Shoeperwoman trademark dispute: an update

Following on from my most recent post about the dispute we’re involved in over the “Shoeperwoman” brand, I’ve just received the following comment from the owner of Shoeper-Woman.com, in which she demands that I immediately remove my post, and threatens to contact the police and have me charged with harassment if I do not. As this person has posted her comment in the public domain, I’m sure she will not mind me reproducing it here:

“Hi Amber,

I am really disappointed to see the way that you have reacted today, and in organising an inaccurate hate campaign against me via your blog.

I think I’ve been more than willing to talk with you, and reach an amicable solution and today reached out to you to offer to bookmark and outline the points of differentiation between our sites.

You have posted a lot of misleading, inaccurate and incomplete information about me and my business on your site today and it’s been hurtful to see someone act so unprofessionally and damaging to my business and my name.

Therefore I wanted to once again reach out to you, and ask if you wanted to have a proper discussion (so we can both operate in our respective niches…I categorically did not see your site first and decide to set mine up anyway – I explained all of this to you, but think you’ve misinterpreted my comments.)

I did not set out to close you down, or take over, and registering the TM was about protecting me as a business…I would do that for any business I start, it’s the first rule of setting up a company.  Seeing any form of Shoeper-Woman wasn’t already registered I didn’t think that ShoeperWoman was a serious company, I thought it was an American site, and just a bit of fun, and not a competitor as you don’t retail shoes or design them.

I would still consider talking about the linking suggestion I made earlier, a joint statement, or even tweaking my branding (or not using certain phrases if you believe they are ‘yours’) so I’m more than open to those type of discussions (or others if you have any bright ideas) but you MUST remove your earlier post about me that was slander and cyberbullying, and I also expect an apology on your site and an end to this hate campaign.

If you are not willing to do this, I’m going to speak to the police in the morning about pressing charges against you for harassment, slander, and cyber-bullying.

I’m sure this is something we could both do without right now, but as above, I’m not out to cause or do any malicious damage, so I’d appreciate the same professional courtesy.

As previous, still wish you the best with your sites and business ventures”

I’m frankly astonished that someone would not only try to trademark my blog name, but then threaten to report me to the police for defending myself. The post below is an accurate statement of the situation I’ve found myself in and I’m confident that it contains nothing which could be construed as libel or harresment: indeed, the other site owner actually suggested that I publish a post clarifying the differences between our two sites, having also suggested that we issue a press release about the situation to garner publicity. I will not be responding again to this person, as I can see little point in trying to communicate with someone who is threatening to report me to the police, but obviously she is free to take any action she feels is appropriate.

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124 Comments

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Alison

    Amber, I’m so sorry that you have to be going through this. I can’t even imagine. Hang in there! You will be the first, and only Shoeperwoman in my eyes! (the same goes for your other followers I’m sure!)

    • Reply April 8, 2011

      Momo

      Italy loves only the real Shoeperwoman: Amber *_*
      Rome-Milan- and Turin are with you!
      I’m so sad to read this….sad and angry >_<!!!

      • Reply April 8, 2011

        Momo

        I forget to say: I’m agree with Alison ^_^

    • Reply April 9, 2011

      Charlene

      I dont believe there is anything wrong with the reply Laura has written. She has been professional and honest and to be frank shoeper woman is a pretty obvious name to spring to mind when starting a business…and your issues with her site are simply because of the name for which she has applied for TM. Your sites are COMPLETELY different in that you WRITE about shoes…she sells them. As for ‘Shoeper man’ surely if your shoeper woman it only makes sense to refer to males as ‘shoeper man?’ I think you have all been extremely unfair and childish in your ways and posting nasty emails, comments and starting campaigns IS cyber bullying. I think if your to be successful in this life you have to have some form of self control and blasting someone else because YOU didn’t TM the name is of no ones fault but your own. Also, disclosing confidential information regarding Laura is utterly out of line……the term Shoeper Bitch springs to mind.

      • Reply April 9, 2011

        Shoeperwoman

        If you’re saying that I have “disclosed confidential information regarding Laura” and posted nasty emails to her, then I’m afraid that’s libel, as I’ve done nothing of the sort. If you want to continue with these claims, please provide the proof of when and where I allegedly published this information, otherwise it’s just a blatant lie.

        Calling me a “bitch”, meanwhile is a personal attack and very unprofessional. You’re entitled to your opinion, but people can see that I have at no point resorted to this kind of name-calling, and never will.

        • Reply April 27, 2011

          Skarlett

          Don’t worry Amber, you do not come close to violating the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. This person does, however. I hope you will report these abusive communications.

      • Reply April 9, 2011

        Stephen

        Sorry, I just have to laugh at “I think you have all been extremely unfair and childish.”

        Yeah, because stealing someone else’s intellectual property, that they’ve put a lot time, effort and money into, isn’t unfair?

        If you behave with a lack of morality, you (or your sister) shouldn’t complain when it comes back on you.

        As I’ve already posted in Laura’s blog – what, apart from alientating a huge section of her customer base, did she hope to achieve by so obviously stealing someone else’s idea? I, for one, would not want to do business with anyone who operates in such a way.

      • Reply April 9, 2011

        Erik

        I’m trying to understand your logic. Amber reports that someone has copied her name. The copycat retaliates by threatening her with arrest, but Amber is the cyber bully?

      • Reply April 9, 2011

        Godric

        Further to Juliet’s comment – This is a simply solved dispute using the test of priority which Amber will win hands down, just by inspecting the first registered field of a whois search. As regards Laura’s potential complaint to the police (presumably under the 1997 protection from harassment act) I doubt the police will waste time beyond the merest intial investigation, sufficient to confirm that this is a commercial dispute between business rivals.

