"Urban homesteading", the
phrase we use to describe our lifestyle and a symbol of our movement has
been trademarked. The Dervaes Institute from California has ordered
all urban homesteaders in the United States to use this generic phrase
only in connection with the Dervaes products
or services. Otherwise, we are instructed to use alternative wording. Some of
us have received
letters from them, some
have lost their Facebook pages
because of Dervaes' actions
(see email from Facebook as
a proof). The attempt of
a private organization to eliminated
a commonly used phrase from our language doesn't make urban homesteaders happy.
first published article about the Dervaes family action against
organizations and blogs, urban homesteaders started to discuss on the internet
what to do with this abnormal situation regarding this common phrase and the
rights of anyone to trademark it. Without repeating all of the information available
online we simply try to provide information and access to relevant documents.
help to answer many questions that urban homesteaders have regarding
this unwanted trademark and about the possibility to cancel it. Yes,
our goal is to cancel the "urban homesteading" trademark! All new
documents, links and legal information will be published on this website.
You can monitor the trademark cancellation process. We believe in our
rights to use words without permission of the Dervaes Institute. We believe
that society can resist this corporation's actions. Thank you in advance for your
Denver Urban Homesteading -
Indoor Farmers Market, Denver, Colorado
Status of legal case
In April 2011 two cases were
filed in the US Patent and Trademark Office. Case 1 was filed by Erik
Knutzen/Kelly Coyne & Process Media, authors and publisher of the book "The
Urban Homestead". Case 2 was filed by Denver Urban Homesteading.
Both of these parties lost their Facebook pages due to complaints filed to
Facebook by the Dervaes Institute, which had obtained trademarks to "urban
homestead" and "urban homesteading." The cases were filed to cancel
these two trademarks.
obtained representation from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is
assisted pro bono by an intellectual property law firm in San
Francisco, Winston & Strawn. Denver Urban Homesteading was not able to
obtain representation and so it is represented by its owner, James Bertini.
The Dervaes Institute hired first
one, and then another intellectual property law firm to represent it.
A trademark case in the USPTO is very similar to a federal court case albeit
with trademark rules. The case has been in litigation now since it
began, consuming hundreds and possibly thousands of lawyer-hours.
As of the date below, the
discovery period is over but discovery is still being produced by the
Dervaes Institute. The trial period is scheduled to begin in the
ensuing months. Unlike a regular court, in trademark court almost
everything is done by mail, even the trial.
More regular updates are posted
on this Facebook page:
September 17, 2012