"...keeping it free - the One-Page Strategic Plan"
NEED YOUR HELP - please print the affidavit at this link and get every employee you can to sign - then please mail to our Ashburn offices: Gazelles, 44031 Pipeline Plaza Suite 200, Ashburn, VA 20147
BACKGROUND: - the One-Page Strategic plan, which I introduced in the mid-90s at the MIT executive program I chaired and then wrote about in a major article in 1999 and published in my book in 2001, is under attack. I've always believed in an open-source model, providing this tool and other one-page tools to download for free from our website. Some less than honest people are trying to "own" what we've distributed for free and claim that no one else has ever used the term!
Trademark Dispute - in essence, a decade after I introduced the tool, some consultants decided to see if they could trademark the term "One-Page Strategic Plan." Like me, when I sought a trademark, they were told by the Patent and Trademark Office that the term was descriptive, so the trademark was denied. They tried again and were denied. And they tried again, this time claiming that they were the only ones to ever use the term and asking for a supplemental trademark. This means if no one says anything after five years, they'll get a trademark.
Stop Using Term - in the meantime, their lawyers sent us a letter stating that their clients owned the term and we had to stop using it - seems they want to own the term so they can control it, even though their use of it is limited and they don't even have a structured one-page document.
BURY THEM - so I need your help to bury them and keep the term and document open source!! Working with Andrew Sherman, the top IP lawyer in the world (who works for the 3rd largest law firm in the world, Jones Day - many of you know Andrew as the long-time lawyer for EO who helped me file the original incorporation papers when I launched YEO), we've come up with a plan to avoid a long and expensive legal battle by burying them with a boatload of signed affidavits. We're already collected almost 1000 from attendees at our various Summits the past few weeks. We need thousands more.
Please Sign Affidavit - so here's where I need your help. Would you be willing to print up a bunch of these one-page affidavits (here's the link); get as many of your employees to sign as you're willing to do; and then send them to us in Ashburn? Original signed paper documents are much more impactful to the Patent and Trademark Office than something we might do online. I know it means some work and expense, but I'm hoping the One-Page Strategic Plan, our other tools, and my insights (all provided for no charge) are a fair trade for this greatly needed help.
What Affidavit Says -- in essence, when you think about the term "One-Page Strategic Plan" you equate it to the work we're doing at Gazelles. I apologize for all the rest of the lawyer-speak, but we worked hard to keep it to one-page!!
THANK YOU - again, thank you for going to the time and expense to lend me a hand. "Freedom" is our Core Purpose at Gazelles (and mine personally) - and when I sense it's being threatened I'm ready to go on the offensive. I'll keep you posted on the results.