Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The list formerly know as B*rn Org*niz*d

In May of 2000 I started an e-mail list at YahooGroups, called (almost) "B*rn Org*niz*d". It was an active list, with ideas, tips, thoughts and support for optimizing daily activities.

The tag-line was "Just the tips, Ma'am."

I really liked it. We had over a thousand subscribers. It was a friendly list, yet not chatty. We stayed on-topic. Introductions were not necessary or encouraged. While open to all, the recipes were kosher. There were no ads.

In the Spring of 2002, I received a strident e-mail announcing I was infringing on the rights of the trademark holder of the name of my group, and to cease and desist using that name. I did some research, and it turned out that I had started my list one month before her application. I never had a chance to tell her that, though.

She owned an organizing business with the name. Had she simply sent me a friendly e-mail, I would have arranged to change the name of our group. After all, it was just an e-mail group. A lark for me; it was her livelihood.

However, before I could respond to her e-mail, before I could archive the years of posts and files, before I could notify the group's subscribers (or download their e-mail addresses), the site was taken off-line by YahooGroups.

I didn't protest. It was only a hobby for me. She invested in the name. Even though I had it first, it mattered to her in a way that it couldn't have to me. It would have been so much nicer, however, to be allowed to change the name of the group. Instead, it was destroyed.

A few of the frequent posters who knew me in "real life" sent me copies they had saved of their favorite posts. The rest is gone.

I learned something from this experience. This time around, I bought the domain "JugglingFrogs.com" and did a trademark search. I hereby declare that I intend to use the JugglingFrogs trademark. So there.

Now I've started this blog, with a very similar theme, seven years later. In addition to the current content of this blog, I hope to add occasional posts that I wrote for the "B*rn Org*niz*d" YahooGroup. (I don't have access to the other authors of posts, so I'll only post content I've authored.)

I plan to tag these as "BO archive" posts.

4 comments, so far. Add yours now!

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Anonymous said...

You have such a great blog. I found it following links off Flickr.

I am really sorry to hear about Yahoo and BO email list... :( That seems to be happening at an alarming rate with anything Yahoo is linked to... including some of my friends on Flickr.

Anyway, I love this blog, and all the frugal ideas contained...

-jallen from

Juggling Frogs said...

Thank you, Jallen.

I enjoy the frugality group. I particularly like the link you sent to the potato bonsai. Please keep plugging the frugality group. I bet it will be very popular soon.

All the best,

crunchygranolamom said...

What a great idea! I really miss BO, and I like how you have Juggling Frogs, by gum. It's YOURS. Nyah nyah. So there. pfffft. Anyway, looking forward to reading "greatest hits" of BO!

Juggling Frogs said...

Thank you, CrunchyGranolaMom!

Just to be sure that I can claim it as ALL MINE, I've created a Cafepress official Juggling Frogs Junk Shop with products using the name and logo.

I think this qualifies as doing buisiness under the "trademark", even if nobody buys anything.

The problem is, Cafepress is a bit addictive, and I'm already my own best customer!

If you liked this article, congratulations! You have great taste. Please brew yourself a cup of coffee.
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