Friday, August 8, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
"How can you get confused between a boob and a bottle of milk from the store? They're two different kind of jugs." - Barbara Holmes
Here is a link to the article.
'Got milk' lawyers huff at Talkeetna artist's parody
TRADEMARK: California milk processors own original and mean to keep it for themselves.
Published: July 25th, 2008 01:53 AM
Last Modified: July 25th, 2008 06:37 AM
WASILLA -- Got breast milk?
If so, don't brag about it.
The California Milk Processor Board might put you on notice too.
Talkeetna batik artist Barbara Holmes heard from the group behind the "got milk?" brand this month.
Holmes made the mistake of advertising T-shirts and "onesies" -- those snappable one-piece underclothes for babies -- hand-lettered with the words "got breastmilk?"
She whipped up 10 of the little things from her downtown Talkeetna home with an outhouse and no running water. She sold six at a holiday fair in the senior center two years ago, then moved on to other projects.
The letter from the board's Sacramento law firm showed up a few weeks ago.
The milk board, which represents 11 dairy processors who banded together in 1993 to market milk, doesn't take kindly to people trafficking in the trademarked "got milk" brand.
Mountntop Designs & Baby Bugs Clothing, be warned, the July 8 letter states.
Federal law says trademark infringement happens when confusion is likely caused by use of a word or phrase.
"The phrases 'got breastmilk' and 'got milk?' are similar except for the addition of the word 'breast,'" the lawyers wrote. "This difference is not enough to eliminate the likelihood that consumers will be confused about the origin of the products."
People could think maybe the California Milk Processors Board is behind the "got breastmilk" T-shirts and onesies, the letter stated. Both slogans do involve types of milk.
That's just ridiculous, Holmes said in a telephone interview this week. Her creations were clearly a parody of the real thing.
"They say I'm going to confuse milk consumers," she said. "How can you get confused between a boob and a bottle of milk from the store? They're two different kind of jugs."
Still, the 33-year-old mother of two is treating the letter seriously. She got a lawyer, the first and probably only one she saw in the book, Talkeetna attorney Paul Bratton. He sent a letter on Monday defending Holmes as a pro-nursing advocate trying to get the message out. Holmes also said he told her parody is protected under the free speech provisions of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The board's law firm, Knox, Lemmon & Anapolsky, did not return calls for comment. A representative of the board could not be reached.
In the letter, signed by attorney Stephen J. Byers, the firm demands Holmes cease all sales and marketing, and ship no later than this week, all the T-shirts, onesies and equipment used to make them, as well as an accounting of any profits, "to avoid resorting to litigation."
Holmes said the group is getting "nothing but a letter from my lawyer."
Holmes said before she publicized her "got breastmilk" products, she did a quick scan on the Internet and found plenty of others already using just that slogan.
The milk processors board understandably keeps an eye out for potential trademark infringement.
The lawyers put People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on notice last year after the group twisted the "got milk?" slogan into an anti-milk campaign, according to an Associated Press story. The story noted that the board typically laughed off spoofs of the brand, such as "got fleas?"
NOT THE FIRST
But Portland writer and mother Ariel Gore got a letter from the board's attorneys over her use of the "Got Breast Milk" slogan on T-shirts and tank tops, according to a January post on her blog.
Gore's response letter argued that "no reasonable person would be confused by the parody," instructed the attorneys that she never profited from the clothes, and recommended a book about using free markets to help the poor.
Holmes e-mailed Gore to see what happened next. The Oregon woman never heard back.
Holmes hopes her problem blows over too.
Even though she now lives in a relatively modern spread about five miles from Talkeetna, with running water, she said she remains a "small time" target who works from her kitchen rather than a studio and long ago stopped making the shirts at issue.
"It's silly, but scary at the same time," she said.
"Because they're a big ... they could go after me if they want to. I don't feel that they have a case. I don't know what the outcome will be when they see my letter."
