"Cease and Desist - Trademark Infringement" - My Question

Last Update: November 12, 2020

Hello Folks!

I have a question;

In July 2020 I did a review of one MLM company (called Primerica).

A few days ago I have recieved and email where it was written that the article "was posted in direct violation of Primerica’s legal rights "

Here is the full email:

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It has come to the attention of the Office of General Counsel of Primerica, Inc. (“Primerica”) that you authored and caused to be posted and hosted a writing on setaffiliatebusiness, a website operated you, that wholly incorporates the PRIMERICA word and logo mark in connection with the solicitation affiliate marketing prospects for commercial gain.

The writing in question (the “Article”) is currently hosted at setaffiliatebusiness /is-primerica-a-scam/. The Article was posted in direct violation of Primerica’s legal rights and in direct violation of multiple federal and state laws, both here and abroad.

The Article constitutes direct and obvious trademark infringement. In addition, the Article is defamatory, derogatory and/or misleading, and it is clear that the intention of these misrepresentations is to benefit of other businesses with which you are affiliated.

Accordingly, we demand that you and all persons and entities acting by, for, or in concert you with immediately terminate all infringement of Primerica’s trademark rights and that you and all persons and entities acting by, for, or in concert you immediately remove the article at issue, as well as any and all copies or variations of the Article and any and all other content that is similarly defamatory, misleading or disparaging toward Primerica and/or its affiliates.

If we are forced to initiate legal action, we will seek to recover, to the fullest extent, all profits, damages, and attorneys’ fees authorized by statute or otherwise.

Respectfully,

Carla L. Montgomery

Assistant General Counsel

Primerica, Inc.

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My questions is what am I supposed to do?

Should I really remove the article?

At the begginng of my article I have a disclaimer saying that:

Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Primerica. This review is based on research and information available online in the public domain.
Any recommendation and conclusions are only opinions and may not apply to all persons or situations.

Since the entire article is only my opnion, I am not sure what consequences there might be, concerning my person (business).

I did not call the company scam, I have includes also Pros and Cons, so in my opinion the article was objective.

What are your suggestions?

Thanks a lot in advance

Mike

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Debbi26 Premium
Hey Mike. Brenda gave you a good answer. MANY moons ago, I worked for them as well as a licensed insurance AND securities agent. There was a lot of training involved and standards to be met. Loved selling the securities. I would never sell anything that I did not believe in. Unless something has changed, they are a good company.

Just my take, I would remove it.

~Debbi
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MarionBlack Premium
I am not a lawyer.

Normally I would say that you have 2 choices; comply or get a lawyer. But, having read the article in question, I'd like to offer a third suggestion. Write back to them asking which part of the article violates their legal rights. You may want to cite this article:
https://cyber.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm
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MichalB Premium
Thanks a lot, Marion

I appreciate it
Mike
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Calvinator63 Premium
Hi Michal,

First, I want to let you know that I am not a lawyer and the advice I am giving is based on my knowledge of infringement laws and practices thereof it is not intended to replace advice from a licensed law practicing attorney.

You should consult with and possibly acquire legal representation in any and all legal matters to protect your best interests.

Carson and Kyle may be able to shed some light on this subject about a year or two ago they faced a lawsuit regarding "MOBE". In a blog that Kyle submitted to the WA platform he discussed how they defended their freedom of speech rights; here is the link to that article you may find it very helpful in your situation: It is my understanding that you can simply put another disclaimer in the blog stating that:

"The trademarks within this article are those of the respected proprietary propriety owners (Primerica, Inc.) and this website is not associated, endorsed by, or affiliated with Primerica, Inc. in any legal contracts or agreements, at this time. The content provided below is for informational and educational purposes only, it is based on facts obtained online or in-person by the author and is the sole opinion of the author.”

Here is an article that can possibly help you avoid this type of situation in the future:

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/how-to-avoid-copyright-infringement

The document they sent to you seems legit to me, but I would not go off the deep end in worry just yet. I think, the disclaimer above if posted to your blog will protect you from their harassment.

Please consult with a local trademark/copyright infringement lawyer they should be able to steer you in the right direction to avoid further consequences in this matter.

Hope this helps,

Calvin
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MichalB Premium
Hi Calvin,

Very helpful.
Appreciate your thorough answer.

I will take a look at the article.

Have a nice rest of a day
Mike
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BrendaMZ Premium
There was another affiliate here who got this same thing, a cease and desist order. Any company can sue you in court of law for these violations. The company has a right to exist, Kyle wrote an article about this and in that article he tells us what to do.
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MichalB Premium
Thank you, Brenda.

I will have to get back to the article Kyle wrote.
Cheers
Mike
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BrendaMZ Premium
Marion Black stated what I would have done. I know that company very well. I used to be a licensed insurance agent. They do sell securities insurance. Agents who work for them who must be licensed to sell securities under Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

You stated you didn't call them a scam, thats good. However, they do have a right to keep their company intact from defamation or character assassination. Or their use of copyrighted logo and trademark.

I would obey the order and remove that and also reword the article in order not to defame them because that company has been around for a long time.

If FTC and SEC thought they shouldn't exist then they would be out of business by now (like the other company that Kyle proved was a scam before the FTC shut them down).

They have hotshot lawyers that can put you as a writer out of business. Getting a lawyer is expensive like Kyle wrote in his article.

Its your call to make and if you don't then its possible you can be sued in court. That ligation will take a very long time and expensive legal fees.
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MichalB Premium
Great Advice Brenda.

I am going to fix that.
Thank you
Mike
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AlexSt Premium
I did a lot of research about copyright infringement a while back and by the looks of it, your article should be protected under Fair Use. This means that you may be able to use some copyrighted work without asking for permission if it's for information purposes. Even if it's a negative review or criticism, I don't think that they can do much about it, but scare you into removing the article yourself.
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MichalB Premium
Thank you for your helpful comment.
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