DHS protects America from logos, confusion

A while back, Carolyn pointed us to Reallyready.org, the Federation of American Scientist’s effort to improve upon the laughable Department of Homeland Security site, Ready.gov. Since then, Reallyready has received unequivocably good press and positive feedback from everyone. Everyone, it turns out, except the DHS. Yes, the Department of Homeland Security dropped what it was ...

607058_ReallyReady5.jpg
607058_ReallyReady5.jpg

A while back, Carolyn pointed us to Reallyready.org, the Federation of American Scientist's effort to improve upon the laughable Department of Homeland Security site, Ready.gov. Since then, Reallyready has received unequivocably good press and positive feedback from everyone. Everyone, it turns out, except the DHS.

Yes, the Department of Homeland Security dropped what it was doing (confiscating an old lady's shipment of Lipitor) and grabbed their lawyer to fire off this angry letter to FAS:

The designations and logos used on your organization's website are substantially similar to the marks for which the Department has filed these [service mark] applications. Moreover, the intent and use of your organizations logos are for a similar purpose, if not the same purpose, for which the Department is using its marks. This will cause substantial confusion to the public and, in our estimation, already has confused the public given the press coverage of your website.

A while back, Carolyn pointed us to Reallyready.org, the Federation of American Scientist’s effort to improve upon the laughable Department of Homeland Security site, Ready.gov. Since then, Reallyready has received unequivocably good press and positive feedback from everyone. Everyone, it turns out, except the DHS.

Yes, the Department of Homeland Security dropped what it was doing (confiscating an old lady’s shipment of Lipitor) and grabbed their lawyer to fire off this angry letter to FAS:

The designations and logos used on your organization’s website are substantially similar to the marks for which the Department has filed these [service mark] applications. Moreover, the intent and use of your organizations logos are for a similar purpose, if not the same purpose, for which the Department is using its marks. This will cause substantial confusion to the public and, in our estimation, already has confused the public given the press coverage of your website.

We consider the marks in the above listed service mark applications as valuable intellectual property of the Government and worth protecting to prevent the confusion your organization’s website is causing. Accordingly, we request that your organization immediately halt the use of the designations and logos that are substantially similar to those marks the Department of Homeland Security owns.

Thanks to the DHS’s swift action, the logo threat has been abated. FAS has changed the logos in question so that they are more distinct from those on Ready.gov. But of course, they took the opportunity to get in a few last licks:

An unbiased observer would be forgiven for at least suspecting that DHS is not really concerned about confusing the public, they are using these use mark demands as a way to stifle a site that is embarrassing to them. Rather than worry about what they should be worrying about, providing clear information to the public, they are worrying that they look bad. We could hope for more, but the DHS that we are dealing with turns out to be a bunch of petty cover-your-ass bureaucrats more concerned about embarrassment than doing their jobs.

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