Copyright Infringement: The Coveted vs. The Coveted

UPDATE #5, February 1, 2011 A few minutes ago I saw the tweet below by @thecoveted. It looks like everything has been resolved! I am thrilled it all worked out for Jennine, and want to thank everyone for banding to together and showing their support. If anything, this unfortunate blog war showed that fashion bloggers – as a community – stick together and support one another. When a fashion blogger says “I got your back”, they undeniably mean it!

controversy blog  Copyright Infringement: The Coveted vs. The Coveted

UPDATE #3, January 27, 2011: Please, please read Jennine Jacob’s own post and response to this ongoing blog war on her site, the REAL The Coveted, in her post entitled “Response from TheCoveted [dot] com : Don’t talk about us or we’ll sue.

UPDATE #4, January 27, 2011: Please consider showing your support for the-coveted.com by signing this petition which was sponsored by Rachel of The Greyest Ghost and Poochie of Shoe Daydreams. Click the link or sign it using the widget to the right.

How many of you have seen the 1992 film Single White Female?  The premise is fairly simple: Allie and Hedy become roommates.  As their friendship grows, Hedy begins to act more and more like Allie.  Eventually, Hedy decides she wants to be Allie and the craziness commences.

We have all heard the saying “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, right?  In some instances it certainly can be, while in others, as illustrated above, it is quite the opposite.

In human relationships this is extreme behavior is categorized as a personality disorder and is often referred to as “SWF Syndrome.”   In the world of blogging, however, I call this type of behavior COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

There is no arguing that copyright infringement and SWF Personality Syndrome are two different things.  I am not trying to say they are the same.  What I am trying to say is that there are parallels that can be made between the two:

  • In the case of SWF Syndrome, an individual’s identity is stolen.
  • In certain instances of copyright/trademark infringement, a brand or blogger identity is stolen.

Still not convinced?

Exhibit A:

The Coveted, founded by Jennine Jacob in 2007:

controversy blog  Copyright Infringement: The Coveted vs. The Coveted

Exhibit B:

The Coveted*, founded by Erin Kleinberg and Stephanie Mark in 2011:

(*note: I will refer to them as The UN-Coveted for the duration of this post for easy differentiation.  And because Jennine’s The Coveted is the only real The Coveted in my opinion):

controversy blog  Copyright Infringement: The Coveted vs. The Coveted

Obviously,  The UN-Coveted has not copied Jennine’s content, so no copyright infringement in the typical sense has occurred.  However, as a fashion-focused blog, they have stolen Jennine Jacob’s Brand.   The Coveted is undeniably her creation.  It is her brand and her online identity, plain and simple.  And The UN-Coveted has stolen that brand and identity.

UPDATED January 25, 2011: Read the Jennine’s personal statement about this issue on The Racked – Blog Wars: The-coveted.com vs. Thecoveted.com Naming Controversy.

Jennine has spent the last few years not only establishing The Coveted, but also carving out a name for herself as one of the most-respected and influential fashion bloggers in the world.   Shortly after establishing The Coveted, she launched Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB).  This online community was the first of its kind (to my knowledge) and is undoubtedly one of the most valuable resources available to fashion bloggers today.  The first IFB Evolving Influence Conference, which focused on the future of fashion blogging, was held in February 2010.  The tremendous success of the conference resulted to a second being held in September 2010, and now a third to be held in February 2011.  Most recently she launched a second personal blog entitled eat, sleep, denim.   All of this began with The Coveted.

It is clear, in my mind, that the individuals behind The UN-Coveted are exploiting Jennine’s brand.  By using the name “The Coveted” they are undeniably receiving visitors meant for Jennine’s site.  How do I know this?  Because that is exactly how I came across them.   Although The Coveted is a site I follow by RSS, I manually typed in “www.thecoveted.com” in my browser window last night and BAM., there I was… looking at the wrong site.  This is what happened next:

Me, talking to myself (don’t judge, you know you do it to!):

  • Wow, Jennine totally revamped her site again.  Looks really different.
  • After exploring the home page some more: Hmmm… not sure how I feel about this new approach.
  • I don’t get it, this doesn’t seem like her content. Click on About Page.
  • WHAT?!?!  How can these people be using her Brand?  Isn’t that stealing her identity?!

So… there you have it.  The UN-Coveted is clearly gaining traffic and exposure at the expense of Jennine’s brand.   Instead of hitching a ride on the wave of her success, they should re-brand themselves.

No one respects a thief, and in my mind this is certainly a form of stealing.  It is a form of trademark infringement.  The issue isn’t the URL they are using – it goes deeper than that.  The issue is the brand that Jennine Jacob established in 2007.

What do you think?  Infringement or no?  What words of advice would you offer to Jennine, if any?

UPDATE #2, January 25, 2011: In response to this situation, Signature9 wrote a great piece entitled Eminent Domain: What to Do When Your Brand is Coveted. Check it out for info on the legal side of this mess.

