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a question

339 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  niteliters
I am really struggling with something and would like some input. Someone has secured and changed their name to The Lighting Geek. Although it is not in my immediate area and no issues with direct competition, I was never consulted directly about this. I feel as though I have been disrespected. I do have a national audience because of TV, so it does impact me. I do not want to over react, but this bothers me immensely. I posted this here because I thought at this time it would inappropriate in an open forum.

Your input please..
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IP (Intellectual Property) Law

I am no lawyer or expert on this but I have had some experience in these types of situations. First question: Have you registered your trademark "The Lighting Geek" with the Feds.? If so, you can file a complaint and get a cease and desist order filed against the other party. The URL "" is a different matter...there is very little to nothing you can do about this...URLs can be bought and sold without any relationship to a business...there are people out there whose sole business is buying URLs and reselling them at a profit to the company they relate to...

Company names, logos, and other "business" identities are subject to review by the US Trademark and Patent Office. If you have a registered trademark, even if it is pending, you may have grounds to seek a cease and desist...if you have not registered the name it becomes more must document a "first use" and iniitate registration procedures in order to establish the name as "yours". Given that this other "company" is in the same industry it would appear that you have a legitimate cause for complaint.

As with any IP (intellectual property) must be willing to defend your property (e.g. trademark, logo etc.)...this usually means that you will incure legal expenses. Patents and trademarks are only worth something if you are willing to defend them. Given your investment in your name this is something you should consider seriously, as it is "your company" identity and reputation that is at stake.

If the other company begins trademark registration actions he may put you in a vunerable position..if you have not registered the name I would recommend that you do so...It does not cost very much to register the name, logo etc., but it could be very expensive if you don't and have to react to a cease and desist initiated by the other party defending thier IP.

I hope that this helps...let me know if I can be of further assistance to you.

Best wishes,
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Lighting GEEK

I agree with Gerry, it all depnds on what you have one with the name. Even if you have registered it the fact that you have used it and you are well know for this, you may have an action against this person. The best thing to do is to consult a lawyer as to your rights.
I'm sorry that it's been so long since I've been on here. Tommy, we talked on the phone about this but to let everyone else know, you really need to protect your name by obtaining a trade mark. You can do this online and it's fairly easy and inexpensive. My company NightScenes, is a registered trademark and if anyone in the lighting business tries to use it, I can file a lawsuit. You really have to protect your name these days. Here is the link
I wanted to say thanks to Paul, Gerry and Mike for their insights on this topic. I have since filed my paperwork to trade mark or service mark my name. I highly recommend you consider doing this to protect your name.
Tommy I hate to see you and your business in this situation. I hope everything works out well for the best. I certainly appreciate all the advice and (logo) design you have done for me in the past. Keep up the great work!!!
Tommy, please keep all of us posted here on your progress. many of us are be vulnerable to this.
The best advice I can give was the same advice given to me by those in this thread. Trademark your name and slogans. You will invest around 800.00 for both if you do it yourself, but trust me, it is money well spent.

I filed a complaint with Twitter and Facebook for Trademark infringement and immediately Facebook shut it down. I am sure Twitter will do the same. Regardless of what David says, in this case, it causes confusion to consumer with regards to the name The Lighting Geek. He would have benefited from my name, my work on TV, and anything that comes in the future. My plans are not limited to landscape lighting, although it is where my heart is. I will be sending a cease and desist order and if that doesn't get his attention, I have the right to shut down his website and require him to release the domains. There is usually a settlement involved to cover the domain. I will go after the hosting company as well. I also now own geeklighing, thegeeklighting, geeklights, among others to slow down anyone else considering this same action. You should do the same if you have a unique or catchy name/domain. I am not going away, and I prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect myself and my company. I sure you all would do the same. Unfornuately David made a fatal error, and mistook compassion for weakness.

If I can help anyone here in anyway, my phone number is (916) 223-6712, that is just a part of who I am.
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hey tommy, i looked at that web site and the owner is david gretzmier. haven't I seen posts from him on lawnsite? I guess he saw you there and took your name?
The URL "" is a different matter...there is very little to nothing you can do about this...URLs can be bought and sold without any relationship to a business...there are people out there whose sole business is buying URLs and reselling them at a profit to the company they relate to...
I will keep you posted on this, but as I understand it, David cannot use the domain in question in anyway. Especially in the business of lighting. I am looking for a lawyer as we speak to expedite this process.
there is a thread that pretty much covers the ordeal:
was reading thru the post and AOLP got a plug WWOOOOHHOOO!

The real Geek won't be financialy hurt bc of this. But it still sucks for him. I'd probably never share information in this forum again if I were him. It makes since to join the likes of an AOLP and only dIscuss in a closed forum. Id bet there's a lot more fleas than David. You can tell that by the # of views
wow what a read, keep us posted how things turn out since this is a private sight :)
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