Trademark News



November 2013: Trademark registration issued for "Stick" in Argentina.

We have been issued a trademark in Argentina for our instrument name "Stick". The trademark registration number is 2.610.347, and the effective date is Nov 28, 2013.


July 2012: Trademark registration issued for "Rails".

The US Patent and Trademark Office has officially issued a Certificate of Trademark Registration for "Rails", as a trademark in the field of "Frets for use with stringed musical instruments, basses, guitars, bass guitars, fretboard musical instruments, two handed tapping fretboard musical instruments, and stainless steel precision tapping frets." This mark was issued on July 24, with registration number 4,179,0121.


June, 2010: CTM (European Union) registration issued for "Chapman Stick".

The European Union has officially issued a CTM Trademark Registration for "Chapman Stick", This mark was issued on June 8, 2010, with registration number 8,116,601.


March, 2010: Trademark registration issued for "Stick Guitar".

The US Patent and Trademark Office has officially issued a Certificate of Trademark Registration for "Stick Guitar", which will designate our 12-string guitar scale Touchboard® model. This mark was issued on March 16, 2010, with registration number 3,761,272.


June, 2009: Trademark registration issued for our inlaid linear fretboard marker design.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has officially issued a Certificate of Trademark Registration for the "three-dimensional design of our inlaid linear markers". This mark was issued on June 2, 2009 with registration number 3,629,585.


January, 2009: Defending Our Trademarks

Trademark law clearly states that the owner of a trademark is obliged to defend it against misuses or else may lose rights of ownership of the word or phrase in a particular field of goods or services.

We are the registered owner of more than a dozen "Stick" related trademarks in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and the European Union. These include "Stick" and "Chapman Stick" in the field of stringed instruments, by which we are well known throughout the music industry and to the general public.

Over 33 years in business we have had friendly resolutions by private correspondence to improper or unapproved uses of our trademarks on several occasions, but now and then we also had to send legal letters to "cease and desist" and to resort to more forceful legal action as well.

We have recently had two successful actions regarding the unauthorized and inappropriate use of our trademark by a competing instrument manufacturer, Voltos Industries, the parent company of Mobius Megatar, both of which are run by Arthur Cronos, also known as Traktor Topaz.

Google Ads:

In April, 2008, we contacted Google about ads in their GoogleAds program that were showing up on Internet searches for "Chapman Stick." These ads used our trademark name "Chapman Stick" in the headline and body text without our permission. They directed the reader to two Websites run by Topaz, www.megatar.com (a commercial Website for the Megatar), and www.tappistry.org (a Website and forum used as a marketing vehicle by Topaz, who runs extensive banner ads for his various tapping-related websites). We received the following reply from Google on August 12, 2008:

"Thank you for sending us your trademark complaint letter. Your complaint has been processed, and the ads for megatar.com and tappistry.org are no longer using your trademarks STICK, TOUCHBOARD or CHAPMAN STICK and their variations in the ad text."

Web Domain Names:

On September 25, 2008, we submitted a complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) regarding two Website domains registered by Voltos that contained our trademark in the domain name: learn-chapman-stick.com and chapmanstickmegatarcomparison.com. The learn-chapman-stick.com domain name is very similar to our chapmanstick.com/instruction URL (mirrored at stick.com.instruction), which is where we promote all of our educational materials, videos, books, and also the seminars organized by third parties for Stick instruction. Voltos's page offered Topaz's lesson books for sale, but under a domain name that contained only our trademark. The other website, at chapmanstickmegatarcomparison.com, presents a one-sided "feature comparison" of the products in question.

Believing that the domain names in question violated our trademark rights, we requested that the learn-chapman-stick.com name be transferred to us and that the other name by cancelled in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), under which companies that register domain names (Enom, Network Solutions, etc) agree to handle domain name disputes. These disputes are often trademark related.

On November 19th the NAF Arbitration Panel rendered a decision half in our favor, transferring the learn-chapman-stick.com domain to us but leaving the chapmanstickmegatarcomparison.com name with Voltos.

In its decision the Panel cited the following reasons for transferring the first domain name to us:

"In relation to the bad faith registration and use by Respondent (Voltos), the Panel firstly highlights that the parties are direct competitors of each other in a small market segment and Respondent has registered and uses a domain name confusingly similar to Complainant's (Stick Enterprises) registered trademark.

"On the basis of the above the Panel finds Respondent's use of the disputed domain name confusingly similar to the direct competitor's registered trademark is evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy 4(b)(iii). See Surface Prot. Indus., Inc. v. Webposters, D2000-1613 (WIPO Feb. 5, 2001) (finding that, given the competitive relationship between the complainant and the respondent, the respondent likely registered the contested domain name with the intent to disrupt the complainant's business and create user confusion).

"The Panel also finds that the previous and current use of the disputed domain name demonstrates that it is very likely that Respondent is attempting to profit from Complainant's goodwill associated with its CHAPMAN STICK mark and this is also evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy 4(b)(iv).

"Thus, the Panel finds that it can be established that Respondent has registered and uses the subject domain name in bad faith."

Legal Definition of Bad Faith:

You can find definitions of the legal term "bad faith" here: legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com, and here: findlaw.com.

You can also read the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, as agreed to by all domain name registrars, under which the arbitrator made the decision here: udrp-policy. Paragraph 4, section b specifically deals with what constitutes bad faith in domain registrations.

You can read the Panel's entire decision here: NAF ruling.

We will continue to take whatever steps we deem necessary to safeguard our trademarks, as the law says we must if we are to retain our rights to them.

We have granted permission for appropriate use of our trademarks many times over the years. If you have any questions about a planned use of one of our "Stick" trademarks please contact us to arrange permission.

All the Best, Emmett.


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