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Friday, May 18, 2007

The CityLifeStylist Joins Lifestylists All Over the World

I received the following comment from The Lifestylist, author of http://lifestylistdesign.blogspot.com, on May 17, 2007:

"Please stop using the term Lifestylist as it is a trademarked term and can not be used without the permission of the real Lifestylist."

This is not the first time that this person has sent me such a notice. The first one, sent on April 3, 2007, even contained threat of legal action:

"Hi- I'm sure that you aren't aware, but the term Lifestylist(r) is a trademarked term and can't be used by anyone without my permission. Please take this term off you site and anywhere else that it's in use within 10 days to avoid legal action. Google and Blogger have been informed of the violation."

I registered with Blogger in March 2007 and they allowed me to use the username "thecitylifestylist". I posted my first entry on March 29, 2007 and began signing my posts as "The Lifestylist". I also registered at MyBlogLog as "thelifestylist" and was allowed to do so.

According to her Blogger User Stats, she has only been on Blogger since April 2007, and her first entry on her first Blogger blog was on April 1, 2007. It is clear, therefore, that I have not committed any violation, as she alleges.

We informed Blogger of her complaint and they sent the following as their reply to such allegations:

"It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the text of which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website: http://lcWeb.loc.gov/copyright/ ) and other applicable intellectual property laws, which may include removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity.

To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when you in fact do not. Indeed, in a recent case (please see http://www.onlinepolicy.org/action/legpolicy/opg_v_diebold/ for more information), a company that sent an infringement notification seeking removal of online materials that were protected by the fair use doctrine was ordered to pay such costs and attorneys fees. The company agreed to pay over $100,000. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether material available online infringes your copyright, we suggest that you first contact an attorney."

Clearly, Blogger warns against false accusations such as hers.

Still, I began to sign my posts as "The CityLifeStylist" as a courtesy. I could not, however, change my MyBlogLog username. I believe there is nothing wrong with keeping my account, either, since the term "lifestylist" is being widely used, as can be seen on the Internet.

The Lifestylist claims that the term "lifestylist" is a trademarked term that belongs to her. Searching the term "lifestylist" on Google, however, brings over 23,000 results. The first three pages alone produce the following:

1. http://www.luxurylifestylist.com (Sonya Crew and Laticia Booker)
2. http://www.tinadunne.com (Tina Dunne calls herself "Lifestylist" and owns the "Lifestyle Company," launched in 2003.)
6. http://mylifestylist.blogspot.com (Blog title: "The LifeStylist")
7. http://www.parade.com/articles/editions/2004/edition_07-11-2004/in_step_with_0 [Parade.com article title: Chris Madden ("Lifestylist" and writer) by James Brady]
8. http://lifestylism.blogspot.com (Post entitled "Artist as Lifestylist"; list of links called "Lifestylists")
9. http://activerain.com/lema (My LifeStylist Inc., owned by Leanne Martin, covering Real Estate, Interior Design, Wardrobing and Art Projects.)
10. http://www.lifestylist.us (Bettina, a lifestyle consultant from Orange County, California)

And the list goes on and on...

I hope this finally brings this issue to rest.


The CityLifeStylist

11 comments:

Jake The Miserable said...

Now that sounds to me like the person is suing all the English dictionaries for the term. :D

jillsabs said...

i wonder where she had it copyrighted? and can you even copyright something as seemingly generic as "lifestylist"?

i haven't gone through my copy of intellectual property law (or will that even apply in this case because the two of you are obviously from different countries) but the internet has always been a very touchy subject. because how can you possibly regulate something without boundaries? if ever a venue is established and judgment is handed down, how will it be enforced?

i've been with blogger for a few years now and i don't remember putting in all my details when i signed up. so there's really no way to pinpoint someone as the absolute subscriber.

oh well, guess i have to study some more :p

off the cuff, i seriously doubt that you're guilty of infringement. i'll get back to you with more definite answers soon :)

take care!

The CityLifeStylist said...

Thanks for the support, guys. ^_^

Francesca said...

I know this is an old post but I was doing a little research and stumbled upon it. I wanted to inform you that you are not infringing on Ms. Felber's registered trademark in any way. Your blog is more fashion based and after a little research I found the "Lifestylist"'s trademark file and it states that the term's use is for: INTERIOR DECORATING IN THE NATURE OF CREATING HOME AND OFFICE INTERIORS THAT REFLECT CUSTOMERS' PERSONAL TASTES.

I just felt the need to share the information with you.

Have a great day!

Therese San Diego said...

Hi, Francesca! Thank you very much for the information. I really appreciate it. :)

sechevarria said...

I just received the same email from "The Lifestylist" Suzanne Fiebler. I'm a direct seller for a mineral cosmetics company and she is insisting that we remove the word lifestylist from our webpage within 10 days or incur her wrath. I just want to redo women's cosmetics drawer, not their living rooms!

Therese San Diego said...

Hello, Steph! It's already 2010 and she's still at it? Sigh.

Thanks so much for sharing :)

Tina PC said...

I got the SAME thing on Twitter AND on Facebook today! I am The Healthy Lifestylist - which has NOTHING to do with interior decorating nor the other two niches she has trademarked under that name this year.....

She even told a person who was just describing themselves as a "poet, muse, artist, lifestylist", and she told them they could not use that either!

Bizarre!

Thanks for the post!
Big Love,
Tina

Therese San Diego said...

Hi, Tina!

Wow, this has been going on forever. I hope this post and the comments helped reassure you that we're not violating anything :)

Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Hillary said...

It's now 2012 and she's still at it. She just got facebook to shut down another "life stylist"'s page without warning and in the middle of a giveaway in partnership with The Container Store. No warning, no direct contact.

It's just bad small business mojo.

I'd encourage her to get a life. Or, at a minimum, work on her grammar (which is as appalling as her entrepreneurial spirit).

Therese San Diego said...

Hi, Hillary!

Thank you for sharing.

I wonder how Facebook went about the process of validating "The Lifestylist's" claim before shutting down that page. Do you mean Facebook did not even contact the page owner about the complaint prior to shutdown? :(