      • Reply April 10, 2011

        Capt'n Obvious

        If shoeperwoman is the first name that would come to mind when coming up with a new shoe related website, then why wouldn’t the owner (or yourself “Charlene”) do a quick google search on the term to see if it is already in use and established? I would think that any marketing professional with any actual experience would have thought to do that.

        I would think that the copycat would have realized by now that trying to take over an existing brand (regardless of copyright – when granting the copyright they will do a search and see who had used it first) isn’t the best idea and is only doing more to tarnish their name as a trust worthy business person.

        Since the fake shoeperwoman has made the mistake of splashing her name all over the poor replica of the site they have now aligned themselves with this mess and will find that they will have a hard time starting anything similar in the future. Most people do checks on their e-tailers and those that are linked to drama (i.e.: stealing other people’s ideas and passing them off as their own) tend to go down real fast.

        Posting under a fake name (I see a common thread here) isn’t really doing much to change the bad opinion of you that everyone now has.

      • Reply April 10, 2011

        Tali

        Jeezuz Laura at least have the guts to use your own name when commenting!
        And by the way, where’s the DISlike button?

        • This is incredibly unfair to you Amber!
          When I first started my boutique, I did a quick google search on the few names I wanted, INCLUDING blogs! It is common sense to not use someone elses store name!! I could not start up a boutique and call it TopShop so why would someone think it is right to do the same?! UGH people frustrate me.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Alex

    because a ‘serious’ company cannot be American, or fun, and has to sell something.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Terry

    Utterly unbelievable! Laura should consider the fact that any hate she feels has been generated is a direct result of her own actions no one else’s.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Natasha

    Have you noticed how she first said she didn’t know about your site, then later says she thought it was not serious, American, etc… How can you have an opinion on a site you never knew existed?
    Also, your previous post was mostly about your website, your company, and how your readership can help you. I really don’t see any grounds for her to call the police. Basically, she’s trying to scare you into giving up your intellectual property. Don’t allow her to do that!

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Dinky Smith

    I was just talking about this with my mum who is an old school fashion retail bird and she said “didn’t she Google the words” we have four blogs and before we do anything we Google – most people do that so if she had Googled she would have seen your blog etc …..
    You stand fast and hang in there.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Ali

    Alex’s comment has it in a nutshell. She either knew your blog existed or didn’t. She can’t have it both ways!

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Kirstie

    Hang in there Amber. This is classic bullying. Stand firm, you’re in the right, and it will all come good.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Bonnie

    I agree with the Googleing. Who doesn’t Google the name first? Your last post didn’t have any grounds to call the police over. You were just stating the facts and talking about how important Shoeperwoman is to you. Thats completely acceptable.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    karen

    I am utterly shocked. I will support you in anyway you need. :)

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Lea

    Yes, she’s just trying to protect her bussiness with exactly zero followers. I can see there would be a problem if she had to change the name.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    mandi b

    From a trademark point of view I’m not sure there would be a case any way because your site existed first. In fact the other site would probably be the one in breach of copyright. Existing identity and all that.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    drea

    Considering she doesn’t have any followers it wouldn’t be a massive change to her anyway. Even if people read it she could annouce the change a week or so before deleted the blog. She could also annouce the change on the FB she has up.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Denise

    I’m speechless. Shocked! I commented previously that I arrived home around half an hour ago, from the uni – otherwise I’m always online, researching (for my exam), and always commenting about your posts, the beautiful shoes you bring to us. This is the only reason I didn’t comment before – and as you see, when I arrive(d) home I always come to check the nice shoes you post, especially today, the Louboutin fix day! It’s amazing what’s going on. Most of your readers also post about shoes – I only have to say that for example, sometimes I bring Louboutins to my blog – BUT NEVER ON FRIDAYS. Why? Out of respect. I know Friday is YOUR Louboutin day, and this is so much less important (a Loboutin post anyone can do anytime) than getting an already established name from someone. So, imagine that if I considered this topic as important, and considered that Friday, you and Louboutin belonged together – other people SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT of the importance of a name much more!!!!
    I’m very very sorry for all you have to go through. I normally always write in my Shoeper Challenge posts your name (Shoeperwoman) and site address, but I’ll check all the 16 ones up to now and make sure your address appears there! I hope it helps and I repeat what I emailed you yesterday: your Challenge helped me very much this year – I’m going through a difficult time now and I love to have an “excuse” to “dress up” again, instead of crying. And you said so beautiful words to me after that… so, thank you, Amber. You said you were a bit teary, and so am I now, thinking of your support. COUNT ON US, I LOVE YOUR SITE AND YOU WILL WIN!

    • Reply April 8, 2011

      Denise

      oohh!! Sorry for the length of the comment! I was so shocked with all of what’s happening, that I didn’t notice it was so long!

      • Reply April 8, 2011

        Shoeperwoman

        You are absolutely awesome :)

        • Reply April 8, 2011

          Denise

          No… I’m not so awesome (but thank you! May I pay you the same compliment? Yes!)… I just think what’s right, is right! It’s your name, your company, and I was (am!) thinking over and over again… posting what she wrote to you, is this bullying, as she claims? I don’t think so. You have the right to post your correspondence whenever you want! Especially when you are attacked!
          It’s all so sad. Instead of enjoying the weekend with your Shoeperman you have to go through all this negative thing… I tell you one more thing… it may sound too unreal, but believe me, it’s not: whenever someone does a bad thing to you, the universe provides she/he pays for that later. It really works this way! Anyway, hope you can sleep well, and as you see, your readers love you and will support you in any possible way to keep your name!