**********

Disclaimer: The opinions stated above are my own and based on the fact that the existence of this new site diverted my personal visit meant for Jennine’s site to their own. I don’t know for a fact that the individuals behind the UN-Coveted were aware of Jennine’s site (no one will really ever know) when they created their own, but I have a very difficult time believing that anyone with any interest in or affiliation to the fashion industry has not heard of The Coveted.  I was aware of its existence long before I became a blogger as it is one of the most well-known fashion blogs in existence. Further, it would be poor business sense to launch a professional blog like this without doing some research on the name they chose. I did some quick online research and came across this recent Refinery29 article which focuses on the new site and dubs them the Selby of closets.  Without a doubt, news of Jennine’s site has reached them by now based on the reader response to this article.  The question now really is – will they address this issue?

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                                                          • Eboni Ife' January 28, 2011, 3:17 PM

                                                            yeah, this is bull. Even if they didn’t know, which I highly doubt, I am sure they found out pretty quickly that the name and more importantly, the brand was taken. Be it that Jeanine’s blog and brand is beyond well established, this newbie should gracefully bow out. Beyond that, when you consider all that Jeanine has contributed to the blogging community as a whole, she is a blogger to be respected. Not that we all don’t deserve the same respect, but Jeanine especially… come on now! This is a woman who has used her blog and brand to open doors for other bloggers and legitimize fashion blogging in a whole new way. If nothing else, just have a little respect for this woman and all that she has done for this community.
                                                            Eboni Ife’ latest blog post: Good Intentions

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 29, 2011, 2:42 PM

                                                            I agree 100% – and read your own post on the subject earlier today. Brilliant email. So glad you shared!

                                                            It’s unfortunate that with ALL of the ties this “newbie” has to the fashion industry, none of them were able to mention that “oh, by the way, The Coveted” already exists. Such a shame. Think of all the bad press they could have been avoided! But then again, bad press is still press, isn’t it?

                                                            Still waiting for them to gracefully bow out AND now offer an apology for their ridiculous response.

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                                                          • Team Jennine January 28, 2011, 3:25 AM

                                                            Please keep this in front of them so they can’t ignore this.

                                                            1. Coveted2 obviously has a big PR budget and industry connections. The less we talk about their asshole behavior in regards to naming, the more you will only see stories about so and so’s closet, and how “OMFGLOL I looooove this site, it’s soooo original that someone looked at the Selby and decided to do it for clothes!!!! How awesome is it that people who work at fashion magazines have fabulous designer clothes?” type comments and tweets. Before this, I did like the idea, but they haven’t cured cancer here.

                                                            2. I suggest the following:

                                                            - on Twitter, track all responses to their account (@coveteddotcom), politely respond to the person explaining that you love fashion too, but you don’t like them infringing on Jennine’s brand. Link to a story explaining the controversy. For every tweet about how OMFGLOL amazing!!! they are, there needs to be at least one about how WTF? their response to the naming has been

                                                            - on Facebook, reply to their updates with similar comments. Again, be polite – don’t call them names, don’t insult them or give them any ammunition to threaten Jennine with. Stick to what they’ve done, which is insulting all on its own.

                                                            On Facebook they will probably delete any posts you make. Keep posting, and keep replying to their posts and other peoples posts until they’re forced to stand up and face this in a more honest way. Make their PR earn that check by having to constantly sort through responses that WILL NOT GO AWAY until they grow a backbone and stop treating this as some “little” blogger issue (my interpretation).

                                                            - Contact the people who’ve appeared on the site, using the contact links on their websites. Tell them that while you enjoyed seeing their personal style choices, you do not support infringement on a blogger without industry connections and a PR budget.

                                                            - Erin Kleinberg’s contact information from her website is erin@erinkleinberg.com, her press representative is eglass@theglobeshowroom.com

                                                            Send an email expressing your disappointment in the way she is handling the naming controversy. Do not use personal insults, do not call Erin or any of her partners names. Goodness knows they haven’t been, but you keep it classy.

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                                                          • Eboni Ife' January 28, 2011, 3:57 PM

                                                            I totally agree, they are treating this as a “little” blogger issue but Jeanine is NO LITTLE BLOGGER, not that it would be okay if she was, but I find this to be particularly disrespectful because of who Jeanine is and all that she has done for the blogging community. What they don’t know is that by messing with her, they’ve messed with all of us, too. :)
                                                            Eboni Ife’ latest blog post: Good Intentions

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 29, 2011, 2:39 PM

                                                            I agree that they chose the wrong person to disrespect. Jennine means to much to this blogging community to just sit back and let this slide. No way.

                                                            Further, the fact this happened to someone of her caliber means, undoubtedly, that it could happen to any of us. So claim those trademarks people! If you are building a brand, make sure you do what you need to in order to protect yourself from something like this happening in the future!

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 29, 2011, 2:36 PM

                                                            Thank you for your comment and advice. I noticed that you have been spreading your suggestions around the web – please keep continuing to do so as more posts on this issue arise! You make some fabulous suggestions here and I hope many listen to them.

