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Green grouping files lawsuit against ISRI

Archiv – United States | US based-Basel Action Network (BAN), an organisation opposing the export of e-waste from rich to poor countries, has filed suit against the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the International Association of Electronics Recyclers (IAER) to cancel their claimed trademark: ’certified electronics recycler.’
United States | US based-Basel Action Network (BAN), an organisation opposing the export of e-waste from rich to poor countries, has filed suit against the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the International Association of Electronics Recyclers (IAER) to cancel their claimed trademark: ’certified electronics recycler.’
BAN operates its own certification program for electronics recyclers known as e-STEWARDS and claims that ’certified electronics recycler’ is inappropriate as a trademark because it is a generic phrase. BAN seeks a judgment that will allow it to describe its own certification program using the phrase without fear of trademark infringement proceedings.
’The phrase ’certified electronics recycler’ is simply a sequence of common English words that any person would naturally use to describe an electronics recycler that has been certified,’ says Jim Puckett, BAN Executive Director. ’It is misleading and inappropriate for anyone to claim exclusive ownership of these words when there is more than one certified electronics recycler program.’
The green group says it is concerned that such a trademark both misleads the public into thinking that there is only one certification program for electronics recyclers and deprives BAN of the ability to properly describe its program to the public.
The complaint was filed today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and alleges: 1) that the three-word phrase is generic and therefore cannot function as a trademark; 2) that IAER, the registered owner of the mark, has abandoned using it; 3) that IAER and ISRI have misused the mark by using it to connote compliance with two completely different certification standards; and 4) that BAN and those companies that have worked hard to become certified under the e-STEWARDS® program have the right to use the phrase ’certified electronics recycler’ without fear of legal retribution.

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