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Sonya

    I’ve posted the link to this Shoeperwoman.com on my blog. I hope I can help. In the meantime, hang in there!

    There’s quite a few flaws in her argument here, the least of which being her changing story. Did she know about this site beforehand or not? And even if she truly DIDN’T know about this site (which I doubt), I can see that I’m not the only one who finds it incredibly irresponsible that she didn’t check to see whether there was already a Shoeperwoman.com or not.

    Also, I’m in agreement with quite a few people here. There’s NOTHING on this blog that would be cause for slander, let alone cyber-bullying and harassment. According to the dictionary, cyber-bullying is “The electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person, often done anonymously”. None of your content was mean spirited! All you did was tell us about the situation, which is warranted in this case, especially since this blog may die if she succeeds.

    One could even argue that SHE’S the one cyber-bullying YOU, and not the other way around. I’m pretty sure that threatening to report someone to the police if they don’t play nice with you could also count as harassment.

    Just hang in there, Amber! We won’t let this blog die!

    • Reply April 8, 2011

      Shoeperwoman

      She has threatened to call the police multiple times now, which I do feel bullied/harrassed by. I’m mostly just amazed by it, though!

      • Reply April 8, 2011

        Sonya

        I am too. But YOU’RE the one winning right now. I Googled Shoeperwoman, and although I didn’t check farther than the third page, they’re all about your site and links to your site.

        KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK PEOPLE! Let’s save this site!

        • Reply April 8, 2011

          drea

          except on the first page it comes up with Laura’s facebook page, well, last time I checked anyway :/

          • April 8, 2011

            Sonya

            True. I just noticed that. Other than that, nothing on the first 3 pages.

          • April 8, 2011

            Sonya

            Although I will say that 28 likes on Laura’s page vs 709 on Amber’s is not a small difference…

          • April 8, 2011

            drea

            True. ^^

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    kelliegonzo

    omigawd i cannot believe the audacity! i hope this gets straightened out. i’m very sorry for what you’re going through.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Jaynie

    If the world is even slightly fair, she doesn’t stand a chance. [edited by admin] Even the excuse that she thought it was American is no excuse at all. I suspect if she called the police they would laugh at her, because you can clearly back up your claims.

    By the way, I have absolutely no idea how influential this site is, but I was googling shoeperwoman and came across this http://wikifashion.com/wiki/Shoeper_Woman which describes the name as hers. Just thought you’d like to know.

    • Reply April 8, 2011

      Sonya

      Not anymore, it doesn’t. It’s a Wiki site, meaning anyone with an account can edit it. I have an account so it should be fixed by now.

      • Reply April 8, 2011

        Shoeperwoman

        Thanks, Sonya, I had seen that site but didn’t know what I could do about it, if anything!

    • Reply April 8, 2011

      Kathrin

      I checked that Wiki, too, and it only links to Laura’s site since March 2011, before it was linked to this site! Pretty suspicious…
      I also want to state that I am a reader of this site for a long time now, and I really feel sorry for you, Amber. But unfortunately this is something that can happen (not only to professional bloggers, but also other companies/brands), and in most cases it is imo NOT done by mistake, but to get a better reputation (at the expense of others) very quickly.

      • Reply April 9, 2011

        Cristina

        I read this comment hours ago, but the thought has just struck me now! (just goes to show we stay up half the night worrying for you Amber ;) )

        Now Laura’s site doesn’t really have any following, and taking into account her drive to ‘promote’ herself, it could be a fair assumption that she edited the wikifashion entry herself.

        So she claims she didn’t really know (or know much) about this Shoeperwoman blog, but she got onto wikifashion, looked for shoeper woman, deleted your information and placed hers instead. All of this without knowing about you!

        Similarly, if it wasn’t her that edited the entry, doesn’t it seem strange that whichever friend or fan it was didn’t alert her that there was another shoeperwoman about?

        Usually I’m not the type to be mean over the internet, but I’m afraid her story keeps smelling fishier and fishier.

      • Reply April 9, 2011

        Stephen

        I can’t believe she changed that! How cheeky. Show’s just how “accidental” this all is….

      • Reply April 10, 2011

        Shoeperwoman

        For some reason, I totally missed the significance of this when I first read it, but yes, you’re absolutely right: as shown on the revision history of that page –

        The page was created on 24th January 2010 (long before Laura’s business existed in any legal form), and pointed to this website.

        On 23rd March 2011, someone edited it and made it point to Laura’s site instead. It would be easy enough to just set up a new WikiFashion page with an entry pointing to Laura’s site, so to deliberately hijack mine instead looks very damning.

        Obviously I’m making no assumptions about who might have done this, but the WikiFashion page (which I’ve screenshotted to send to my lawyer) tracks the IP addresses of everyone who edits it, so I’m sure it’ll be easy enough to find out.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Evy

    I find it extremely difficult to take Blake seriously, and to consider her professional in any way, after reading that message. Obviously, when someone has no problem stealing another persons signature, that’s the first sign of a lack of moral, but this is astonishing. It’s like the Lime Crime thing, except she (Blake) isn’t a proper company… And honestly, it wouldn’t have taken more than two minutes to check if there was a blog/anything called Shoeperwoman – I just Googled it, and it took 0.21 seconds for Google to give me my search results…

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    maz aka MallyMon

    Once again, just want to reiterate that you have my 100% support, for what it’s worth. (I’m dying to know what the police say to her.)