                                                            As you said, we can be classy about this issue, even if they are not!

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                                                          • Rachel @ The Greyest Ghost January 27, 2011, 6:38 PM

                                                            Thanks so much for helping to spread the word about the petition! It’s so important to show the new site’s lawyers exactly how many of us were confused by its appearance.
                                                            Rachel @ The Greyest Ghost latest blog post: Betsey Johnson Fall…1979

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 29, 2011, 2:34 PM

                                                            Rachel, I am happy to spread the word as much as possible. Based on the amount of signatures you’ve already received, it looks like we weren’t the only few who were confused by the sudden appearance of this new site! Thanks again to you and Poochie for spearheading that!

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                                                          • Joanne Faith January 27, 2011, 5:37 AM

                                                            It ticks me off to see a blatant name-jack like that! The concept & the photographs might be brilliant, but it rubs me the wrong way. I couldn’t possibly believe that the founder of the ‘Un-Coveted’ wouldn’t have known about The Coveted… they just know a wee bit too much about fashion!
                                                            Joanne Faith latest blog post: Black Magic Twenty-Seven Names Winter 2011

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 29, 2011, 2:28 PM

                                                            Truthfully, even the concept isn’t that original (see The Selby and StyleLikeU for similar concepts). The photography is brilliant, but understandably so because the founders of The UN-Coveted do have some major connections. Erin is a designer with her own clothing line who has worked with W Magazine, and Stephanie is a former assistant to ELLE’s Kate Lanphear. Even if they didn’t know about The Coveted. someone in their circle certainly did. The fact that they still went forward with the name and now refuse to change it speaks volumes.

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                                                          • Storm January 26, 2011, 5:49 PM

                                                            Just want to say that i love your new header! & that i think its totally, excuse my language, but bullshit that the other website didn’t know about Jeannies blog. Seriously? find your own name.

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 29, 2011, 2:23 PM

                                                            I agree completely, they need to admit they are wrong and find their own name. Jennine is owed an apology in this situation, not threats of litigation!

                                                            And thanks for the compliment on my new header!

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                                                          • fuyume January 26, 2011, 3:51 PM

                                                            I don’t believe for a minute that this other site didn’t know about jennines blog. I basically think they purposely chose the url and name to grab traffic meant for jennine. Soo many times i’ve accidentally typed in thecoveted instead of the-coveted and I bet loads of others have too. Its shocking but i’m team Jennine all the way.
                                                            fuyume latest blog post: 30 Things I Want To Do The Year I Turn 30

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 26, 2011, 5:21 PM

                                                            I agree – my gut tells me they knew exactly what they were doing when they picked that name AND that URL. It’ll be interesting to see how this ends up playing out – hopefully it results in something that will make Jennine happy.

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                                                          • Kristin January 26, 2011, 1:11 PM

                                                            I’ve yet to read a response from them. I think that speaks volumes. Also, I think it’s beautiful the way the blogging community is rising up in support of Jennine!
                                                            Kristin latest blog post: Flower Power

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 26, 2011, 3:27 PM

                                                            Agreed. As far as I know they haven’t directly replied to any of this, although someone with a strikingly similar last name to one of teh founders has made random comments basically saying that The UN-Coveted is better. Classy.

                                                            I agree – it’s wonderful the way the community is supporting her. Also just as wonderful – the grace and aplomb she is showing in this situation. Instead of focusing on this mess, she is STILL dedicating her time to making IFBcon a remarkable experience for everyone.

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                                                          • jill (polkadot) January 26, 2011, 10:55 AM

                                                            Unbelievable timing! We must have been literally reading each others posts and commenting and crossing wires – from the other side of the world. I love when that happens.

                                                            I don’t know if my long comment went thru – I was adding links etc… will check now. Then have to run out to visit a dear 86 year old friend in hospital – Major Bobby Collins – there’s nothing that cheers me up and puts things in better perspective for me than to see his smiling face and watching him charm the pants off everyone in the ward of Chelsea & Westminster hospital.

                                                            THANK YOU, Beautifully Invisible! xoxo
                                                            jill (polkadot) latest blog post: angels everywhere

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 26, 2011, 3:21 PM

                                                            I hope you had a lovely visit with Major Bobby – hugs.

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                                                          • jill (polkadot) January 26, 2011, 10:40 AM

                                                            Well this is timely!

                                                            I’m trying to find a post my sweet friend in London, Shini of Park&Cube, did about a similar copycat situation with Pascal’s Zurich based blog, fashion bits&bobs: aha, here it is:
                                                            http://www.parkandcube.com/?p=6917

                                                            It happened the same time as my Elle thing. And in the case of the Pascal’s blog, the copycat immediately took it down soon as he/she was exposed.

