Trademarks and Logos are Important Intellectual Property
Trademarks, logos and logotypes are important for many reasons, but they are a problem when words associated with a fictional idea (even for a good cause) usurps and effects the real property "rights, privileges and responsibilities" of a Kentucky Colonel or any attempt to make the idea proprietary under the idea of a store with lots of products that are not an actual Kentucky Colonel. Attaching the label "Kentucky Colonel" to things that are not a "Kentucky Colonel" violates the rights of the colonel and dilutes the actual title it is a clear case of misappropriation of heritage and violates Federal Statutes governing public domain, copyright law and common-law implemented by Congress.
Let there be No Confusion "KENTUCKY COLONELS®" does not support the ideas of the "KENTUCKY COLONEL™". The HOKC organization is based on a fictional idea of an 1813 Myth and they have never even used the words colonelcy, colonelling, colonelly, colonelship, or colonelled over 90 years of recreational activity. But now they are coming after our words that they have never used. They are trademark bullies and now have filed a SLAPP Suit in an effort to protect a for-profit company operated by a third party, knocking off merchandise using the reputation of the State's icon, the Kentucky Colonel.
What Should a Kentucky Colonel Know?
There are hundreds perhaps thousands of things Kentucky colonels in general simply do not know today, that they should and would have known 50 years ago. Since the death of Colonel Sanders and Colonel George Chinn the "Original Ideals" of Col. Daniel Boone and Col. George Rogers Clark, the "Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels" became a marketing brand which misappropriated Kentucky history, but not in normal speech or contextual writing or in such a way that ambiguates or influences the actual reality of Kentucky colonels that use the title "Kentucky Colonel" or possess a commission, because that would be a tragedy. A Semantic Kentucky Colonel is a safe place to be right now, because we allege that a Kentucky Colonel without a history of origin is not a real Kentucky colonel, so colonels need to be enlightened.
The Mark KENTUCKY COLONELS® represents an abstract, arbitrary, creative, descriptive, generic, and/or suggestive use of the term "Kentucky Colonels" under specifically 9 different registrations and 11 different classes out of 45, it does not represent Kentucky colonels per say, but as a noun refers to the name of the trademark when the C is capitalized. This means that any respectable Kentucky Colonel can still do business under the other 34 classes of products and services as "Kentucky Colonels" as long as a colonel can convince the USPTO that the Title which is Honorific (pre-dating their office) did not come from or is affiliated in any way with the HOKC and are not for the same non-colonel uses of the term. The HOKC insists the term is not descriptive or generic and is not confusing to label all of their products with it. Attorneys say that by registering it under multiple classes increases the protection of the term and it also ambiguates it with the other trademarks.
The entire purpose of registration is to control the mark in commerce as something that it is not legal without being registered, not control the origin of the "Kentucky Colonel" and most definitely not try to control the public domain.
The HOKC is a public charity, they get together to poke fun at what Kentucky colonels do to raise funds for important causes; nothing wrong with that, other Kentucky colonels understand that too; but there is nothing "Official" or "Historical" about them or they would have been part of the 1965 film Bluegrass recently featured on our blog. They should not be engaging in trademark bullying or anymore SLAPP Suits, especially with their members. They have never even acknowledged President Lincoln through Col. Marshall Harlan when they made 1,000 Kentucky colonels for the Union in 1861.
KENTUCKY COLONEL™ is not KENTUCKY COLONELS®
- "Kentucky Colonel" is a Legal Title or Person #5 (Est. 2021)
- "Kentucky colonelcy" word used to describe the office and action of being a colonel. (Ibid)
- "Kentucky colonels" two or more persons (group) with a Kentucky Colonel Title. (Ibid)
- "Kentucky Colonels" is the titular expression for a group of colonels, true since 1872. (Fact)
- "KENTUCKY COLONELS" is a common-law trademark of the HOKC. (Ibid)
- "KENTUCKY COLONELS®" is a registered trademark of the HOKC (Ibid)
We are so adamant about ending the confusion that may still exist between the "Kentucky Colonel" as a title or individual person and the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (Fraternal or Military Order) and the State Order of the Colonel (1792-1896) or (1899-1932); and the difference between products in the Kentucky Colonels Store and the Office of the Kentucky Colonelcy do not infringe on one and the other in anyway, but the specious naming of products by the store must stop and be remedied by a court if necessary.
All English grammatical rules apply here as well as they do in court and at the trademark examiners office when we learned the HOKC trademarks are indeed unique because in American English as a noun and proper title "Kentucky Colonel" cannot be used freely with numbers or the indefinite article, and which therefore usually takes no plural form. There were more than 50 groups or businesses in the United States called Kentucky Colonels since the mid-1800's, despite the fact that it has always been part of the Public Domain. Next time I will talk about the Kentucky Colonel and the Laws of Copyrights.