Berthold bullies competing font producers – report here when you’re hit by them



  • If you gotten any kind of answer from Myfonts after your request?
  • So far the answer was only ‘we will not put Popelka back to sales’.
  • You could call it «Moritzburg», then...?

    Or sell it at FontSpring.
  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 258
    Perhaps rename the font (for MF only) to something non-infringing that would serve as a protest... "I see invisible rabbits" would be my choice.
  • Or "NotReallyPoppl".
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,074
    or maybe "Lawyer Poop"
  • Or use a Caesar cipher (and tell everybody).
  • SiDaniels said:
    ... "I see invisible rabbits" would be my choice.
    what about “Bert hold me tight!” ?
  • "Hunt for Popelka"
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 424
    edited January 2017
    Ron Popeil is still alive; need to sue him because he's loaded with big bucks. Then there's the issue of Boulevard. How many cities are in violation?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,375
    edited January 2017
    Jokes aside, trademark protection suits centre on potential confusion in the marketplace, so only involve trade names of the same or related kinds of products or services, or companies in related business fields in a common market.

    That said, the interpretation of what constitutes related products can be quite broad, especially in the case of software. I've had clients' legal departments reject proposed typeface names on the grounds that their competitors have similarly named products, even though these are not fonts.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,084
    edited January 2017
    In theory. In practice settling frivolous lawsuits (a misnomer if there ever was one) out of court is how the West was won. #HypotheticallyRichEmbryosMatter
  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 258
    I believe Al Pacino sent one to Google...
  • Michael JarboeMichael Jarboe Posts: 224
    edited January 2017
    How would MyFonts respond to a similar scenario if it happened to be a smaller foundry challenging a larger foundry?
  • It's interesting that Berthold's Comenius coexists with Comenia and Comenia Sans (Storm/Suitcase). I wonder if Berthold have ever objected to those?
  • Well now they will...
  • In today's MyFonts News email, they are advertising a new font family "Papelli," which, in my opinion, is as close a name to Poppl as Popelka, such as they are close at all (not very). There is also a dingbat family from Emigré called "Poppi." I am struck again by the absurd overreaching of Berthold's claim against Popelka—and even more by MyFonts acceptance of it. Perhaps the best protection against this sort of thing is to boycott MyFonts, who, in my thinking, is as great an offender as Berthold. 
  • Scott-Martin Kosofsky said:
    MyFonts, who, in my thinking, is as great an offender as Berthold. 
    At least MyFonts (=Monotype) and Berthold don't seem to think of each other as offenders, Berthold fonts have been available on MyFonts (and other MT sites) for quite a while now.
  • Wont be able to use Cinderella due to ITC Cinderella font

    As my understanding Bethold don't own any rights to the name "Popelka" (Cinderella) as I'm aware it's a story in the "public-domain" and has no "copyright over the name nor material".  

    Confusion where? claiming it sounds "similar" is just psychobabble. They are spelt and pronounced different and have no relation over their meaning. This isn't the case of it being a "homonyms" issue.
  • Thanks gentlemen, for your opinions. Much apprechiated.

    A. Stötzner @ John Collins (MF), 12. 1. 17:

    Mr John Collins,

    I hereby ask you, again, to put Popelka back to sales.
    There is no serious reason to block it any further, at least not that preposterous name claim by a competitor which you mentioned in earlier posts. Dozens of similar cases prove that your rejection of Popelka is nothing but ridiculous and impertinent. 
    I do not want to believe that MyFonts, to whom I maintain a good business relation for many years, is to dwell on such an offensive behaviour towards me.
    As you can see here public opinion [link to this disc.] turns strikingly against you’re weird policy in this case.

    I now have to prompt you insistently to seize this arbitrary behaviour and get back to business as usual.

    With all due respect,
    Andreas Stötzner
  • Wont be able to use Cinderella due to ITC Cinderella font

    As my understanding Bethold don't own any rights to the name "Popelka" (Cinderella) as I'm aware it's a story in the "public-domain" and has no "copyright over the name nor material". 

    You are confusing copyright and trademark, I think? Public domain is a copyright concept. But with the names, we are worried about trademark.

    Any sufficiently old written version of Cinderella is in the public domain, sure—although you could do your own version and copyright it, as has often been done. But someone most certainly can trademark the name "Cinderella" as applied to some particular product or line of work.
  • Here is a description of the eight criteria used in deciding trademark infringement cases in U.S. courts, taken from a lawyer's manual:

    The test for traditional trademark infringement is "confusing similarity." That is, the test for trademark infringement asks whether the ordinary buyer -- not looking for subtle differences or fine details -- would believe both products (or services) came from the same source. The key to trademark infringement is "likelihood of confusion," i.e., whether two marks are sufficiently alike to cause consumer confusion as to their source or origin. Courts consider the following factors in determining likelihood of confusion:

    1. Similarity of the conflicting marks;
    2. Relatedness or proximity of the two companies;
    3. Strength of the senior users mark;
    4. Marketing channels used;
    5. Degree of care likely to be used by purchasers in selecting the goods;
    6. The "second comer's" intent in selecting its mark;
    7. Evidence of actual confusion;
    8. Likelihood of expansion in product lines.

    In the instance of Poppl and Popelka, only criteria 2 and 4 are met. I'm sure Berthold would claim no. 3, too, but who speaks of Friedrich Poppl today? There is not nearly enough to be taken seriously here, especially as there is likely no evidence whatsoever to meet the important no.7. Linguistically, there's very little similarity between a two-syllable name with stress on the first syllable and a three-syllable name with stress on the second syllable.
  • Good points, Scott-Martin. Btw, Poppl is just a one-syllable word. Also nº 6 is interesting, I think this one goes to me as well.

    J. Collins informed me today that he will keep his position not to offer Popelka.
    He mentions a lawsuit “when we received a complaint regarding a font name that we considered to be comfortably distinct from the complainer's trademark. After a lawsuit and tens of thousands of dollars in lawyers fees, the settlement resulted in us still having to remove the fonts in question.”
    I can understand this position but I also have to draw my conclusions out of it. And my conclusion is: MyFonts sees themselves completely under the spell of aggressive players whose dirty work they’re going to do seemlessly when it is called for. For the disadvantage of smaller independent businesses whose benefits means nothing to them.

    Good to know. We’ll see.

  • I would have liked the idea of them acting on ground of common sense and balance. I’m fully aware of the financial implications – the claim by Berthold is not only ridiculous by its reasoning, it is also unreasonable in any economical sense. Berthold will never sue MF about Popelka, because there is the risk of “Poppl” never earning the costs they would have to burn beforehand in a lawsuit against “Popelka” with a most uncertain outcome. It just doesn’t make any sense! It only makes sense under the condition that B feels they can frankly handle MF as their puppets. The whole case is only about a single lawyer being obsessed by threatening someone else – just for the feeling of threatening someone else. The fact that MF is so submissive in such a case – without any discussions! – makes me angry and thinking. For me it turns MF from a partner into a risk.
    They say “rights” but the mean “money”. Not that this would be surprising, but it motivates me to go down the road and look for alternative options. As others have done before.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,084
    edited January 2017
    > Berthold will never sue MF about Popelka

    Wrong. They are lawyers, so it costs them ~nothing. Same with companies that have lawyers on the payroll. In fact those need to be kept busy somehow...
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