                                                            Having just lost December 2010 to a battle with Spanish Elle that I ultimately did not win – and this was with a wonderful lawyer donating her time… I wish I could cite a legal precedence but in my case, the Elle employees were smug – and rightly so – and secure in their knowledge that they could behave as badly as they wanted, call me names, whatever, and I’d never win against the legal force behind Hachette Filipacchi.

                                                            In the case of The Coveted, perhaps because I”m UK based and I don’t know most of the best blogs globally, I didn’t know the REAL Coveted well (altho I’m a member of IFB, so shame on me!) but it’s pretty easy to know who’s copying who. Yes it’s possible that the UnCoveted creator just woke up one day, having just arrived on planet Earth, and had an urge to start a blog and that name just came to her, as if in a dream, but even so: soon as she realised someone already had that name, that was the time to pick another one. It’s not rocket science.

                                                            Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it’s taken me two months to realise that in my journey, it’s time to let it go. The reason I said the timing is amazing is I just spent this afternoon writing a really long post on the subject (and still haven’t actuallly explained what happened: my brain just can’t do it succinctly right now, there’s too much else going on):
                                                            http://streetstylelondon.blogspot.com/2011/01/angels-everywhere.html

                                                            but the point I just wanted to make is what a friend named Karin Robinson said.. it’s in the post.

                                                            You’ve also been so kind and supportive and generous spirited to me, Beautifully Invisible, and I want to say it here so others can know, too. You have a strong sense of right and wrong and I feel I share that sense, and I’m just grateful that there are people like you out there. As for the UnCoveted: well what can you say, really. It’s like with the Spanish Elle girls: in the end I just kind of feel sorry for them, that they can’t know the joys of creating something of their own.
                                                            jill (polkadot) latest blog post: angels everywhere

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 26, 2011, 3:20 PM

                                                            Hi Jill, I left you a comment on your site re: ELLEgate – I am glad you are finally finding some peace after that whole mess. Hope Roz and her family are as well. I was happy to help in any way that I could, I just wish i had been able to do more. Your story, and now Jennine’s, are just very disheartening to me. It’s remarkable to me that it isn’t small, inexperienced blogs or organizations that are committing these infringements, but large companies and people with heavy ties to the fashion industry. It’s baffling.

                                                            Thank you for sharing that link regarding what happened to Pascal. I will check it out as soon as I have an opportunity later this evening. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that The REAL Coveted will find some sort of justice in this case… and that the UNCoveted will get their due.

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                                                          • tiffany January 25, 2011, 5:38 PM

                                                            I skimmed (but did not read) that refinery29 article and was wondering why the called The Coveted a “new fashion blog”. I thought “that’s not new, her blog has been around forever!” but I didn’t click on the link so I didn’t see the different site. That really is unfortunate. I had something similar happen to me with a facebook fan page called “I am stylish” which I didn’t really care about but they took my header and chopped it up (and added ugly flowers to it) and made it their main picture so when people stumbled upon it and saw the header they just associated it with my blog until they read the wall contents and were thoroughly confused because none of the stuff sounded like me. Weird stuff. I guess I would be screwed if someone bought iamstylish.com because people so often misspell “style-ish” or don’t realize that I spell it differently (I know this because the top search to my blog is “i am stylish”) I think this is a lesson to me to buy that domain and just have it forward to my site. I agree that there is no way that the site owners didn’t do their research because if you google “the coveted blog” Jeninine’s blog is the first thing that pops up.

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 26, 2011, 3:03 PM

                                                            Hi Tiffany, thanks for your comment! Your experience with that Refinery29 article is just another example of how easy it is for someone to mistake this new site for Jennine’s. The fact that they haven’t responded to the uproar speaks volumes, IMO.

                                                            It’s unfortunate that something of a similar nature happened to you as well. As someone who is still fairly new to the blogging scene, I find it very disheartening to see/hear about the many instances of copying that bloggers are subjected to. I am just dumbfounded by it. I think the lesson you mention above – buying domains that could be mistaken for our own – is an important one. That will work assuming they are available. I might have to go buy a few more myself.

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                                                          • Cate January 25, 2011, 4:13 PM

                                                            i’m so glad you talked about this. i haven’t had a chance to read all the updated links you added yet, but i feel like there HAVE to be some legality issues at play here. but my issue is this: as you rightly said anyone worth their salt in the fashion industry has heard of the coveted, so as far as im concerned, this is CLEARLY a ploy to pull traffic. i’m interested to see how they respond.
                                                            Cate latest blog post: Preview

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 4:25 PM

                                                            Hi Cate – there are definitely some legal issues at play here, as you suspected. The Signature9 link addresses those quite well. It’s actually a pretty valuable article for ALL bloggers to read, as this is something that could happen to anyone who has/is establishing a brand/trademark for themselves.

                                                            I agree 100% with this statement: “anyone worth their salt in the fashion industry has heard of the coveted.” That says it all, doesn’t it?

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                                                          • WendyB January 25, 2011, 2:49 PM

                                                            Wow — vivid illustration of how that new site is really siphoning off/benefiting from her traffic and brand awareness.

