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Sterling Management Systems complaint
On or about the 9th of November 2007 I was notified by my US host that my account "was deactivated (reason: terms of service violation)". As it turned out the webmaster of Sterling Management Systems had filed a complaint because I allegedly am "using Sterling Management Systems service mark, "STERLING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS," in [my] metatags" of two pages located here and here.
Below follows the complaint by the webmaster of SMS:
My name is Robert Georgius and I am the webmaster for Sterling Management Systems, a Glendale, California management company. Sterling Management Systems has been a successful consulting business for the past twenty five years. Like all successful businesses nowadays, SMS also has a website, which I administer. As the webmaster, I am responsible for optimizing the website. In January of 2006, the United States Patent and Trademark Office approved our application to register "STERLING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS," as a service mark under registration number 3043198. I am attaching a copy of that registration as proof of this fact. SMS uses this service mark extensively on its website to sell its products and services. As part of my job, I also monitor the Internet to ensure that nobody is illegally using Sterling's trademarks or service marks. In conducting one of these searches I came across a website hosted by Bluehost, whose customer is using our registered service mark "Sterling Management Systems," in his metatags. The owner of this website is using Sterling Management Systems service mark, "STERLING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS," in his metatags to illegally lure people to his website. Our service mark can be found in the metatags in the following Bluehost webpages: www.stop-wise.biz/Sterling_Management_Systems.html www.stop-wise.biz/Sterling_v_CAN.html I am not a lawyer, but I did do some of my homework on this and there are lots of cases where the courts said that using another's trademark or service mark in metatags is trademark infringement. The big one I found on the Internet was Brookfield Commc'n., Inc. v. W. Coast Entm't Corp., 174 F.3d 1036, 1066 (9th Cir.1999) where the court said that using somebody's service mark in metatags was trademark infringement. Again, I am not asking for the content to be removed, we just want his use of our service mark, STERLING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, taken out of the metatags. Thank you for your help with this. Sincerely, Robert H. Georgius Webmaster | Sterling Management Systems 350 West Arden Ave. | Glendale, CA 91203 Fon: 818-241-1144 | Fax: 818-241-4837 email: bob [at] sterling.us
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