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    maz aka MallyMon

    P.S. Dear Laura, if you’re looking, you have absolutely no idea what ‘professional courtesy’ is. If you did, you’d have backed off when you saw the name was already being used. Shame on you.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Weezy

    All of the posts above echo exactly what I would say! I just want to mention though that it’s a bit hard to believe she thought your blog was America, I do understand that you post shoes that are available across the waters. but you also mention quite a bit the words “Edinburgh” and “awful weather”, surely from the challenge pictures she would have noticed the grey skies and quite obvious concrete surroundings! You’re not some NYC blogger, everyone knows that! Some people are just so silly!!

    • Reply April 8, 2011

      Shoeperwoman

      I know – all that, AND my About page clearly states that I’m in the UK: it takes seconds to find that information!

      • Reply April 8, 2011

        Natasha

        As anyone who has tried writing a blog knows, building a readership base is extremely hard work which takes a lot of time and effort. Even more so if you plan on making money from your blog.
        In that light, I’m not entirely convinced Ms Blake didn’t know any of the relevant information.
        Even if you were American, how does that change anything? Last time I checked anyone can (and does) visit any website, regardless of their nationality. And your blog doesn’t look “serious”? Really? One look at the design and the ads tells you that this is a professional blog.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Jessica P

    Amber, I am so sorry to ear about this. Hang in there, we are all behind you! You are the one and only shoeperwoman!

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Shine

    This makes me laugh the most:

    “If you are not willing to do this, I’m going to speak to the police in the morning about pressing charges against you for harassment, slander, and cyber-bullying.”

    My dear (Laura), the police will ask you politely to go away. No one has harassed you, no one has slandered you and most of all cyber-bullying please.

    Pointing out you stole an idea is not harassment. Pointing out you stole an idea is not harassment. Pointing out you stole and idea is not cyber-bullying.

    Pressing charges…..roffle. the only charges being pressed will be the Police charging you with wasting their time.

    Ego dented much.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Kelly

    I’ve added a link or two to my livejournal; I figure every little helps!

    It doesn’t take long to establish you’re in the UK; it didn’t take me long to establish you’re in Scotland like me!

    As I see it, someone starting a blog with a similar name might be understandable, but the act of knowing someone else has built a business with that brand and yet attempting to trademark it for yourself anyway pushes this over the limit of what I can view charitably.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    drea

    I just had a quick look, she’s also taken off the “disclaimer” thing :/

    It’s terrible what she has done, she can’t claim that she didn’t know because common sense would tell her to research.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Fi

    She claims not to have seen your site, yet I quote her email above:

    “Seeing any form of Shoeper-Woman wasn’t already registered I didn’t think that ShoeperWoman was a serious company, I thought it was an American site, and just a bit of fun, and not a competitor as you don’t retail shoes or design them.”

    So she did see it then? I think she’s all talk – she’s not going to go to the police about this, as she knows she’s in the wrong. There’s proof here that your site has existed for years, and every one of us commenting independently has to be some sort of evidence that she is in the wrong too. Right, I’m off to write a blog post about this.
    xx

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Lila

    she has shot herself in the foot there with the, thinking your site was an American one, the ball is firmly in her court..and she is looking kind of silly right now, an un-established website with few followers who has stolen the name from someone else, who on earth would take her seriously..please

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Shoeperwoman

    Hi everyone,

    Just a quick note to say that I’m temporarily enabling comment moderation. This isn’t to prevent anyone having their say, it’s purely to demonstrate that I am taking Laura’s claims of harrasment seriously. I will approve comments as soon as I can, so please don’t be put off by this!

    Just to be clear (and I hope this goes without saying), it has never been my intention to harrass anyone, and as I said above, I feel my posts are accurate statements of this situation. I will, however, vigorously defend my brand and business, as I feel sure any other business owner would do in the same circumstances.

    • Reply April 8, 2011

      Sonya

      I’m sure that no one will object to this, especially considering the circumstances. If this helps, then do it.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    sammy

    This is an awful situation you’ve been put in and I will help in anyway I can. This womens threats no matter how empty sadden me. This buisness has been running much longer and she has no right to profit off your hard work, and in my opinion that’s all she could be doing as she couldn’t of not known this site not only existed but how popular it is.

    Saying all that the amount of support coming across is amazing.

    • Reply April 8, 2011

      Shoeperwoman

      You’re so right, I’m absolutely overwhelmed by it, I will never be able to thank people enough for the support they’ve shown over this….

      • Reply April 8, 2011

        Natasha

        Amber, I’ve been visiting your blogs for probably three or four years now. The laughs you’ve given us all over the years count for something. I feel like we’ve really grown into a community, so it’s only logical we’d all stand up for something we care about!

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    elpinko

    Hi!
    Not found your blog before but heard about this malarky via twitter (i love twitter!)
    Just had a look at the faux shoeperwoman site, what a load of rubbish! worst “business” website i’ve seen in a while. Dont think you have much to worry about.
    Also I doubt very much her local police station will be interested in her fictional cyber bullying story, good luck with that miss laura!
    BTW love the wedding shoes section, very helpful in planning my friend’s wedding!

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Rebecca

    I’m so sorry this happened! I’ll post something right away, I hope it helps!

    • Reply April 9, 2011

      Rebecca

      Also, forgot to say this, but I owe almost all of the readers of my blog to you, Amber, so I really owe you a lot. If there’s anything else I can do to help, please let me know!

