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August 10, 2012

Flattery? Stealing? An Issue for All Brands

They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.  But where does one draw the line?  We commend the work of animal welfare organizations, and were thrilled to learn of one in Peru that we previously did not know about.  I am speaking of a group called AsociaciĆ³n Defensora de Animales y Medio Ambiente ( ADAA ) .

Tell me what you think of our new logo!
Original logo by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt

Outside of our clinic in Iquitos, Peru.

Evolution of our logo:  A fabulous artist and author, Michele Nelson-Schmidt, donated her time to create the first Amazon CARES logo.

As our graphic design needs changed, we had our logo rendered professionally, utilizing Michelle's core vision.


This is the most recent incarnation of our logo:  We also have a version in Spanish.  Over the years we have spent money on building our brand, and this particular image is at the core of all of our marketing materials.
So how should we feel when we come across another Peruvian animal rescue group, the aforementioned Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment, based in Huancayo, Peru, has THIS logo?

What disturbs me even more is that their blog is an aggregate of news feeds, and their Facebook page seems dedicated to playing games on Facebook.  I can not find evidence of actual work that they do!

What would you do?  What should I do?  Comments are very welcome!

 

17 comments:

  1. It's obvious that their logo was taken from yours. I would contact them and politely ask them to change it. If they refuse, you made have to take legal action. You need to protect your logo and your brand!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Vicki, as I know how busy you are. Using Facebook pressure, we got the ADDA to change their logo!

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  2. Have your lawyer send them a letter asking that they change their logo and why. They may not realize they can't just use your logo like that. Better yet, does your laywer know, have a friend, whose a laywer in Peru? You'd probably get quicker results that way.

    And are Peru's copyright laws the same as here? Here you don't need to have it "copyrighted" per se, just prove that you have used it(Like you did in the post)and that theirs came into use after you had "established" your brand.

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    1. Great advice! However, before going to that expense I started applying a lot of pressure on them through FB. It worked! They changed their logo!

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  3. You will find branding and identity issues are behind many of the animosity amongst US Pet Shelters and Rescues as it is very important, money meant for you can end up in their hands because the brand identity appears to be you amongst other problems if they end up with bad PR. People remember scandals they don't remember the explanation that you were not part of it, that your ID was stolen.
    If you are working with a group of Attorneys down there for animal rights and this is not apparent to them make sure they understand. Every day you fight for funding, "Brand" or ID confusion could threaten that. Also, this is a way to impoverish people in the US. I myself have been a victim, there are several places online that have duplicated my copyrighted website, published it and are making money of it since GEOCITIES where I started. Considering I am blackmalled and barely surviving here, have not had health care in over 25 years. People don't understand what that means, many are mean about it and want to violate you for being a victim. As I said they don't care about the explanation people are too lazy to care. Fight now and be fierce or face a potentially serious problem in the future.
    Unchat

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  4. sorry I didn't edit that first!

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    1. That is fine Pamela. I really appreciate your passion and the time you took to write. We have managed to get the ADAA to change their logo (at least on Facebook)!

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  5. I agree with Vicki, I would start with a polite letter asking that they cease and desist using the logo, since it was obviously pirated from your logo. This letter should come directly from an attorney. In the same letter indicate that if the ADAA does not cease and desist using the logo, Amazon Cares would be forced to take legal action. Of course, I do not know the laws of Peru, but this certainly would be the first step to take in the United States.

    If the ADAA truly care about the welfare of animals, hopefully they will understand and change the logo. Its certainly worth trying as your logo is what you are all about!

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    1. Hi Debbie. We tried polite letters, believe me. One day I just went nuts and started writing to their supporters, and they changed their logo! Yea!

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  6. Thank you so much for your comments. We can find no contact info for this charity or even proof that the charity does anything. In Peru, copyright laws are different, and since we never officially registered our logo with a patent office, they can steal it. We will continue to dig, and keep everyone posted.

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  7. Yikes, that is lame! I have no idea about international trademarks, wish I could help.

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    1. Hi Kenn! I took your Hero Dogs of 9/11 to the Amazon on my most recent trip. All of our volunteers (an international group) were very moved. Thanks for commenting on this copyright issue. Using Facebook pressure, we got the ADDA to change their logo!

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  8. That is a blatant theft of your logo, but if it will cost a lot of money to pursue, I think it is likely not worth the use of resources. If it is indeed a legitimate animal charity, you both are on the same side, then I would shrug my shoulders and move on as there is *always* better things to spend money on than lawsuits, especially ones where the outcome is so uncertain. What I worry about is if it's a sham charity or a scam, capitalizing on CARES' goodwill to rip people off. Then you've got to pursue legal action. Just my two cents

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    1. Though I agree hiring a lawyer to draft a C&D letter makes sense. I take heart in the fact that it doesn't look like they're trying to solicit funds from anybody - it looks more like they're people who like to draw attention to animal cruelty and animal rights outrages almost as much as they like Zynga games...

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    2. Thanks Linda for your insights. Using Facebook pressure, we got the ADDA to change their logo! I happen to like their new one better too! Any interest in blogging for us again! You remain the best!

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  9. I agree with Pamela C. It is important that you get an international lawyer and prevail upon them to cease and desist. I did a search by image and the image is popping up a lot of places http://tinyurl.com/9y7pjrh. This reminds me of phishing schemes where bad people use email addresses to send out malware. At the very least, you can immediately report this to Google (Blogspot.com) and Facebook. Remember to include your statement "What disturbs me even more is that their blog is an aggregate of news feeds, and their Facebook page seems dedicated to playing games on Facebook. I can not find evidence of actual work that they do!"

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    1. Using Facebook pressure, we got the ADDA to change their logo! I happen to like their new one better too!

      Delete