No matter what you collect, whether it is fashion dolls or bjds, vintage or contemporary - this situation with a person who trademarked the term "Reborn Baby Doll" via an internet website, has deep impacts on our entire community.
"I don't collect or create reborns, why the heck should I care?"
Well, because if this can happen in reborn dolls, this can happen in virtually any genre. That is why we must ALL be aware of what is happening and band together to not only protect our hobby - but to protect your collections and investments as well.
What Is a Trademark Troll?
In the trademark world, a troll is generally understood as one who attempts to register a mark and then demands payment and threatens litigation against unsuspecting companies that have adopted the same or similar marks. There are generally two different classes of people or entities that have been accused of being trademark trolls. Source - International Trademark Association
Much like Paris Hilton trademarking the phrase "That's hot", Amy Duncan Wilson of The Original Reborn has TM the phrase "Reborn Baby Doll". A generic phrase used by artists and collectors worldwide for decades to describe this hobby.
Ms. Wilson then filed claims with Ebay and Etsy and began having numerous listings removed, both from artists AND collectors and, effectively devastating the industry, especially at Christmas when so many artsits count on sales more than any other time of the year.
and then on December 16, this was posted by one of the coordinators of the legal effort....
There is a group of artists within the International Association of Doll Artists (IADA) who are working with attorneys on this and we will be happy to update on the progress as we are granted information. As of right now they are insisting people NOT contact Ms Wilson, her family, her online store, etc. as it just works against everything they are working to do - and, like in the message pasted above, Ms. Wilson is already threatening to file suits against those who she feels harass her, so just leave it to the lawyers to do their thing. There is no doubt that the trademark will be revoked as, obviously, the original attorney did not do their due diligence and look into the hobby, it's just going to take some time.
They do ask that you please sign the petition on Change.org in support of having the trademark reversed as this will be helpful by attorneys in filing.
There is also a GoFundMe campaign begun to help with the vast legal expenses here:
The ramifications of this action go far and wide. Will she, or others, begin trademarking other terms that are vital to artists in other genres? Possibly. That is why we need to stop this immediately and set a precedent. Let us all STAND together and bring back the fun of our love for dolls - whatever genre that is.