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  1. #1

    :banana American Tactical and the AT Symbol

    American Tactical has been using the AT symbol for over eight years, The ATC challenged them but was not as successful as they wished by having them drop the symbol. Here is what they have.



    The ATC challenged them to no avail. (Note: I dropped the discussion from Facebook.)

    Just for discussion purposes what is your opinion on this?

  2. #2

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    Best guess is that ATC let it slide too long to be actionable. You are required to defend your intellectual property or lose it.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  3. #3

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    True that. But if the hiking community were to come together to address them then they might drop it? Peed me off when I came across a gun mag with their advertisement as it has seemed to with others. I would like to get some folks together that would challenge them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    Best guess is that ATC let it slide too long to be actionable. You are required to defend your intellectual property or lose it.
    That and there is no overlap in products/services. In Radio Shack v. Auto Shack, that was a critical component in the branding case... people were coming into Radio Shack asking for Auto Shack and looking for car audio parts that both sold. Radio Shack won that case and this AutoZone was born.


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    i'ts a non-issue. no action needed

  6. #6

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    They look to have good products, but not much chance of confusing them with ATC. They may have arrived at the design independently, or may have stumbled on one of the very early metal trail markers out in the woods and liked it. It's hard to see the actual damage to the ATC, especially considering their excellent reputation.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    This would be a question of trademark infringement, assuming the Appalachian Trail Conservancy registered the trademark (I'm sure it did). In that case, American Tactical would be in violation of the trademark even if the services were totally different. If the Conservancy allowed the infringement to continue too long without contesting it, then yes, the delay might impact its infringement claim.

    Not enough information is provided for me to know for certain, but it doesn't seem to me that enough time has passed for the Conservancy to lose the rights to its trademark, assuming it was registered. Perhaps the Conservancy has approached this company but hasn't yet taken legal action? If legal action was actually taken and failed, I'd be surprised to learn that.

  8. #8

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    Tactical: relating to or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific military end.

    Using "tactical" in advertising is just hilariously pathetic to me. May as well go straight to "tacticool." Yeah, that describes my camping spoon, shovel, tent, slingshot, rifle, bandana... whatever.





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    The a t symbol looks like a tree.
    the angle of the a is critical for it to appear that way.
    The American tactical symbol looks nothing like a tree. It looks like a gable roof on a pole.



    Could ever be mistaken for one another?

    No

    So why would anyone care

    This is the kind of worthless BS that makes lawyers rich
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 01-18-2019 at 16:11.

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    Looks completely different. Is there a more basic letters symbol trademarked by the ATC?
    http://appalachiantrail.org/docs/def...5.pdf?sfvrsn=2
    Last edited by petedelisio; 01-18-2019 at 16:24.

  11. #11

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    Who cares.

  12. #12
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    The symbols look different enough to be different. Is the ATC going to go after every biz that has "AT" in it? Non issue. Put your time and treasure to better use.
    nous dťfions

  13. #13

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    If this is the biggest thing you have to worry about, thatís awesome. The logo shown above does have the registration symbol below it. Itís not like the AT is a business designed to make money. The company above is. Registration is to protect identity and revenue!

  14. #14

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    Agree they look similar but they’re so far apart no action is needed

  15. #15
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    It's likely a non-issue unless the mark has a significant chance of implying falsely that American Tactical in some way has ATC endorsement.

    Such endorsements are occasionally granted. I recall Darn Tough [paying/making a donation] for a trademark license and bringing out a line of AT-branded socks. Since ATC fund-raises in this way, it's by no means an open-and-shut case that American Tactical is in a different line of business. Darn Tough paid for the goodwill - no doubt taking part of it off in taxes, but it was still a net expense to gain the goodwill of the mark and the public's knowing that some portion of the price went to that particular charity.

    I believe that the socks had the 'sunrise over mountains' part of the current trade dress as part of the design, rather than just the AT logotype. I don't know whether the logotype itself is registered as a trademark, nor in what domain of endeavour it might be claimed.

    The case will depend very strongly on what goods and services ATC claimed in the original trademark application. Since ATC does make money off licensing the name, the "protect identity and revenue" aspect does come into it. In fact, I'd be willing to testify that there was at least one occasion that I chose the AT-branded socks over similar ones from the same manufacturer in a color that I liked better, simply because I knew that the company had promised that a buck or two of the price would go to supporting the ATC.

    I recall seeing American Tactical gear in the store a few years ago, and wondering about how that graphic could possibly be legitimate. At the time, the "American Tactical" wordmark was NOT part of the graphic on the package, but only in the fine print on the back. If I were on the jury, and the issue of 'confusing similarity' was raised, I'd have to side with ATC - in any case, that's a factual question for a jury to decide. (I also recall some line of gear being branded 'Appalachian Trails' - and I don't recall whether it was from the same vendor or not.)

    The 'defend it or lose it' aspect of trademark is overhyped. It's again a question for the jury whether the ATC knew or should have known that American Tactical was marketing under a confusingly similar brand. The law doesn't require you to police the marketplace affirmatively. The 'use it or lose it' question comes up mostly when a business's chief competitors start using the trademark as a generic term. There's often clear evidence that the trademark holder has market research on the competitors. Heck, they're often mentioned in things like the annual reports when discussing the business landscape. That's what happened to brands like Kleenex and Zipper - the competitors started using them as generic words and the marketeers were demonstrably aware of it. It's not clear that ATC knew or should have known of any possible infringement.

