|Don't Use the Word "Beanie"|
|Bits & Pieces About Ty Lawsuits
(Originally Published June 1999)
Category change on eBay . . .
"We are in the process of re-naming the "Toys and Beanies Plush" category to "Toys and Bean Bag Plush." was the announcement from eBay in June of 1999.
What was behind this? Ty is coming on strong with legal actions threatened against the companies and websites that use the word *BEANIE*. Can they do this? Apparently so! If giant eBay is changing the names of their topic listings, the smaller sites that have been threatened probably feel they also must remove or change their sites.
Can you sue a City?
If you do a search on the word *beanie* on the U.S. Trademark Search page and there will be several answers. The only one that is just *beanie* is not registered to Ty, Inc! It is registered to the town of Lima, Ohio. "The mark consists of a fanciful Lima bean wearing a hat or cap with the word "BEANIE" on the front." Have you even seen a 7 ft Beanie? Look at the Lima's Pride.
A son named Ty . . .
An early case that comes to mind involving Ty, Inc was back in 1996 when they took on Philip L. Giacalone. Giacalone had a son named Ty and proudly secured a domain name for him. Well, Big Ty took on little Ty with demands to cease business as ty.com. Giacalone then filed a complaint against Ty, Inc. and Network Solutions. Checking into this further, more information is found on the Davis & Schroeder website, (Giacalone's attorney). This says, in part "District Court granted Giacalone a temporary restraining order. Eventually the parties settled the ligation whereby Ty, Inc paid Giacalone a very significant sum of money both in settlement of the case and for the transfer of the "ty.com" Internet domain name to Ty, Inc." Of course, this case is quite different from the other Ty lawsuits, in that the intent was not to entice Ty collectors to come to his website.
It's not just a game anymore . . .
Another case of Ty, Inc. pursuing legal actions is found on Ms Janie's Collector's Studio. In "The Power of the Heart" . Janie Daniels writes "Ellie Keils is the creator of "The Beanie Chase" This game has been a godsend and a nightmare all rolled into one."
Ty, Inc doesn't have a Monopoly on lawsuits . . .
In a similar instance, another recent lawsuit was brought by Hasbro, Inc. against Clue Computing, Inc. At the final status hearing in October 2000, both sides agreed to have the judge would make the decision, no trial, based on the facts at hand. According to Clue Computing, Inc. web site, Hasbro lost the Federal appeal on 7 November, 2000.