August 5, 2010; Source: Wall Street Journal | Susan G. Komen For the Cure is launching a legal battle against “kite fliers, kayakers and dozens of other themed fund-raisers” that it says are illegally using the name, “for the cure.” Adding “for the cure” to the end of an organization’s name has been a popular way to grab name-recognition for such groups as, “Juggling for a Cure,” “Bark for the Cure,” and “Blondes for the Cure”—which have all sought to trademark their names.
What’s more, Susan G. Komen For the Cure is strongly warning other organizations not to use the color pink. “It is startling to us that Komen thinks they own pink,” says Mary Ann Tighe, who tangled with the breast-cancer charity over the color for her “Kites for a Cure” lung-cancer fund-raiser.
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For Komen’s part, they feel these details are important and fear losing some of their donations to similar sounding or similar looking campaigns.
Other campaigns have locked horns over trademark issues in the past several years: The Lance Armstrong Foundation (which has branded itself LiveStrong) sought action against HeadStrong, also a cancer charity. Wounded Warriors Inc. is in a dust up with the Wounded Warrior Project. And the Sunshine Kids Foundation sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Sunshine Kids Club of California.
Can’t we all just get along? No, says Andrew Price, a trademark attorney. “The days are probably over when nonprofits just said, ‘We’ll just get along with anybody who’s a nonprofit because we’re all trying to do good here.'”—Aaron Lester