                                                            It’s really unfortunate this happened to someone who is so nice and helpful to others. I would never have started my blog without Jennine’s encouragement.
                                                            WendyB latest blog post: Jewel of the Month- Black Swan Ring

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 3:42 PM

                                                            I have spoken to or heard from quite a few others who mentioned having similar experiences that drove them to this new site instead of Jennine’s. The thing is, people who are more familiar with her can usually figure out that this new site ISN’T hers. It might take a second – but we do.

                                                            Someone who ISN’T that familiar with her, or someone who might be new to IFB or to blogging, may not realize that just by looking at it. Unless they click on that about page, they might think they are on The (Real) Coveted. That is beyond ridiculous. It shouldn’t happen. It’s her brand, they shouldn’t be allowed to use it.

                                                            I don’t know Jennine expect through IFB and her blog, but I do know and respect what she has done for this community. It’s a shame that something like this has happened, especially now when she is (AGAIN) working so hard to help make the upcoming IFB Evolving Influence Conference a success.

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                                                          • A Reader January 25, 2011, 12:19 PM

                                                            I was astonished when I saw the new site. I have to believe that the choice of names was intentional on the part of the new bloggers. In any case, I hope that Jennine will take appropriate legal action. As for me, I’ve decided to boycott the new blog.

                                                            Here’s some info on name dispute resolution and the internet, in case anyone’s interested:

                                                            http://www.icann.org/en/udrp/

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 3:38 PM

                                                            Thanks for the link!

                                                            I am with you on boycotting the new blog. The idea isn’t even original, its a rip off of The Selby and StyleLikeU. Truthfully, I didn’t even want to add links to it in this post because I don’t want to drive any traffic to it, but I feel I had to to be fair in the post.

                                                            Jennine’s The Coveted is the only REAL The Coveted.

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                                                          • Arash Mazinani January 25, 2011, 11:23 AM

                                                            Yeah it is a shame, I’ve been seeing it pan out on twitter. I agree with Grit & Glamour, I’m not sure about the actual legality of it but usually you google the name of your proposed business/blog before setting it up. Seems a bit strange that they didn’t do such a simple action.

                                                            Blog:http://www.arashmazinani.com
                                                            Twitter:@arashmazinani

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 3:25 PM

                                                            Check this article on Signature9 out for some info on the legal side of this issue: http://www.signature9.com/electrotech/eminent-domain-name-what-to-do-when-your-brand-is-coveted

                                                            I agree it’s strange they wouldn’t Google the name first – which is why I have a hard time believing they didn’t. :)

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                                                          • Grit and Glamour January 25, 2011, 9:58 AM

                                                            In terms of legality, I don’t know what rights the parties in this situation have. But I do know this: a simple Google search would have revealed The [REAL] Coveted by Jennine. And upon seeing that, the founders of The UN-Coveted should have thought, “Dang, someone’s got our name already. Guess we’ll have to come up with something else.” Shame on them. Why would they want to open themselves up to that? Why would you want your new, great site to be confused with another? Or are they that daft that they didn’t do any homework? I hardly think it’s the latter.

                                                            ••V••
                                                            http://www.gritandglamour.com
                                                            @gritandglamour
                                                            Grit and Glamour latest blog post: How to Submit a Post to IFB Links à la Mode

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 3:24 PM

                                                            Signature9 actually posted a great piece on eminent domain that delves into some of the legality behind a case like this. It is full of good information that ALL bloggers should take note of when it comes to branding and what their rights are. Not sure if it would make sense as an addition to your BABB page, but its definitely a good resource: http://www.signature9.com/electrotech/eminent-domain-name-what-to-do-when-your-brand-is-coveted

                                                            I think there was definitely intent on their part in picking this name… they knew exactly what they were doing. They just had no idea it would cause this type of stir!

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                                                          • Fabienne Jach January 25, 2011, 9:57 AM

                                                            I will say that I would have been more forgiving if it had been an inexperienced blogger. This doesn’t seem to be the case, it’s a web site. The company I do for does extensive trademark searches for any potential use of a name, this is the case with launching a web site. With the internet, a really basic search would have revealed that the name is in use. This may not have been an act of malice but it was not an act of ignorance. Launching a business is not child’s play, it’s work and one has to be prepared to do it responsibly.

                                                            I’m sorry to hear this happened.
                                                            Fabienne Jach latest blog post: Trouble in paradise

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 3:19 PM

                                                            I agree completely, a novice blogger or someone with no connections to the industry would be different. As you said, that is not the case here at all. I don’t think it was an act of malice, but i honestly do feel there was intent behind it – intent to divert traffic meant for an already successful-blog.

                                                            Thanks for your comments!

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                                                          • Erika January 24, 2011, 11:50 PM

                                                            This scares the living sh*t out of me, to be quite frank! I heard about this earlier when Jennine tweeted about it and I was floored – there is NO way they can’t no, right? This could happen to anyone, so it seems.