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    arlene

    Logged on for the first time in a week and my heart plummeted to my feet. I’d love to say I can’t believe someone would do this… but sadly I can. In my opinion this lady is an opportunist who is too lazy to build up her own brand, and so instead is intent on stealing the one that you’ve built up.
    No one in their right mind EVER picks a URL that is hyphenated. NO ONE. That is UNLESS they really really wanted the unhyphenated version but found it to be “taken”. She knew fine rightly your website and brand existed. I’d hazard a guess that she was even a regular reader

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    arlene

    I’m torn between sheer rage at the injustice and tears at the obvious upset you’re bound to be suffering. Just know that readers like me will support you 100% Amber. You are and will always be the only Shoeperwoman for us xxx

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Zoe

    Wait, she wasn’t aware of this site but she thought it was an American/non-serious site? I generally don’t make assumptions about things I literally do not know about. Hey, you see that purple elephant not there? I think her shoes are ugly as sin. Probably made in Bolivia.

    • Reply April 10, 2011

      Sonya

      Whoa. Wait a second. There’s no need to insult the Bolivians like that.

  • Reply April 8, 2011

    Zoe

    Anyway I look at this, I can see only one thing: she does not have a solid case at all. In the case of a name, she gave contradicting statements which could put her in a difficult position if she decides to pursue this matter any further. Also, a professional would check for existing brands with that name before naming their own (and no, Vanilla Ice, an extra “dam” in Queen’s “Under Pressure” does not make much of a difference) and in a case of a blunder like this one, would gracefully apologize and fix the mistake. Also, with just a little thinking, they could’ve turned it into a good thing and at least earn a contact for a possible future cooperation!
    In the case of harassment… well, let’s say that it has as much basis as suing the weather man for reporting it will rain on a day you planned to have a picnic. ;)
    So, Amber-rin, no worries – it will all get cleared up. And feel free to ask us for help any time. Even though our salaries may suffer because of the shoes we see here, by all these comments you can see how much respect and support you have rightfully earned. :)

  • This is just mind-boggling, I can’t believe people think they can keep taking the p*ss out of bloggers in this way. Good luck with your fight. I’m sure you know from the support that Jennine of The Coveted received that the whole blogging community will be behind you.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Nikki G

    Wow. This just gets worse and worse. It is so awful that you and Terry have to go through this. I wish you the best through this mess!!

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Vicky

    Sorry had some problem with previous comment.

    I found your post through Lipglossiping’s blog, so know you have some excellent friends out there! And apologies if I’m repeating something someone else has already said.

    I am a law student, so I have some knowledge of both harassment and intelectual property rights.

    First of all, I would really recommend you get some professional advice, if you haven’t already. Secondly, she has absolutely no case against you for harassment. The police will laugh her out of the station. Third, blogging and trademarks is somewhat unchartered territory legally speaking, so it is quite difficult to say one way or the other what a court would do. In the mean time, and im sure a solicitor would suggest this, you may want to try some form of mediation. This would involve and independent mediator and both sides could put their issues on the table without having to resort to court action. I hope this helps and if you want me to clarify anything of give you any further advice, please do email me. I know quite abit about representing yourself in court, so maybe that will help.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    drea

    Sorry to post again, but I’ve only just found the website of hers, I thought it was just a blog, to me that makes it worse. The fact she has gone to all that trouble without checking properly if the name exsists or not is stupid. Regardless of whether she thought it was a “silly american fun thing” she shouldn’t have taken it, I would never take someone’s name knowing full well that it belongs to someone else. At the end of the day, it’ll be worse for her, after all news travels quickly, with the bad image she is getting she’ll lose clients and readers. It’ll be better to admit defeat and back down now before it gets worse. Getting the police involved seems so silly, it’s a waste of time and it’s not hate, we are offering support and advice to the one and only Shoeperwoman.

    • Reply April 9, 2011

      annet

      well, at first she admitted knowing about the real shoeperwoman, but she thought the two were different enough for readers to know the difference. after all these posts by amber about people contacting her to buy shoes, i wouldn’t be too sure about that.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Vicky

    Just did a bit of research. I seem to have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about this:

    1. The fake site doesn’t rank on Google. All searches for it come back with info on the fact that it is stolen.

    2. The fake site only has negative comments on it (albeit intelligent, gramatically correct ones – Yay for the Beauty community having the sense not to just post vitriol), so hopefully she will decide its not worth the effort and give up. Also that she won’t make any money.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Rachael

    So sorry to hear this is happening to you! Its hard to believe she didn’t realize the name was already taken. A simple google search would have revealed that. Hope you don’t get shut down!

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    b.

    I’ve been reading your blogs for a couple of years and can’t tell you what a delight they are. I can only echo other people’s sentiments and say how utterly appalled I am that someone would behave like this. I haven’t got a blog, or much of an online presence really, so I can’t really raise awareness of this, but I just wanted to tell you that I totally feel for you. Don’t let the lady in question and her idle threats get you down.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Carys

    I still cannot believe, even after reading all the updates, feeds, tweets and comments that this sort of thing can happen. I’m so sorry that this has happened to you Amber, especially when this is your livelihood.

    Stay strong and stay positive – good will out. I’m sure of it xx

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Vijaya

    Don’t worry, I doubt she has a legal leg to stand on. This poor behavior from her is appalling. My best wishes are with you.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Caveat Calcei

    Dear Amber

    Not only is this woman LB infringing your trade mark and passing herself off as you but now she is threatening to report you to the police? She is clearly getting legal advice from the same solicitor who advised her to cut across your trade mark rights. I’d like to have a chat with this solicitor whoever he or she is. Rest assured, if you need a lawyer to represent you in court, I’ll be doing for you free of charge.

