The Trademark Debate Continues: A Battle Between Two Organizations

I know technically this blog is violating trademark law, but for this particular trademark I am having second thoughts. The gal that is pursuing this is also giving me some time to make the change, which I am very thankful for. While I have more time to make the changes I’ve decided to think about it some more.

The letter from her attorney states, “Your mark is identical to our client’s HEALTHY MOMS mark and the domain name is confusingly similar (her domain is thereto, and your informational services are competitive with or closely related to our client’s services. For these and other reasons, it is our client’s position that Internet users viewing your HEALTHY MOMS website at are likely to believe mistakenly that the site derives from our client, is affiliated with her, or enjoys her endorsement or sponsorship, all in violation of the trademark and unfair competition laws.”

Okay, so I run a health site for moms. I feature content on a variety of topics from health, nutrition, pregnancy, fashion, mental/emotional health and fitness. I also have expert writers in all of these areas so I can make sure my content is high quality. I also opened an online health and wellness store where I sell natural health products and affordable fitness equipment.

From the information provided on her website all she does is help pregnant and post natal mothers stay fit and healthy. Fitness is the main theme of her company and website. My website serves mothers of all ages from young mothers all the way to grandmothers. The main reason why I started it was to do my part in preventing childhood obesity. Is there a connection between the two? Are we that similar? I really don’t think so. Okay so that is my first point.

Point number two, Internet search. If you do an Internet search on the term “Healthy Moms” this blog is number one and directly below it is her website. Sounds pretty fishy, doesn’t it? I think that is how she found me. Also, there are 5,830,000 other websites under that search term. I will highlight some of them that appear toward the top of the search list.

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This is a typical mom blog. She writes about her journey to stay fit and healthy for her kids. The site is simple and she uses a free blogger template that I recognize. She doesn’t have a lot of comments which leads me to believe that this is a very personal site for her. Is she violating the trademark?

This is a blog which is a part of Working Mother Magazine. The content is very similar to mine. Different authors write on a variety of topics including, fitness, nutrition, friendships and allergies. Moms of all ages can relate to the content provided on this site. I think it is more competitive to my website than Healthy Moms Fitness. What do you think? Is Working Mother Magazine violating her trademark?

Okay, I suppose you are thinking, “Now wait a minute, how could they be violating her trademark?” I know the title is different but it has the same meaning. Healthy Mothers is very similar to Healthy Moms. And, when you type in “Healthy Moms” in Google this site is ranked number six on page three, which is pretty high in my opinion. Their website states, “
As a community based organization, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of North Florida main goal is to promote healthy pregnancies by providing prenatal education, family support services and positive advocacy of maternal and child issues. This website provides details on our valuable services for the expectant families, from educational classes and programs as well as well as other community resources that will benefit you. Please take a look at the available resources and contact us if we can be of assistance or if you would like to volunteer your time or support.” This I believe is the closest to healthymomsfitness. Also, they have their own registered trademark. How can two companies have a very similar registered trademark? Maybe I need to do more research on trademark law.

Healthy Moms: Workout from Home

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This website is about a blog and health service out of Madison, WI (where I am from). It is actually on their ABC news affiliate website. I think it is a community service program provided by the television station. Above is just a title of one of their articles. The complete series of articles are titled “Healthy Moms.” Again their messages are very similar to mine. The article series covers a variety of topics from fitness, to eating right, parenting and making healthy lifestyle changes. Is WKOW out of Madison, WI violating her trademark?

This is part of the federal government program, Let’s Move. If I am correct, government programs are exempt from trademark law. If an attorney is reading this and I am wrong, feel free to correct me. I think Let’s Move was started by the first lady, Michelle Obama in her efforts to promote health and wellness and end childhood obesity. The first lady can’t possibly be violating trademark law, can she?

This is another government program out of Humbolt County, California. They even have a logo. If you look closely on the bottom of their logo the artist dated it ’01. This program is a drug and alcohol program for moms. Because their logo has “Healthy Moms” directly on it does that mean that the Healthy Moms Fitness company endorses the program? What do you think? Is Humbolt County violating her trademark? Or are they exempt because it is a government program?

This is another mom blog. She writes about eating healthy. It looks like the site is fairly new because she doesn’t have a lot of comments. But I love her content! Is this mom blogger also violating trademark laws?

This is a community outreach program for pregnant mothers. Their website states, “Healthy Moms & Babes is an outreach ministry whose mission is to increase infant survival as well as foster the health of women, children and families.” But because it is a .org site does that mean that they are also exempt from trademark laws? If I changed my website to .org would I also be exempt? What do you think?

Happy and Healthy Mom

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This is another mom blog. Again, it is very similar to mine. She covers topics on health, fitness, pregnancy, product reviews and giveaways. Her blog looks like it is well established and she has over 200 followers on Facebook. Is this mom blogger also violating trademark laws? What do you think?

I know of other sites out there too, there is Healthy Wealthy Moms (mom blog), and Happy Healthy Moms on ning.

If I do have to make these changes I already have a domain name purchased from Go I also have a new title picked out for my website, but I really do not want to do all of this.

My point is this; if she really wants to defend her trademark is she going to spend the time and money to go after all of these companies, bloggers and organizations too or am I just being targeted because I am ranked number one in Google, have a large following on this blog and in my social networks and this is threatening her? What do you think? Do you think it was wise of her to trademark the term “Healthy Moms?” Should she have trademarked “Healthy Moms Fitness” instead? Should I take the time to make major changes to a website and community that is well established or just skip it and face the consequences? I worked hard for three years to get where I am now. While I have the time I am going to think hard about this decision.

I am looking forward to reading your comments on this topic.