    Even if the 'AT-in-a-diamond' isn't registered, it's still possible that ATC has a common-law trademark right. One doesn't lose all trademark rights under state law by failing to register under Federal law.

    In any case, what's happened here is that American Tactical didn't immediately give ground in the face of a 'cease and desist' letter. The ball is in the ATC's court about how aggressively to pursue a case.

    It's not a slam-dunk for either party.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  16. #16
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    :banana

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    It's likely a non-issue unless the mark has a significant chance of implying falsely that American Tactical in some way has ATC endorsement.

    Such endorsements are occasionally granted. I recall Darn Tough [paying/making a donation] for a trademark license and bringing out a line of AT-branded socks. Since ATC fund-raises in this way, it's by no means an open-and-shut case that American Tactical is in a different line of business. Darn Tough paid for the goodwill - no doubt taking part of it off in taxes, but it was still a net expense to gain the goodwill of the mark and the public's knowing that some portion of the price went to that particular charity.

    I believe that the socks had the 'sunrise over mountains' part of the current trade dress as part of the design, rather than just the AT logotype. I don't know whether the logotype itself is registered as a trademark, nor in what domain of endeavour it might be claimed.

    The case will depend very strongly on what goods and services ATC claimed in the original trademark application. Since ATC does make money off licensing the name, the "protect identity and revenue" aspect does come into it. In fact, I'd be willing to testify that there was at least one occasion that I chose the AT-branded socks over similar ones from the same manufacturer in a color that I liked better, simply because I knew that the company had promised that a buck or two of the price would go to supporting the ATC.

    I recall seeing American Tactical gear in the store a few years ago, and wondering about how that graphic could possibly be legitimate. At the time, the "American Tactical" wordmark was NOT part of the graphic on the package, but only in the fine print on the back. If I were on the jury, and the issue of 'confusing similarity' was raised, I'd have to side with ATC - in any case, that's a factual question for a jury to decide. (I also recall some line of gear being branded 'Appalachian Trails' - and I don't recall whether it was from the same vendor or not.)

    The 'defend it or lose it' aspect of trademark is overhyped. It's again a question for the jury whether the ATC knew or should have known that American Tactical was marketing under a confusingly similar brand. The law doesn't require you to police the marketplace affirmatively. The 'use it or lose it' question comes up mostly when a business's chief competitors start using the trademark as a generic term. There's often clear evidence that the trademark holder has market research on the competitors. Heck, they're often mentioned in things like the annual reports when discussing the business landscape. That's what happened to brands like Kleenex and Zipper - the competitors started using them as generic words and the marketeers were demonstrably aware of it. It's not clear that ATC knew or should have known of any possible infringement.

    Even if the 'AT-in-a-diamond' isn't registered, it's still possible that ATC has a common-law trademark right. One doesn't lose all trademark rights under state law by failing to register under Federal law.

    In any case, what's happened here is that American Tactical didn't immediately give ground in the face of a 'cease and desist' letter. The ball is in the ATC's court about how aggressively to pursue a case.

    It's not a slam-dunk for either party.
    WOW! Great response/insight from a 'clueless weekender'!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    i'ts a non-issue. no action needed
    I agree, and I disagree

  18. #18

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    Unless American Tactical starts selling hiking boots I just can't see mistaking one for the other. Without really reaching I can't see how either one would affect the other as a business.
    Like stated above, this has already been ruled on.

  19. #19

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    I emailed both entities and this is the response first from the ATC and then Tactical Arms. I am just talking about it, it is not really that much of a thing to me, now that I have given it some thought. You guys are right, it is not really an issue.

    ATC's response

    "Larry,

    A few years ago, I had a running and fairly nasty correspondence tussle with this company (and its parents) and its lawyers, without any success except to force it to register the mark for guns. As with all trademarks, the complete A.T. diamond as we use it is registered/protected only for certain classes of products and services, and guns and the other weapons it sells arenít among them. To go to court against them on grounds of misleading the public would take six figures of cash we donít have, even with pro bono trademark lawyers (the procedural fees will kill ya!).

    Thanks for being on the watch! You might Google them at length to see the breadth of this company globally."

    American Tactical's response






    Mr. Riddle,
    My name is Christopher and I am the Compliance Manager for American Tactical.
    In 2011 the US Patent & Trademark Office granted American Tactical a registered trademark on our logo, which also incorporates our name.
    In 2013, we did receive a letter from Appalachian Trail regarding our logo, to which I replied regarding the trademark approval process we endured. In that letter I indicated that there was a challenge period during the approval process where no one challenged our registration application, and so it was approved by the USPTO following all of their legal vetting.
    Following that letter, we have had no further correspondence with any board members of Appalachian Trail.
    Our trademark logo has now been in use for more than 8 years after it was granted to us by a division of the US Department of Commerce. The registered trademarks of American Tactical and Appalachian Trail are distinctly different from each other, which the government agrees to or our registration would not have been granted.
    American Tactical greatly appreciates the educational and conservation efforts provided to the American public by members of Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

  20. #20

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    I think amercan tacticals trademark is kind of crappy anyway.

    Doesnt look lke they involved a graphic designer for $30,000. No use of negative space elements. Looks like joe schmoe came up with it for free. So 19th century.

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