A Letter to Blake Nordstrom

        11 February 2009

Blake Nordstrom
President
Nordstrom
1700 Seventh Avenue, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101

Dear Mr. Nordstrom:

I’m not a PR expert, but I suspect that your company’s efforts to crush the owners of the trademark “Beckons” are not winning you any friends — nobody likes a bully.

I hope you’ll agree with me from the outset that, while it might be an amusing name for a line, say, of lingerie, “Beckon” is a meaningless (not to say dumb) name for women’s handbags. Even if you think “Beckon” is a lyrical name for a line of coin purses, it’s certainly not a name that is worth throwing away the more than a hundred years of goodwill attached to your own family’s name.

Legally, you may have been right at first — it appears that the PTO screwed up and approved your trademark when Sather-Prater LLC’s application was already pending. You may even be legally right now, but take it from a criminal-defense lawyer: there is often a huge gulf between “legally right” and “well-liked”.

I’d like to suggest five other possible trademarks for your line of handbags, wallets, travel bags, and so forth. I think you’ll find that, while none of them are any more inapposite than “Beckon,” all of them convey the same feel, and that at least one of them is not already in use by someone else in the clothing business:

    Reckon;
    Second;
    Peckin’;
    Wreckin’; or
    Fecund.

You are free to use any of these without attribution to me. Also, there is no charge for this advice. I’m just trying to be helpful — clearly, your lawyers didn’t clear their attack on Ms. Sather and Ms. Prater with you or your public relations department. Surely the $70,000 that they have spent on legal fees pales in comparison to the goodwill that your lawyers have, to be blunt, pissed away.

Please don’t hesitate to call me if there is anything else I can do for you.

            Thank you,

            Mark Bennett

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

About Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett got his letter of marque from the Supreme Court of Texas in May 1995. He is famous for having no sense of humor when it comes to totalitarianism.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Letter to Blake Nordstrom

  1. a says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ll be sending my letter today.

  2. Clay S. Conrad says:

    My guess: Nordstroms could not care less about this issue. However, their big-firm civil attorneys are billing hundreds of dollars an hour to keep the fight going. And in-house counsel doesn’t care about PR, or the effect his actiuons are having on the corporation as a whole: he just hates to lose. Billable hours and egos, combined together, are a relentless force.

    Does Beckons have a web site? After all, it’s almost Valentine’s day. Time to buy presents.

    • Timothy O. Schranck says:

      Mr. Conrad:

      First things first: it is Nordstrom, not “Nordstroms”. Just like “Lego” not “Legos”.

      Second, assuming you are the same Clay S. Conrad, I personally wonder how much interaction you have had in your Houston criminal defense practice with Nordstrom’s “big-firm civil attorneys billing hundreds of dollars an hour” (Incidentally, I note your rate is listed at $300 and most Americans would consider that “hundreds of dollars an hour”) and/or with Nordstrom’s “in-house counsel” that would qualify you to reasonably opine regarding same. I personally know nothing about this PTO dispute or about patent law. What I do know, from personal experience, is that the “in-house counsel” at Nordstrom with whom I have dealt are among the most competent and caring attorneys I have encountered during my legal career. In my experience (yes, experience), you could not be more wrong about how Nordstrom’s in-house counsel feel about the company and how it is perceived by the public.

      C’mon, Clay, you’re an attorney: stick to the facts and the law and stop pounding the table for cheap points.

      Timothy O. Schranck

      • Clay S. Conrad says:

        Your conclusion is that “the “in-house counsel” at Nordstrom with whom I have dealt are among the most competent and caring attorneys I have encountered during my legal career. In my experience (yes, experience), you could not be more wrong about how Nordstrom’s in-house counsel feel about the company and how it is perceived by the public.”

        Yet they haven’t repaid these women their legal fees and abandoned their case?

        It appears that your evaluation is somewhat suspect. IF they were competent and caring, this case would never have been FILED, much less vigorously pursued, and they would have acted to fix the damage their actions have caused to Beckons Organic. Their actions demonstrate neither competence nor ethics.

        Like I said, it all comes down to billable hours and egos. When the dust settles, all we can hope for is that this whole ugly chain of events causes more damage to Nordstroms (they’ve lost my respect, so why would I respect them enough to care what they are called?) than to Beckons.

  3. Pingback: Rise of Legal Blogs Presages Death of Frivolous Lawsuits? - Avvo Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>