Why is it that new Virtual Assistants (and I guess new anything in any industry) think they can run their business using someone else’s business name and catch phrase? Worse for them – both are trademarked. This particular VA is running a business in Queensland Australia. I doubt very much that they haven’t heard of my business. I’m even in listed in their Yellow Pages.
I hope the owner of the site I’m referring to reads my blog. This is extremely bad form and shows you have little imagination for creating something of your own.
You’ve already received an email from me advising you are infringing on two registered Trademarks and you will also be receiving an official Cease and Desist letter. Better for you if you just remove them off your site, change your domain name and start afresh. I’ve already had one of my clients ring you looking for me and was very confused by your response to her on the phone. She was able to find me and didn’t waste time in telling me about her experience with you. Not a good start for a new business, is it?
For those of you just setting up, creating a website, business name, etc, it is very important that while you glean information and learn from other websites and businesses, you make sure you are not infringing on trademarks and existing registered business names and you find a new name for yourself. Even operating under your own personal name is fine and no-one can claim you are copying them. Unfortunately these things do get noticed and people soon report back to those you’re copying – it gives everyone involved a bad impression of your business and your business operations, no matter how good you might be. I’ll be watching.
Addendum to this post: The owner of the site has finally responded to my emails. She has been away and advises that someone else had done the site for her. She has promised to get it taken down on the weekend by that person. My solicitor says this: Excuses can be genuine but wrong nevertheless. I’ve asked him to withhold action till after the weekend.
Note: This is an important thing for any VA who gets someone else to set up a website for them. I’ve seen and heard similar things in the past. An unsuspecting Virtual Assistant engages the assistance of someone else to create a website for them. Later down the track they are informed that the content on their site is a direct copy of another site or that they have infringed a trademark, as has happened in my case. Whether or not you engage someone else to create a site for you, YOU are responsible for the content of that site and as such, should ensure that it is content you have prepared or had involvement in preparing. If you are found guilty of having copyrighted or trademarked information on your site that doesn’t belong to you, then ultimately you are the one that ends up paying the price. Excuses just don’t cut it.