Discuss this in our forum

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  • Jessica Warrick , September 24, 2010

    I would definitely send this link to her attorney and address this with an attorney she may just be going after you because your ranked #1 in front of her.

  • Cascia , September 24, 2010

    I think that you are correct. I'm thinking about contacting the people that run these other websites and see if they were contacted by her attorney on this matter.

  • The Suburban Princess , September 24, 2010

    I think that your argument is a valid one. I agree that she may just be targeting you because of your Google ranking. I would argue, based on your evidence, that unless she plans on pursuing each and every one of these other sites, she has no claim against yours. I would also be curious as to when her website was established in comparison to yours. Overall, I think that the term “Healthy Moms” is too broad for one person to own the rights to it on their website.
    It's kind of like Donald Trump trying to trademark the phrase “You're Fired”, when it is commonly used in everyday life.

    I think her and her attorney are just trying to intimidate you. I would fight them, but I know with your circumstances right now that it might just be easier to make a few changes to get them off of your back.

    Wishing you the best!

  • The Suburban Princess , September 24, 2010

    One other thing – have you met with an attorney just to see what your options are? It couldn't hurt. 🙂

  • Cascia , September 24, 2010

    I really want to meet with an attorney but I just can not afford one right now. I don't want to seem like a wimp and just let her have her way because I am poor. I'd like to remain a strong person and stand up for my business. I just need help. If any of you could please tweet about this post, or share it with your readers or retweet my recent tweets on this topic, maybe just maybe someone would be willing to help me.

    My twitter id is cltalbert

  • Anonymous , September 24, 2010

    Playing devil's advocate here: If you speed through a yellow/red light and you get caught, but several others pass you, does it make it fair that the others didn't get caught? She pays money out of her pocket for a registered trademark which looks like she started 20 something years ago (a time way before blogging). I highly doubt she is targeting you because your name is before hers, it is all about hits/google analytics, number 1 and 2 spots will vary and interchange from time to time (I don't think she would be paying money for an attorney for something that petty as being before hers) You have no idea if the others have been contacted, they may not be as vocal about it, maybe several letters have been sent out, but each letter is confidential to the person it is sent too. It is a trademark law, it is a violation, she pays for it. It sucks and am sure you would feel the same way if it was reversed and you been paying this for the last two decades.

  • Cascia , September 24, 2010

    Annonymous, that is a very good point and your point is exactly why I need to think hard about this before I make any major changes. I have thought about putting myself in her position. I don't think she had the trademark for twenty year. According to the documents sent to me she registered it in 1994 which was 16 years ago, but you are correct that was way before blogging.

  • Anonymous , September 24, 2010

    In the big picture, 16yrs vs 20yrs doesn't matter in the court of law, what matters is she pays for a trademark that is registered and you are in violation. You have to think what would hold up if this was to go to court and how the judge would come to a verdict. It doesn't matter who else is out there or who else is in violation, the judge won't care where you rank vs her ranking in Google…This case is her against you and that is how the judge has to focus in this case. I hope this helps!

  • Cascia , September 24, 2010

    Annonymous, thanks for your help. I am going to speak to an attorney before I do anything with my website and business.

  • Anonymous , September 24, 2010

    I would definitely go see an attorney. She has two registrations, and the registration she has for a website claims first use in 1989, which sounds odd to me-lying to the USPTO can be grounds for having your mark cancelled. Also, healthy moms is a really weak mark, even with a registered mark she has to prove likelihood of confusion.

  • Anonymous , September 24, 2010

    Also, it does matter that many others are using “healthy moms.” Use of the same mark means that its source identifying function is really weak as to any particular entity, and is a factor in the likelihood of confusion test.

  • Anonymous , September 25, 2010

    There is a prepaid legal service that you may be able to use to secure a lawyer to help you with this. Sounds like you're getting some good advice from a knowledgeable source in the comments.

  • Cascia , September 25, 2010

    Anonymous, I can not find the proof that she told the USPTO about her website being registered in 1989. Her domain name was registered in 1998.

  • Jennifer , September 25, 2010

    I don't think you have anything to worry about. She must have an attorney friend or family member so it isn't costing her anything so she figured she would try to scare you into changing your name. I don't think she would win a trademark case. The fitness in her name totally changes the meaning.

  • Petula , September 25, 2010

    I misspoke on the other comment, I was thinking of You have some valid points here… as I keep saying I do wish you oodles of luck that this will work out the best for you.

  • Cascia , September 25, 2010

    I found an attorney but I can't afford his retainer. Please help by donating through the paypal link on my sidebar. I really think I can win this without going to court.

  • jpshaw , September 26, 2010

    Okay I'm confused, what is she exactly suing you for? What do you mean by trademark? Do you mean logo? Or do you mean the name itself? If it's the name itself suing can't be done if you registered your domain name because if she had hers registered you wouldn't be able to buy it.

    The two sites are vastly different with some similarities but I mean I don't get this.

    the term “mommy blogger” isn't trademarked and what if it were, does that mean every mommy blogger out there with the term mommy blogger would have to change the use of their name or even logo?

    I don't think so.

  • Cascia , September 26, 2010

    jpshaw she is threatening to sue me for the term “Healthy Moms.” But as I indicated with the links to all those other websites and organizations “Healthy Moms,” is a very generic term found in today's every day vocabulary indicating the importance of moms and their families to stay healthy. When she trademarked it that term was not that common but today it is considered a weak trademark. I have to do something fast to either make some changes or hire an attorney. Sometime this week you will find out what I decided to do.

  • Cascia , September 26, 2010

    Thank you for all of your comments and support on this. I decided to go ahead and make some changes. I am looking for someone who is willing to help me design a new logo, header and buttons. If any of you are interested please let me know.

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