    LB, you should be completely and absolutely ashamed of yourself. Do the right thing – withdraw your trade mark application, transfer the domain names to the Real Shoeperwoman and use the energy that you are putting into shafting people into creating your own brand.

  • Hello Amber,
    I found the link to your original article via twitter and immediately delisted the article to my blog as well as retweeted the link to you. I will also retweet this. I understand the process of trademarking is costly, but it just occurred to me that perhaps this may be an intellectual property issue. Here in the US you can contact your local BR Association and ask for a free referral, and the attorney will give you a one time free session to determine if you have a case (sometimes they do ask for a donation they give to either charity or the Bar Association.) call around and see if anything like that is available for you. And if there is anything else I can do, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The whole thing sickens me, that people can be so smarmy and unoriginal! My prayers are with you, may the gods of justice prevail!
    XXX
    Suzanne

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Sotalia

    For Laura to claim she thought your site was a “silly American” fun thing is ridiculous. It took me 30 seconds to do a WhoIs lookup on shoeperwoman.com and it’s clearly registered in GB.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Sara

    Gosh, this is just awful, and I was so disappointed to hear about it when I checked your blog today. The trademark dispute is bad enough, but now that you’re being threatened too it must be very stressful. I just hope you don’t let it get you down, because one good thing that’s come out of all this is that you can see how many fans you have and how much we all love your blog, and we’d hate to see it shut down over something so ridiculous. I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through such a difficult time, and I hope that you can resolve all of this in your favour soon. We’re all here to support you, so let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Hoshi

    Tush! Our Amber, unprofessional or slandering? I can’t imagine such a thing- and I agree with previous commenters, she should have Googled the name before she tried to place any claim on it, just out of courtesy- the same courtesy she apparently highly admires. And I don’t recall any “hate campaign”, just a simple request to support her and get the message passed along.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Hoshi

    Tush! Our Amber, unprofessional or slandering? I can’t imagine such a thing- and I agree with previous commenters, she should have Googled the name before she tried to place any claim on it, just out of courtesy- the same courtesy she apparently highly admires. And I don’t recall any “hate campaign”, just a simple request to support her and get the message passed along.

    Also- an American site? Why the dickens does the nationality make any difference?

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Vivian

    I had never heard of your blog and got here through Lipglossiping, because of this unfortunate situation.

    On the other hand, how very unfortunate it is for this LB, because her blog/site is so pitiful. Ugly, poorly written, I barely looked it over; while yours kept me clicking links for over half an hour.

    I hope she realizes this battle is lost. If not, hopefully it won’t be too much of hassle for you to get what’s rightfully yours.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Emma

    I find it astounding that she claims to know very little about your blog, yet seems to have used very similar phrases from yours (Mr Shoeper-woman?) throughout hers. It’s not just a matter of the name, but the whole content model. I’d also agree that any Business person worth their salt would have researched on Google, and found your About page!

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Mair

    This is awful. She KNEW this site existed. She still used the name, and tried to make it so you COULDN’T use it anymore. And then accusing you of harassment and cyber-bullying (bullying? Are we back in elementary school now?) when all you did was express your distress at losing your income. This is your job, your livelyhood, if anything, YOU should be the one who owns the trademark to the name “shoeperwoman”! I really hope everything works out for you and Terry. And I don’t see a trademark succeeding. You have thousands of fans spanning two years of hard work, it’s not like she can claim she came up with the name.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Helene

    We are here to support you, Amber! Hang in there! This woman has no grounds to actually call the police on you, don’t react to her psychology!

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Jayme

    Actually legally it is not slander, or cyber bullying. All the information, even if it is inacurate and incomplete, that you have posted is true to the best of your knowledge. That at least in america means you are legal in the clear.

    • Reply April 9, 2011

      Shoeperwoman

      I worked as a journalist for many years, and I have absolute confidence that there is nothing that could even remotely be construed as libel or harassment about my post – I just wouldn’t do that. I haven’t made any statements about Laura’s personality or character (She’s called me a “bully”), I haven’t disparaged her business or websites in any way (she’s said mine is “not a serious business”), and I haven’t threatened her (she’s sent me numerous comments and emails now telling me that she’ll be contacting the police this morning), and all of this is on top of trying to trademark my name, which would put me out of business and destroy a large part of my livelihood. I think if anyone could claim to have been bullied/harassed/libelled, it would be me, and I can’t honestly imagine the police will be even remotely interested in my post – in fact, I’d be surprised if they didn’t consider their time to have been wasted.

      In addition to that, Laura WANTED publicity about this! She WANTED me to post about it, and I still have the emails in which she suggests doing exactly that, so to NOW ask me to remove the posts is unreasonable, I feel. I also notice that she has removed the post she wrote on her blog to clarify the differences between our sites, so now her site has no such disclaimer, making it even more important for mine to exist!

      • Reply April 9, 2011

        Denise

        Oh my God! I tell you, I spent part of the night and day (today) thinking of the case and I posted before that, in my opinion, she was the one who bullied you and not the contrary. I’m also a bit angry because I don’t know how to delete her name from my computer (call me dumb, no doubt!) – you know, when we type the first letters like “shoep”… then your site comes immediately. Yesterday I was checking out her blog to see the extent of the damage, and now her address also appears on my tool bar. Grrr! After all, Amber, she got part of what she wanted. Look, I’m sure that a big part of your readers checked her site out. She got loads of publicity on your account, and for free. Not fair!!! Another reader said, you created a community, it’s true! So let’s stand up and voice our will! This name is yours for years!