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Ventura County has drafted a proclamation (see below) and declared the month of August Breastfeeding Awareness Month in honor of World BFing Week. The BFing Coalition of Ventura County will be presenting awards to honor employers and day care providers who support nursing mothers at a County Board of Supervisors meeting on Aug. 5th. Nursing moms are invited to come and hear the presentation of the awards and show their support for these exceptional employers at the meeting at the Ventura Government Center. This will be followed by a picnic on the grounds of the Center.
What date is the event?
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008.
Who should attend?
All moms-- those currently nursing, those who happily nursed in the past, and those who hope to one day-- are welcome with their little ones. Dads, Grandmas and other BFing supporters are also invited.
Where will the event be held?
The awards will be held inside the Board Room in the Hall of Administration at the Government Center. There is a large waiting area with couches and chairs outside of the meeting area. We will be escorted in to the room when the awards are to be presented.
To find the Hall of Administration, enter the Govt. Center at the corner of Telephone and Lark. Follow the road around the curve and park in the 3 hour lot on your left. The Hall of Admin. is the large building near the fountain.
The picnic to follow will be held on the lawn of the Govt. Center, nearest the corner of Victoria Ave. and Telephone.
What time does the event take place?
The awards will be read at approximately 10 a.m., give or take a about ten minutes. Because crying babies may present a problem in the meeting, we will wait in the waiting area and be escorted in for the awards. Moms should be prepared to take a fussy baby out of the ceremony so as not to distract others. The picnic- Nurse In will take place from approximately 10:30 to 12:30ish.
What should I bring?
Strollers or slings may be helpful for taking the babies into the Board Room. Moms should bring picnic supplies: blanket, sunscreen/ hats, snacks or lunch, and toys. Since the picnic on the lawn is a celebratory event, anything fun is welcome: balls, kites, musical instruments, balloons, etc. Please be creative and bring something to contribute to the atmosphere!
What else should I know?
You should note that local newspapers and television stations will be invited to the nurse in (whether they choose to cover the event is up to them, of course). We will also be blessed with the talented photographer Amber Jordan, of 'Project Got Breastmilk', who will be taking pictures of the event. These photos will be available for purchase at a discount after the event (with a portion of the proceeds donated to La Leche League), and the images will be used on Amber's site to promote BFing awareness. To see Amber's BFing work, please visit: http://www.photographybyamber.com/
If you plan to attend the event, please RSVP to Kim at kim-carpenter at sbcglobal dot net. It will help us to let the press know approximately how many moms plan to attend!
Please cross-post this email far and wide.
I hope to see you all there!
World Breastfeeding Week Proclamation
Whereas, the people of Ventura County are deserving of good health; and
Whereas, all available knowledge indicates that human milk optimally enhances the growth, development and well-being of the infant by providing the best possible nutrition, protection against specific infection and allergies, and the promotion of maternal and infant bonding; and
Whereas, breastfeeding promotes healthier mothers and benefits society through the lower health care costs for infants, a healthier workforce, stronger family bonds, less waste; and
Whereas, breastfeeding is economical and environmental friendly, providing its benefits at little or no cost; and
Whereas, breastfeeding is recognized by major medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Dietetic Association, the National Association of WIC Directors, UNICEF and WHO as the preferred method of infant feeding and they support breastfeeding throughout the early years of life; and
Whereas, the Breastfeeding Coalition of Ventura County exists to support breastfeeding as the cultural norm for all babies and to promote maternal and child health through breastfeeding education, support and outreach in Ventura County; and
Whereas, the Breastfeeding Coalition of Ventura County and the La Leche League celebrates World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, 2008, which is proclaimed by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action along with the World Health Organization and UNICEF; and
Whereas, the families of Ventura County need reliable sources of information to make an informed choice about the care and feeding of their infants;
Now, therefore be it resolved, that the Ventura County Board of Supervisors do hereby proclaim the month of August 2008 as
Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Be it further resolved, with special emphasis on breastfeeding promotion that the Ventura County Board of Supervisors urges all citizens to seek reliable nutrition information and to support breastfeeding as a high priority for healthier babies in Ventura County.