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Forum, April 3: Trademark flap over trapping

Published: 4/2/2021 10:00:18 PM
Modified: 4/2/2021 10:00:14 PM
Trademark flap over trapping

Joseph Paolilli, of Swanzey, N.H., registered the trade names “NH Citizens Against Recreational Trapping” and “NH Citizens Against Trapping” with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office knowing they are used by Kristina Snyder, an anti-trapping activist and founder of the social media group NH Citizens Against Recreational Trapping (“Debate over bear trapping sees a bit of poaching,” March 27).

Paolilli reportedly plans to tell Snyder to “cease and desist” using these names. Paolilli is a trapper and a director of the New Hampshire Trappers Association.

Paolilli’s action raises a trademark issue. One of the purposes of trademark law is the prevention of public confusion and deception. So, in attempting to use trade names associated with an anti-trapping organization, Paolilli’s registration appears to be precisely what trademark law attempts to prevent. People interested in learning about anti-trapping activities through an internet search would likely be confused and deceived if they were directed to a pro-trapping website. Allowing Paolilli’s registration to stand would interfere with the public’s ability to get the information they are looking for.

A trademark doesn’t have to be registered with the state in order to be valid. It belongs to the person who used it first. Snyder has used the names for several years. Paolilli first used them last week.

I could advise Paolilli to get a good lawyer, but it may be too late for that. He should have spoken to one before he registered trade names that belong to someone else.



End of the Enlightenment?

Regarding HB 544 in the New Hampshire Legislature: This bill “prohibits the dissemination of certain divisive concepts related to sex and race in state contracts, grants, and training programs” — read: schools and universities, of all places — etc.

I read this bill as implying that issues such as slavery, the abuse of Native Americans, the abuse of the Chinese who worked to build the railroads in the 19th century, the destruction of the very prosperous Black community in Tulsa, Okla., in 1921, the incarceration of the Japanese American community during World War II, the sexual harassment of women and now the egregious abuse of the Asian American community in the U.S., and many others, would not be allowed to be discussed in depth.

Whatever happened to the Enlightenment? What is happening to freedom of speech? What is happening to democracy? We seem to be going backward.


West Lebanon

Headline didn’t describe article

We were shocked and dismayed by your March 31 front-page headline: “Vermonters of color eligible for shots Thursday.” The headline does not properly describe the article itself.

What color would you have to be to qualify in this category, since we are all a color? Up to now, people were categorized according to age or medical conditions. To specify a category for skin color is appalling, to say the least.

All these years later and nothing has changed in the minds of some people.



Headline stuck in the 1950s

So disappointed in the Valley News. Your headline: “Vermonters of color eligible for shots Thursday.”

Daybreak’s headline: “Vermonters who identify as BIPOC can register for a vaccine tomorrow, regardless of age.”

Why is the Valley News stuck in the mid-1950s while Daybreak understands modern identification of marginalized groups? Not a good look Valley News, not a good look at all.



Vaccine headline was unclear

Wednesday’s headline needed editing. “Vermonters of color eligible for shots Thursday” seemed to indicate that, prior to Thursday, people of color have not been eligible for vaccinations.

I don’t believe that that is what was intended; however, a clarifying editorial statement might be in order.



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