                                                            I feel horrible for Jennine – I hope she is able to salvage something and that the “UNcoveted” perhaps changes their domain name, at least!

                                                            XO,
                                                            Erika
                                                            http://www.styleactivist.com

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 3:16 PM

                                                            I agree, Erika – I think it is a complete cop out to say they didn’t know. They had to have. Who doesn’t at least do SOME research into a potential name/brand?

                                                            Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, they lived in a hole the past few years and really DIDN’T know about The (REAL) Coveted. They know about it NOW, so what is being done? Nothing. They can still make this right, question is, will they?

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                                                          • Style Underdog January 24, 2011, 6:35 PM

                                                            Yes, yes, yes. I just read about the “uncoveted” blog this morning. I was shocked and confused how this could happen. Thank you for posting this.

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 3:12 PM

                                                            I am just sad that this has happened. It could happen to any of us in the future, so it is something we should all be aware of if we plan to develop a brand!

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                                                          • Elle January 24, 2011, 4:16 PM

                                                            They most definitely did it on purpose- pretty much everyone who’s a big name fashion blogger knows of IFB and consequently- its owner- Jennine, and most likely has read her story there and seen her personal sites. It’s really discomforting that Refinery29 would allow it- and it’s very unprofessional of them too…

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 3:10 PM

                                                            Elle, I agree. I really, really don’t see how they could not have known about the existence of The Coveted before launching their site. Refinery29 isn’t the only site that was going-on about the “much-anticipated” arrival of this site. They certainly must have friends in high places considering all of the publicity they are getting. Too bad for them that the publicity is taking a negative turn now that people are realizing the brand already belongs to someone else. They should have done their homework better.

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                                                          • A Brit Greek January 24, 2011, 3:36 PM

                                                            Wow this is totally nuts and just really shocking! I agree with the comments the girls have made here, it is just sincerely wrong what they’ve created!

                                                            Great post B and thanks for bringing it up, interestingly enough, i just typed in to Google, ‘The coveted’ to see what would come up, Jennine’s is on top along with the UN-Coveted and a magazine called the Coveted based in Scotland too!

                                                            x.o.x.o
                                                            A Brit Greek latest blog post: Victoria Beckham- Vogue covers- past &amp present

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:54 PM

                                                            Hi Sweetie! Thanks for the comment.

                                                            I agree completely – it is just unacceptable!

                                                            I did the same thing and googled with similar results (the first 4 entries were all Jennine’s when I tried it), followed by the UN-Coveted and the Scottish magazine. Craziness.

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                                                          • Meg January 24, 2011, 2:29 PM

                                                            Oh wow this is totally freaky but before i even knew you had posted about this I accidentally found their site too (can’t remember how) but I wasn’t looking for them, I was looking for jeanine’s coveted! I think it was on a list of “top 5 daily fashion blog reads” or something like that and I thought woo go jeanine! Then when I clicked on the link it took me to that page and I thought EXACTLY how you did!
                                                            I don’t know if there is much she can do to claim the name etc but like a business two bloggers really shouldn’t be able to have the same blog name! It just gets confusing and is totally unoriginal. That’s if they even know about the original coveted – which, to be honest, they would have to be living on mars not to, to be a fashion blogger!
                                                            xoxo
                                                            Meg
                                                            Meg latest blog post: Friend Friday- Beckerman Babes

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:52 PM

                                                            Meg, Katy said the same thing below as well about stumbling upon the new site. So that makes 3 of us right here that inadvertently brought traffic to The UN-Coveted when we were trying to get to The Coveted.

                                                            It looks like Jennine might be able to approach this as a trademark issue should she chose to do so. I agree, they shouldn’t be allowed to share the same name!

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                                                          • Marissa January 24, 2011, 1:52 PM

                                                            I saw The UnCoveted featured on Refinery 29 the other day, and I was pissed! I left a comment for Jennine about it (though she had no doubt already seen it). But, seriously? There is no excuse for this!

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:49 PM

                                                            I just found that article Marissa! Wish I had seen it before writing the post so I could have addressed it a bit more, as it stands I just added it to the Disclaimer. I think the one thing the article does illustrate is that the individuals behind The UN-Coveted are well aware of the issue at hand – their is plenty of reader outrage present in that piece, they MUST have heard about it.

                                                            Corrective action on their part is needed!

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                                                          • Marissa January 24, 2011, 4:22 PM

                                                            I actually didn’t look at the reader response, but I’m going to right now.
                                                            Marissa latest blog post: Some Blogging Business

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                                                          • Ashe Mischief January 24, 2011, 1:45 PM

                                                            “It is clear, in my mind, that the individuals behind The UN-Coveted are exploiting Jennine’s brand. By using the name “The Coveted” they are undeniably receiving visitors meant for Jennine’s site. ”

                                                            I absolutely agree that this is what they are doing. I think it’s nice that some readers think it was accidental, but given the size of Jennine’s site, I refuse to believe it wasn’t premeditated.