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Ursula

    I am very sorry to hear this is happening to you. I have looked at the other person’s sites, and they certainly don’t look very professional to me! I have shoeperwoman.com in my blog’s blogroll now, I hope it helps a little.

  • This has sickened me. I am absolutely distraught this is happening to you. It is something I personally fear for myself and every other blogger who has dedicated so much time, effort, money and passion to it.

    I think it is safe to say that if this women proceeds with her business using your name, there will be much backlash from the demographic she is trying to target. I think she has made a terrible business move by taking a name that is already so popular with thousands of people (worldwide mind you!).

    I hope this matter is resolved promptly.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Julia M

    Schoolyard tactics-“I’m going to bully you, but if you defend yourself I’ll tell the teacher you started it.”

    She can’t fairly accuse you of ruining her brand or site. She did that herself by not doing her research before taking the Shoeperwoman name and by disregarding your site simply because you don’t sell a product. She has also made herself look very unprofessional by making unfounded claims of cyberbullying and slander against you. I can’t see her business recovering from these mistakes that she has made, and I honestly don’t feel any sympathy whatsoever for her.

    I really hope things work themselves out for you, and quickly. I can’t imagine how distressing it must be to see your livelihood threatened like this, but you are handling it so gracefully I’m sure you’ll come out on top!

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Sandy

    Not that I get a lot of traffic in my FB page but it’s the only place I can link from, so consider it done!

    Good Luck Amber (and Terry!)

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    xony

    Hey everyone, if you have a Digg account you can click here to digg Shoeperwoman.com:

    http://digg.com/news/lifestyle/shoeperwoman_s_shoe_blog_your_guide_to_uk_and_us_stiletto_heels_designer_ugly_shoes

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    MsVeve

    Wishing you the best of luck and was wondering, how are you with legal support? My distant uncle is a lawyer in London and I guess I could ask for his advice if you wanted? Don’t wanna seem like I’m meddling into your afairs but if it would help I could ask via email and then forward to you/give hhim your email adress etc.

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Kathryn

    I visit your site because I read about shoes, not because I necessarily want to buy them and will continue to do so regardless of what your blog is named. As the matter is a civil one, not a criminal (I didn’t see anything in your post that would indicate “cyber-bullying”, just merely stating the facts and your opinions on the matter) even if she goes to the police, they will laugh at her and instruct her of this. As your blog existed prior to hers and she was aware of your blog, depending on the laws where you live she may have to compensate you monetarily if she wants to trademark the name and

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Smidge

    Hey Shoeperwoman!

    This is horrendous and i’m horrified this has happened to you. I hope you sort it out.

    But one good point – you are getting more new readers that you can possibly imagine. So thanks to your imposter for that – I’ve been able to find your sites.

    Keep fighting, I have no doubt you will win this. If its not slander, a blogspot blog against a registered hosted site? She has no chance. Good luck tho!

    From a shoe obsessed Edinburgh girl :)

  • Reply April 9, 2011

    Camille

    Hello Amber, This situation makes my stomach hurt. I don’t have a blog, but wish you every success in winning this battle.

  • Reply April 10, 2011

    Ruth

    I absolutely love your websites, and have been following them for a while but not yet commented. Sad that this is my first but I just wanted to offer you my support, I wish you the best of luck! She has only just started her blog, she could have easily chosen to TM an ORIGINAL name of her own! You are my style-crush and always make me laugh x

  • Reply April 10, 2011

    Anna

    Um, so she wasn’t aware of your site, but she thought it was not-serious/American? How exactly does that work…?

    Well, I hope everything works out okay, and as you can see, you have a TON of support. Also, her blog sucks and yours is awesome.

  • Reply April 10, 2011

    Minnie Burton

    I don’t believe LB to be innocent in any of this. The further you dig the more dodgy this seems and the more you question her the more her story becomes inconsistent.

    I am really sorry you are having to go through this Amber it cannot be easy but I am fairly certain that LB has shot herself in the foot with her attitude and business ethic and her site will NEVER dominate over yours.

    I also wonder if she’s using her real name… because googling her name would lead to the Shoeperwoman dipute.
    Very embarrassing considering she’s trying to establish herself as a Marketing mogul. Not to mention any potential employer doing a quick snoop to make sure she’s worth the content she’s put on her CV.

    She has picked the wrong battle. If you are reading this LB please give it up. You will only lose.

  • Reply April 10, 2011

    Tali

    Dear Amber, I know it’s a difficult time, even though you know you are the one who is going to win. Hold on and it will end and miss Laura will evaporate and disappear in the cyber space where she’s apparently come from. Hopefully she will learn her lesson and find something else to do.
    Maybe you can see it as a learning experience.. well, to just help being positive.
    It’s amazing to see all the support. So many people love you, I’m sure it will help.. I just wish to send you some positive energy!

  • Reply April 10, 2011

    Grace

    I’ve been reading your blogs for such a long time, since before Shoeperwoman was created, and never commented, but I just want to wish you good luck with this. Your blogs are amazing, and I love reading them, especially because it’s clear how much you invest yourself personally in them, not just for the money. This is a horrible thing to have to deal with, and I hope you’re successful. Life without (the real) Shoeperwoman would be so dull!
    x

  • Reply April 10, 2011

    Loozie

    I’m annoyed at this. I have been fuming about it all weekend.

