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February 28, 2009

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Mitch - think we've got a big problem here. My good friend, Maria Van Beuren, is the owner of Toad Hall in New Hampshire, a retreat for artists and writers. Also, she is owner and publisher of Toad Hall Press, of whose editorial board I am a member. The logo for both is a big toad with TOAD over him and HALL under him So you appear to stepping on some trademark laws here.

However -- since you are a friend, and since you are not actually in the same business, I think I can talk to Maria and we can work something out. Remember when I suggested you hire poets to write elegies for your customers? IF you agree to hire ONLY Toad Hall Press poets and IF you sell Toad Hall books in your coffin showroom, perhaps Maria will be amenable to you keeping the name and logo.

Your friend,
Laura

hi laura -- thanks for your comment and fortunately i don't think there's a problem. i'm not sure who owns the rights to mr. toad but when a toad or anything else has appeared in so many versions over the years he effectively enters the public domain. plus, my toad is spelled and dressed differently. the only way there could be an issue would be if my business caused consumer confusion in a way that might draw customers away from hers; if i had a publishing company featuring a toad, for instance. but probably not more than one or two people will confuse a small press with a small cemetery. so i think we're cool.

still, i would love to make toad hall press poets available to tod hall cemetery clients! we will probably not be selling caskets but we can offer the elegies as an optional feature for the graveside rites. and we can also sell the books. sometimes people like to put books inside caskets; i have done this myself. that way, you always know where you can find a copy!

Whew, that's a relief. I am glad that we have worked out a solution-one that works to everyone's benefit, except the dead person's of course, but they'll be dead anyway so they won't care.

Obviously you have a wonderful head for business.

PS. If you should decide to go the Scottish route after all and maybe add a pet cemetery, you could get a Scottish terrier to be the spokesman, "Know what yer gettin' into, grrrr." Just a thought if you'd like to maybe open a branch cemetery somewhere.

"Getting to Yes!" This is what I like to see. I'm so glad you've found a way to identify your interests and satisfy them.

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