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Just Born &
Marshmallow Peeps

Hall Of Shame Member
Added March 31, 2007

Last Updated - January 19, 2010

Did you know that if you were to use the AltaVista search engine and look for the phrase "with my peeps" that you would get 282,000 hits for the phrase? As of December 31, 2008, that's what we got. Google returns 199,000 hits. Then, if you add "Just Born" to the search, you get a mere 200 hits for the pharse combined with "Just Born". That's one in a thousand.

So, just what are people doing "with their peeps"?

They are rolling with my peeps, playing with my peeps, hangin' with my peeps, down with my peeps, pumpin' it with my peeps, throwin' with my peeps, chillin' with my peeps, share with my peeps, bond with my peeps, at the Bella with my peeps, got to be with my peeps, hanging out with my peeps, hanging with my peeps, scrappin with my peeps, cruisin with my peeps, what i do with my peeps, share info with my peeps, checked with my peeps, decorate with my peeps, hanging outside with my peeps, kickin it with my peeps, click with my peeps, sing along with my peeps, coffee with my peeps, conversation with my peeps, kick back with my peeps, and more and more. They are with their peeps 999 times out of a thousand plus.

So what's the big deal about the one in a thousand? Thats .1 percent (one percent being one out of a hundred so that one-tenth of one percent is one in a thousand). Would you bet on a horse that was a thousand-to-one? Actually, it isn't the one in a thousand that matters here; its the other 999. Why? Because Just Born says they own them all!

You do not believe us? Try selling a t-shirt with a picture of you and a few of your friends and the caption, "Just Hangin' With My Peeps" and you will be threatened with a federal lawsuit for using the word "peeps" by Just Born. To quote one person, "Just born's head is about as swollen as a microwaved peep!" "Peeps" is a generic phrase that Just Born claims they own and you can't have it.

What are Peeps? "A confectionary made in a shape of a chick and commonly referred to as a 'Peep' in the marketplace" according to the trademark application of Just Born for the name PEEPS.

Can you guess which of these valid Trademarked names belongs to Just Born?

Sonic Branding Solutions Infra Metal Establishment abandoned
Trilibis, Inc Affordable Computer Solutions Fun Peeps, Inc

Would you believe none of these PEEPS shown belong to Just Born?
  • My Peeps belongs to Sonic Branding Solutions
  • Peep One belongs to Infra Metal Establishment
  • Peeps Puffs was abandoned by Just Born in 2007
  • Peeps Nation belongs to Sonic Branding Solutions
  • Peeps belongs to Affordable Computer Solutions
  • Fun Peeps belongs to Fun Peeps, Inc

Just Born does own a trademark on the word PEEPS but so does Affordable Computer Solutions. The trademark for peeps (picture shown at left) is just for candy and was granted in 1998. So, what's the problem here, you ask? Just Born, using the picture on the left, claims the manufacturer of some baby clothing, using the image on the right, and call the clothing Precious Peeps Crib Set is infringing upon the PEEPS trademark. HUH?

Are you confused? Well, we are. A search of the trademark database yields 37 "live" trademarks that use the word PEEP or PEEPS. Some of those are shown above. Since the trademark for Just Born applies to candy only (see their trademarks) we don't understand where they get off claiming they own the rights to the word when applied to baby accessories.

The party in question was selling a crib set made with embroidered chicks. She named it Precious Peeps Crib Set because where she comes from, chicks are called peeps. She renamed the crib set after receiving a cease and desist letter from some whack jobs at a company called Continental Enterprises, of Indianapolis, Indiana, who claim to represent Just Born. Continental Enterprises, and their low-life General Counsel, Darlene Seymour, a.k.a. as their in-house bottom feeder, represent a number of sorry-assed companies that abuse the rights of perfectly legitimate sellers.

Did you see anything in the crib set listing that would remotely lead you to believe it was in any way conected with PEEPS the candy? How about any of the other PEEPS trademarks shown above? Any confusion?

First contact from Continental Enterprises was by the usual jargon C&D letter November 15, 2006. William M. Mansfield, head wacko and number one unethical lawyer at Continental Enterprises, claimed that the crib set listing

...bears marks or designs that are either identical to or clear imitations or derivations of the PEEPS® IP.

What? What are you smoking there, Billy Boy? Do you need new glasses? Identical? Imitations? Where? Just to be sure we're on the same page, let's put them all side-by-side. On the left is the drawing submitted to the trademark office. In the middle is a label from PEEPS. On the right is the chicks embroidered design. O.K., Billy Boy. Show us the "idential" or "imitation"! You cannot you jerk weed! And, the image being used on Marshmallow Peeps doesn't look a thing like the image trademarked? How can you claim infringement on something not registered? Because you and Continental Enterprises are trademark extortionists only interested in what you can squeeze out of unsuspecting sellers. And you are a liar, but then, you are a corporate lawyer and that is what you do.