                                                            But hey! Look at all this press they’re getting.

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:46 PM

                                                            I agree 100%, Ashe.

                                                            Even if (and this is a BIG if) they didn’t select the name with the intent of exploiting Jennine’s brand, it is still what is occurring. They need to apologize and re-brand themselves.

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                                                          • Cloud of Secrets January 24, 2011, 1:06 PM

                                                            Yikes. Messy. And it could happen to any of us. I found this article interesting:

                                                            Trademark and Blogs

                                                            I don’t think Jenine can claim copyright on the title of a work, but she could register the title as a trademark to prevent “confusion in the marketplace.” Kleinberg and Mark could publish a book or name a fashion line or a candy bar The Coveted, but naming a blog (or perhaps even any style website) The Coveted creates confusion in the blog market.

                                                            The Un-Coveted use of the title seems so blindly ignorant, I’m inclined to believe they honestly didn’t Google the name they wanted and realize how involved Jenine has been with style writing, organizing, and publishing. Perhaps a professional letter including her accomplishments and press coverage, copied to The Un-Coveted’s participant’s so far, might help.
                                                            Cloud of Secrets latest blog post: Dream Girls

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:37 PM

                                                            Thank you for that link! Some very interesting information there. It looks like you are correct and Jennine may be able to approach this from the trademark perspective. I am guessing she isn’t going to just let this slide.

                                                            Although I am willing to give The UN-Coveted the benefit of the doubt where intent is concerned, it doesn’t make it OK that they are still using the name after they have been made aware of the issue. I have to believe that they have had some semblance of what is going on since the piece in Refinery (http://www.refinery29.com/obsessed-the-coveted-is-the-selby-for-closets.php) was published on the 21st. I look forward to reading a response from them about this issue.

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                                                          • MJ January 24, 2011, 12:55 PM

                                                            Wow!!!! That is crazy and yes, I do believe that they are riding off of Jenine’s brand. That name is waaay to close for comfort! I agree with Courtney that they should at least have a disclaimer, but even then it wouldn’t make it okay. I know when I created my blog, I did a google search of possible names I wanted to use just so I wouldn’t run the risk of even sounding like another blog when it comes to the name. I would think these girls behind the Uncoveted would have done the same.
                                                            MJ latest blog post: From the Desk of an Accessory Addict- Fashion Jewelry

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:26 PM

                                                            Thanks, MJ – your comment about Google is exactly what I mentioned in my response to Katy below. I don’t see how they could have not been aware. If it was an oversight, and they never bothered to Google the name, that was a huge mistake!

                                                            I also don’t feel a disclaimer is enough. I strongly feel they should change their name. It’s really the only way to separate the two blogs from one another. As they say in “The Highlander” – “There can be only one!” :)

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                                                          • Courtney January 24, 2011, 12:38 PM

                                                            How tacky! If I was Jennine, I’d get a copyright lawyer. The UnCoveted should at least have to post a disclaimer that they are not affiliated with The Coveted.

                                                            Also, I guess for any sites in the future like Jennine’s, the first step once the site starts to get big to buy up all potential domain names dealing with the site so you can be sure no one will rip you off.
                                                            Courtney latest blog post: Pink- Airy and Pretty

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:21 PM

                                                            Hi Courtney, thanks for your input! I am sure Jennine will be checking into her options.

                                                            That is a great tip about domain names. Unfortunately, oftentimes they are already owned by someone, even if they aren’t being used. I am guessing Jennine would have purchased this one had it been available at the time. Preventing this type of thing from happening might be good incentive to check back every once in while and see if a domain is available again.

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                                                          • Katy Rose January 24, 2011, 12:33 PM

                                                            OMG!!! I did the SAME exact thing this weekend. And had the same conversation with myself. I was like wow she totally revamped the site and then hm… this doesn’t really have the Jennine vibe I’m used to. Weird. And then I realized this was SO NOT her site.
                                                            I completely agree, the new site is profiting off her success and it is ridiculous that they would do that just to get more views. What happened to ethics and personal creativity? Not to mention a lot of hard work goes into these blogs – it’s so not fair to try and ride that tailwind.
                                                            Katy
                                                            Katy Rose latest blog post: Blogger Profile- Little Tin Soldier

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:18 PM

                                                            Can you imagine how many people have had that exact same experience? People who aren’t that familiar with Jennine may not even realize that the UN-Coveted isn’t the site they were looking for!

                                                            I know some people think that perhaps they weren’t aware, but I honestly don’t see how that could be possible. All it takes is a Google search for “The Coveted” and hers is the first (2nd, 3rd and 4th!) link to appear! It reeks of infringement.

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                                                          • Leia January 24, 2011, 12:31 PM

                                                            This is shocking! But are we sure that the un-coveted blog owners are AWARE of Jennine and her blog? Could it be possible that it’s just a coincidence…??

