In 2016 I received a trademark for the name Denton Swag. My small business is really a creative outlet and a way for me to support the community of Denton. We have been in business for almost two years and we haven’t broke even. We have given away more product than we have sold and it has been fun to see our t-shirts and prints around Denton. When I see a post where a new UNT student has decorated her dorm room with a Denton Swag print that was a gift from her parents – that makes my day. When I see people in our community on the square in a drum circle, or hula hooping, it makes me smile. I love this city for many reasons and I don’t want to stop making cool products for the people who also love Denton. If SaraMax apparel group wins my trademark opposition it gives them precedent for stopping me and other businesses from using the word DENTON on their clothing and apparel. The trademark that SaraMax Apparel group owns is called Dr. Denton. I am still unclear as to why they feel that my brand is causing confusion from their buyers, but I need to hire an attorney to help me stop them. Your support is appreciated and any money raised that doesn’t go to support this legal battle will be donated to Serve Denton. We aren’t trying to get rich here, we are just trying to keep small businesses from being bullied.
Donate Just $15 to Help Denton Businesses
This is from my Funded Justice campaign…
Hi, my name is Eddie Renz and I live in Denton, Texas. In 2015 I launched a small local brand called “Denton Swag” that sells Denton, Texas themed shirts and prints. I had a number of friends tell me I needed to trademark my name and so I did. In April of 2017 I received an opposition to my trademark from a Company called SaraMax Apparel Group that owns a trademark called Dr. Denton. Dr. Denton is an ancient brand that sold prams and onesies for babies.
At first I thought this was going to be a simple process of just responding to a few emails from a law firm called Oved & Oved out of New York, but as the process dragged on I realized quickly I was in over my head and I needed to consult an attorney. The first attorney said they needed a retainer of $25,000 and that this trademark battle could exceed $100,000 easily! Yikes. This little business of mine hasn’t even made a profit yet! So I thought I would ask them if we could settle and they sent me a response that included turning my domain name over to them, why would they want to take my domain name from me?
On Jun 26, 2017, at 4:33 PM, Aaron J. Solomon, Esq. <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Mr. Renz:In furtherance of our recent discussion, our client is willing to resolve this matter on the following terms:1)You file a notice of abandonment for the trademark “Denton Swag” and or assign same to us;2)You agree not to file any similar Trademark application containing the name Denton in connection with apparel or to challenge any Trademark or Trademark filing by our client3) You discontinue use of the domain name dentonswag.com and assign same to us4)You discontinue the sale of any clothing bearing the name Denton both online and in stores.If the foregoing are agreed to our client is will to permit your continued sale of other non-garment Denton branded products such as coffee mugs, etc.Please advise.Very truly yours,Aaron J. Solomon, Esq. | OVED & OVED LLP401 Greenwich Street | New York NY 10013V : 212.226.2376 x 229 | F : 212.226.7555
Fortunately, after doing some research I found Bricolage Law – a boutique firm that specializes in trademark law. I talked to Eve Brown who explained to me that this company had no right to oppose my trademark and that this opposition was frivolous at best – especially since Dr. Denton products are no longer being sold in stores! I also talked to a local Denton Attorney who may be able to take on this case for a much smaller fee – but it is still going to be a large sum that if we can’t raise it will put Denton Swag out of business.
Please help me raise the 15,000 to fight this Trademark opposition and to help other current and future small business owners in Denton. Bullying should not be allowed of our city. If businesses know that can’t run over the little guys and gals then maybe they will stop the lawsuits.
Thank you for your support!Support Denton Swag
Here is an example of a Dr. Denton footed pajama that is apparently being considered confused with our products. These aren’t even currently sold in stores.