Billy Boy goes on to say that the sale of merchandise bearing designs confusingly similar...without a license is illegal." Again, show us the "idential" or "imitation" or "confusingly similar"! It exists only in your pea-brained legal mind; pea-brained because this cease and desist letter has no substance. Then he defames her by saying "...infringers such as your company".

He goes on then with the usual threatening tripe about willful infringement, damages, injunctions, etc.

So, what happens? She is scared and changes the name of the crib set and contacts Billy Boy. On December 27, 2007, William M. Mansfield of Continental Enterprises (out of Indianapolis, Indiana) sends her a letter demanding $4,750.00 "to redress the damage done to its (Just Born's) trademarks through your unauthorized actions"

This is followed by the threat of legal action is she doesn't comply within a certain time frame. This is what we like to call Trademark Extortion, which we consider to be unethical and illegal.

Sometime in 2007, Billy Boy, not getting the cooperation he wanted, turned the matter over to Darlene R. Seymour of Continental Enterprises, who appears to be Billy Boy's grinder monkey equivalent. Darlene (may we call you Dotty?) was responding to a lawyer's letter on behalf of the crib set manufacturer. Dotty claimed that "there are criminal laws in place to cover actions similar to those of committed...". Yes there are, but they are for willing infringers and major infringers, which this woman plainly is not, you yo-yo.

Dotty? Can you and Billy Boy say extortion? Try it slowly. Taking this woman to court is a threat of harm if she doesn't comply with your demands. Hmmm. Threat of harm for financial gain. That's extortion. Why do we believe you are involved in extortion? Because there is absolutely no basis for the $4,750.00 demand. She told you she made, maybe, $700.00 in sales. That's not profit, that's sales, and the court (if it ever went that far) would only award profits. Just Born has to prove damages, and based upon the evidence presented above, that isn't going to happen. We think Billy Boy pulled that dollar figure out of his ass.

Shame on you, Just Born. Twice over. First for claiming the crib set was infringing, which plainly is not. Second for hiring a sleaze-ball outfit like Continental Enterprises and their General Counsel William M. Mansfiled (and Assistant General Counsel Darlene R. Seymour) who are, in our never-to-be-humble opinion, common extortionists with law degrees.

Just Born is another example of why we need laws that hold companies, their officers, and their legal representatives responsible for outrageous lies and trademark extortion.

Just Born has been sniffing too many Peeps. Just Born has begun a frivolous court campaign to entrench their claims to all uses of the word PEEPS. To do so, Just Born has apparently discarded Darlene Seymour and Continential Enterprises in favor of one Patricia Hughel, Director and Trademark Attorney of Brannon & Associates, PC, to do their dirty work. Why? We have no idea because it appears that Patricia Hughel, Director and Trademark Attorney of Brannon & Associates is just as stupid as Darlene Seymour! Her lawsuit against Recycled Paper Greetings was filed in Hamilton County Court and it was claiming federal trademark infractions. A state court does not have jurisdiction over federal claims. Any first year law student knows that.

It appears that Patricia Hughel, Director and Trademark Attorney of Brannon & Associates, graduated from the same law school that foisted Darlene Seymour on us: The Billy Bob School of Barbeque & Law. Patricia Hughel, may we call you Patty(?), also appears to have used a similar filing by Darlene Seymour and claimed it as her own. Maybe these lawsuits were class projects at The Billy Bob School of Barbeque & Law? It sure seems like Lifting Another's Work 101 is a course taught at BBSB&L.

And the lawsuits are stupid, stupid, stupid. 09-cv-01232, Just Born, Inc. v. Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc, is over greeting cards depicting chicks. One example cited by Just Born's idiot lawyer, Patricia Hughel, as being infringing is a cartoon of a lot of chicks saying "peep" while on the other side of a fence titled "Peep Show", chickens and other farm animals watch. Perhaps Just Born should start calling their product line, "Chicken Shit"?

Just how does Just Born own the word "PEEP" in all uses? they do not. never have, never will. Another infringing example cited by Patty "Not The Darlene" Hughel, is a cartoon of a smiling woman over-looking a tray of chicks. The caption is "Happy Easter". And it gets worse. "Peep A Boo" along with Happy Easter. That drawing looks more like a frazzled sheep with wings than a chick. "Peep A Boo" is clever. But not to Patty. All that time riding a broom has affected her eyesight.

Another clever card shows a photograph of two chicks looking at a marshmallow "peep" and commenting, "She's had waaaaay too much Botox". They are poking fun. It is fair use as a parody. Big deal. How many Easter cards does Just Born sell every year? Zero? None? Zilch? Nada? No one?

09-cv-01527, Just Born, Inc. v. Sur La Table, Inc., is over using "Peep Show" on kitchen towels and aprons. It appears that trademark extortion is so lucrative that Patricia Hughel and Brannon & Associates have decided to go into competition with Continental Enterprises. Slime begets slime.





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