    My thoughts are with you Amber! Sending you some virtual wine. ;)

  • Reply April 10, 2011

    Elle

    Have followed this over the past few days and seriously, there are no words. I’m so appalled. Icould write an essay here but what I’d like to say has already been said numerous times, but I really, REALLY hope that you get this sorted. I love your witty blogs and the work you’ve obviously put in to making your sites very successful and it’s atrocious Laura thinks she can get away with this.

    Anyway, have posted about this on my blog (hope you don’t mind me using the pic?) and hope others will too. Go Amber!

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    GRIT & GLAMOUR

    LAURA, you have some kind of nerve. To blatanly steal a name that has been in use for years and attempt to trademark it, then threaten the rightful creator of it?! Shame on you. You will see in court that the maturity of Amber’s site and history doing business as that name is protection enough. Attempting to trademark after the fact is moot. YOU’RE the bully, and beyond that wholly unoriginal.

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    xony

    Since I don’t have a real blog, I made a Polyvore set:
    http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=812434

    and remember to Digg Shoeperwoman.com if you can!
    http://digg.com/news/lifestyle/shoeperwoman_s_shoe_blog_your_guide_to_uk_and_us_stiletto_heels_designer_ugly_shoes

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Han

    I’m one of those girls who owes quite a few pairs of shoes but only wears like 2 or 3 lol. A friend brought this to my attention and although I haven’t blogged about it (yet!) I have tweeted and will do so.

    If you’ve been going longer than she has then surely she’s the one who is “Cyber-bullying”

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Penny

    Don’t worry Amber, if worst came to worst (which it won’t, it’s clear you are in the right here) and SHE was allowed the trademark, her business would most likely fail completely because who on earth would buy shoes or read a shoe blog from a woman that clearly has no morals? Karma would get her, don’t you worry!

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Kelsey

    After reading your blogs for quite a while now, I know you’ll be worrying yourself silly about this, but please believe me when I say, LB is fighting a losing battle! The sheer volume of comments you have regarding the issue is testament to this, and I’m sure that whatever happens, your loyal base of readers/supporters will remain! We all love you and your blogs Amber! x

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Ted

    If Laura’s Twitter is anything to go by, she’s not feeling even slightly stressed by the so-called “bullying”, so I don’t think you have much to worry about Amber regarding the police threats:

    http://twitter.com/#!/shoeper_woman/status/57145254117257217

    Hardly the words of the terrified victim of a “hate campaign”.

    • Reply April 17, 2011

      Sotalia

      Interestingly enough, that twitter account now comes up as “suspended”…

      • Reply April 17, 2011

        Shoeperwoman

        It was suspended for infringing upon our unregistered trademark, as was the Facebook page I linked to in the post. Twitter and Facebook don’t allow that kind of behaviour, thankfully…

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Emily Jayne

    Oh Amber, this is all completely rubbish and I feel terrible for you. Just want to say I think you’re conducting yourself with grace throughout this whole escapade.

    Have linked to you in my blog post today, and also added a link to you inder the name Shoeperwoman on my links page. Hope this helps.

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Theresa

    Despite the fact that your site obviously isn’t American, Ms. Blake should realize that nationality has nothing to do with it! The beautiful thing about the internet is that its international! If she stole an American company’s name it would be just as wrong and she needs to realize that if she is trying to build a creatively driven site, she needs to start with her own creative name. Good luck Amber!

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Mona

    I am a bit late to the party, but I wanted to thank you for your very entertaining websites, which I do read daily. Your webpage is the only one I decided to like on facebook, since I usually prefer not to give too much info, but I wanted to show my support and do not have a blog to do so. I am glad you are back to posting, please do not let it get to you!

  • Reply April 15, 2011

    Ginger

    Oooh, this made me so angry. You have my sympathy. And I’ve linked to you on my blog too, in case that helps. Made my blood boil–been reading all your sites for ages. Very upset for you.
    I have some slightly dodgy Glasgow cousins, in case that’s ever any practical help…
    I’ve never had any truck with Twitter and Digg, but am tempted to do so just to do some virtual growling. In the nicest and most civilised way, of course.
    Thinking of you!!!

  • Reply April 15, 2011

    Kathy

    I wish you the best of luck. I don’t know what the laws are on the net, but they can be pretty devastating, at least in the US. A friend of mine (decades ago) coined the word Jazzercise and actually had it registered in NY state and was teaching classes. Someone else registered it nationally and she had to drop it.
    A restaurant in my town was in the process of registering their name nationally but someone beat them to it. In that case they are east coast and a west coast chain had picked the same name coincidentally.
    Its definitely safer to trademark.
    Good luck.
    Kathy

  • Reply April 18, 2011

    rachel d

    You know what I think? I think she is a lot smarter than we’re giving her credit for. (Believe me when I say it actually causes me pain to say this.)

    But the fact of the matter is, I think she knows her shoes are ugly, of poor quality and frankly not something even my grandmother would be caught dead in. Therefore, she’s done what she’s done and garnered quite a lot of publicity and attention for herself.

    I don’t know much about infringement laws and the like but I would think the best way to help Amber would be to stop paying any attention to the attention seeker. Even if we visit her site out of curiousity (which I will admit I have done on more than one occaision) that’s one added visit to her.

    Let’s just band together and support Amber in any way we can and let Ms. Blake fade back into the sad obscurity where she belongs.

    All my love and thoughts and prayers to you Amber! Stay strong and keep doing what you love.

  • Reply May 2, 2011

    Elisa

    Unbelievable. It';s bad enough when people don’t do research before starting a blog to make sure nobody has the same name, but a business? That’s just stupid.

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