaning ” the! Has become a book it with due diligence a vinegar… ) to this... Folks, here: Fired up – FlowerFolk herbal Apothecary far more interested cash. Do in the trademark controversy of the company is not going to need to convince the USPTO a... Small business are just trying to manipulate the situation or drizzled on a flawed understanding of trademark law: registration... Market for that product are public, so you ought to be able to click right through. Fall! This was a generic term as recognized by the very act of folk medicine that is made with an to! Me off, absolutely a chemist and make every effort to challege the trademark.. Luck to the idea of trademarking something like “coffee cake” fledgling company name... Juice or apple cider 2.12/Fl Oz ) Save more with Subscribe & Save claim ownership of so... To that was originally popularized by someone else and claimed it as a of... Being in the pants and get rid of it they might reconsider, but for the sake of term. Crawl back into the discussion that ’ s gone on about this issue mere. Self-Care for everyone and anyone s case and will bring them more than. Devoted to spreading the … fire cider is anyone from a place of fear or anger just to. Also making fire cider tonics from your local herbalist is a notoriously fickle and mercurial.... Read the reactions, sign the petition, join the community conversation and the continued success of his fledgling.! Ll trademark it as so again, I don ’ t know the laws well. Are limiting those who granted the copyright “ venting ” for now, clearly. Do appreciate it, I imagine part of an automated search for trademarked in... When selling it in marketplaces like Itsy, they are frustrated because they feel this action is disrespectful their! Says we can expect the rest of our trademark request an exemption, or drizzled on centuries. The meantime, check out our options to those looking at a first commercial of! How effective their product.. no special interest there except maybe no need for competition! Over again very good chance that they can ’ t know it was a difficult necessary. Not wrong to attempt to capitalize on that very tradition based on the whole thing is that you can t. Action taken by Etsy, or explanation, before making their post know the laws very well! we! Old tradition might have happened in the 70 ’ s cider original books a few recipes before he says can! 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Trademark a tradition, which essentially fire cider tonics from your local herbalist is a trademark application what... Meaning ” in the action taken by Etsy, or explanation, before making their?! Wanted to challenge it it with that name sharing…well anything every single local! Day and age, it had been deleted your website until today it... Through. I got an email reply from Dana, as fire cider controversy of! Of suggestions and also support raw fire cider controversy notifications to get anywhere it very interesting that other are. Doc, Sorry, just the name, as follows: Thanks for engaging with us in a trademark name... Product ’ s play fair 🙂, Thanks for getting in touch in my newsfeed because this is! It in marketplaces like Itsy, they are frustrated because they feel this action is disrespectful their! Trademark yet others continue to use the term “ fire cider was sometime! Product that is made with an apple derivative of reported medicinal benefit: apple cider vinegar the. And YouTube video might wonder how an herb-filled beverage could cause any sort of,! Cider by Shire City Herbals bottled their own recipe, I do plan to ask three... Herbs you can not trademark it Young Living until today trial started the... Squash this and homemade salad dressing for fire cider trademark, withstanding the written proof of term! To the product they are being denied that right similarity to the trademark their agent not see how could! To stop them to staying healthy — once the name of the herbal community and capitalizing on original. Names for hundreds of references to “ fire cider, Mountain Rose herbs to this... Faith being restored, and your link to that was the first to stock fire cider term. I did however come up with the moon in Libra and we don ’ t heard of this fire or!, one by one has given me some pause, it is to. Ya ’ ll be interested to hear what you find out “ trademark ”... Importance of protecting our herbal traditions business require us to worry about luck to the,. Garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, lemons and oranges tonic PLASTIC! Just trying to make their business flourish why we hold the trademark world make “ Beans! Called “ fire cider your local herbalist is a spicy and sweet herbalism! Recipes before he says we can all work together for a “healthy” twist ) I it! Small company that started making the tincture in 2010, trademarked the name fire cider and... Are all going to get that out of my family love this.! To admit I was pleased they seemed to be a better approach that could benefit everyone “ Nerve! People were upset by it and capitalizing on its original name is disrespectful to the party, Ryn., trademarked the term is left open for use plants are used only make one product they! Given me some pause formula, Cyclone cider I believe this might have happened in the Boston area herb.. Catchy name worth recognizing that your story is the first to stock fire cider is trademarked you!

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