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                                                          • Eva January 24, 2011, 2:02 PM

                                                            I agree with Leia here. Also, has anyone contacted the owners of the other Coveted blog and let them explain their side of the story?
                                                            Eva latest blog post: Ode to Hermès Kelly Calèche

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                                                          • Anika http://byanika.com January 24, 2011, 2:23 PM

                                                            Hi sweetie, I also agree that it is important to verify that this actually is the situation, I have to say I really hope this is coincidence, but I am aware that that could just be me wanting to believe in the best in people. In any case my heart really goes out to Jenine, what she has built up and is doing for the blogging community is nothing but amazing and inspirational.

                                                            hugs from me to you. xx
                                                            Anika http://byanika.com latest blog post: Coming into focus in loud stripes and florals

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                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 24, 2011, 3:13 PM

                                                            Hi ladies, thank you for your comments!

                                                            Unfortunately, it is going to be impossible for us to ever know if they were aware of Jennine’s site prior to their launch. Perhaps they did, perhaps they didn’t. They could easily deny it either way. Launching a professional blog and NOT researching the name would have been a bad business move on their part.

                                                            However, your comments fueled some more research, and I came across a Refinery article that featured the UN-Coveted (I linked it above). Based on the reader response to that, I think it is safe to say that they are aware of Jennine’s The Coveted NOW. I am sure more articles about this particular topic will be forthcoming.

                                                            My thoughts are this: whether or not they INTENDED to ride on Jennine’s coattails, the fact of the matter is they are doing just that, and are undoubtedly aware of it by now. They should address the issue and change their name.

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                                                          • Telena January 25, 2011, 3:10 PM

                                                            Hey. Great article. Saw you on Kristy’s blog. There are several things they can do to not only receive ownership over the new link with their trademark but they can also file a suit due to common law infringement EVEN if their trademark is not registered. There in an inexpensive way to gain the domain name’s ownership however you do have to pay a fee. I am a law student/fashion blogger who just took trademarks last semester. I am really busy this week but I will write up a post by next week regarding what bloggers can do to protect their identity and how to stop current infringers. One of my site’s contributors was also having copy cat issues as some one stole her video tutorials. The person than proceeded to claim ownership over them as their own tutorials on a separate youtube channel. This is huge problem in the blog world.. great article.
                                                            -Telena

                                                            Ps. I agree about doing a simple google search which is what I did when I chose the name of my blog… They should definitely change their name as they are receiving the benefit of the good will associated with the original user and creator….
                                                            Telena latest blog post: LeanneDublin- Embrace The Colour!

                                                          • Beautifully Invisible January 25, 2011, 4:23 PM

                                                            Hi, Telena, thanks for stopping by. I was really excited to read your response because much of what you said is in line to what I suspected, but you actually have a legal background to back it up! From what I understand, Jennine is weighing her options right now, so I am hopeful that things will play out to her advantage.

                                                            In the bigger scheme of things, I think this issue has raised a red flag to many other bloggers about what could potentially happen to THEM and their brand/trademark one day. I am really interested to read your upcoming post – that is a wonderful idea, and I know it could be a great resource to fashion bloggers. Looking forward to that, and looking forward to checking out your blog in more detail!

                                                          • Telena January 27, 2011, 10:48 AM

                                                            Thanks. I will keep you posted. I will try to have a post up by monday at least covering the domain issue as she can reclaim the domain and all the traffic will then be directed back to her site. At that point it will make they will probably want to change their name. I will be writing a series of post to educate fashion bloggers on trademark and copyright issues. Even how you pick your name is important because the actual composition of a name can afford you or more less protection…. I think it is awesome that you addressed this situation. Not everyone is bold enough to speak out. If bloggers don’t speak out than this will start to happen with more frequency. “Name and shame” needs to happen in this particular context… Fashion blogging is about creating your own unique niche NOT carving your success out of the labors of others…
                                                            Telena latest blog post: Leslie Kirchoff NYC- Student- Fashion Blogger- and Intern at Vogue

                                                          • Telena February 6, 2011, 2:00 PM

                                                            Hey I know it took me a long time but I am a law student and school has been hectic the last week! Here is the link the post I promised to write, Domain Thieves… The Quick No-Hassle Way to Snatch Your Identity Back!: http://www.thefashionbrewery.com/?p=1525. This post details a non-judicial way ( ie no law suit needed) to get a domain transferred or cancelled… I think bloggers should know about the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy in case it happens to them… Also giving notice is a great way to protect yourself as well when these problems pop up… I also touch on some other stuff : ) I’ll be posting a series of posts on different aspects of blog protection specifically for fashion bloggers. Glad to hear this has been resolved!
                                                            Telena latest blog post: Domain Thieves… The Quick No-Hassle Way to Snatch Your Identity Back!

                                                          • Eva January 26, 2011, 3:05 PM

                                                            If it was really done on purpose, it sucks the new blog is getting so much traffic now. :D
                                                            Eva latest blog post: Ode to Hermès Kelly Calèche