Starring over 300 CDH families in the fight against the trademark on “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” filed by Breath of Hope, Incorporated.
Starring over 300 CDH families in the fight against the trademark on “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” filed by Breath of Hope, Incorporated.
CHERUBS met with an IRS agent this week who audited our books and accounts. We spent 2 days going over every financial detail and all our books and they found we’re doing nothing wrong.
On another positive note, the IRS agent got a hefty dose of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness! 🙂
We appreciate the support and faith of all of our members and the entire CDH community and hope that this slander is finally laid to rest.
“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander” – Abraham Lincoln
“Slander cannot destroy an honest man – when the flood recedes the rock is there” – Chinese proverb
“Slander is the revenge of a coward, and dissimulation his defense” – Author unknown
I wanted to update you on CHERUBS legal happenings….
CHERUBS had a pro bono attorney for the personal restraining order I had to take out against Elizabeth at Breath of Hope in 2006 I believe. Long story, not going into that as that’s not what this post is about.
CHERUBS had 3 pro bono lawyers from 2 law firms helping us on the trademark and a few additional tossing us advice here and there. HUGE help! But 1 law firm doesn’t have the manpower to give us anymore and the other is about to take over a much bigger project for us.
So that leaves me to deal with the trademark issue legal stuff alone. And to be honest, I have no clue what I’m doing. The stress of having 1000’s of people depend on me and CHERUBS to protect Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness is enormous. I don’t want to mess this up. I need help. If you know of a trademark attorney who will help us, please let me know. They can be in any state as this is a federal issue. Please help if you can – these babies deserve to have the best representation to protect their rights. I am not that person to do that job, I am not qualified and I will not post that I am a legal expert or I am so intelligent that I don’t need a lawyer. I am bound to make some mistakes doing this alone (well, not alone – our Board is a huge help!), but we cannot afford to make mistakes. Taking on a trademark is not a small thing at all. This trademark is a huge ordeal, one that has to be stopped.
So that leads me to another notice. I will be taking down the timeline for a while. I will not be posting about any legal issues. I will no longer be keeping you updated on Elizabeth’s attacks or false allegations, slander, filings against CHERUBS with various agencies, etc. If you want updates on the trademark, you can go through the petition site to see the updates at the USPTO. Why, you ask?
For the first 3 years all this was going on, we kept quiet about it. Ignoring it did not help matters, it only enabled her and made her bolder. It got worse, so much worse that the restraining order was filed.
Then we went public, because other CDH parents were now being attacked and Elizabeth was filing accusations to try to have CHERUBS shut down. That was 2 years ago. You all have been pretty updated since.
But now, I am stepping back on the legal stuff and handing it all over to our new 2 pro bono lawyers to deal with. Whatever they deem necessary to do to stop the attacks, they have our blessing. Any court proceedings, filings, government intervention, criminal charges, etc – they have our blessing. 5 years of this is enough. It’s time to deal with this all once and for all and let the CDH community have some peace. We can’t thank our new lawyers enough, they are angels to help the CDH community this way!!!
And we can get back to supporting families dealing with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and stop dealing with all Elizabeth’s drama and attacks. Too many CDH parents were put under the impression that CHERUBS is only about drama and stopping Elizabeth. That couldn’t be farther from the truth…. our site is drama free, we offer dozens of free services, the most CDH information on the net and with over 2700 families we offer the most support! 🙂 We’ve been here for 14 years with only one goal – helping families affected by CDH.
Now, we still have the trademark issue to deal with!!! I am still working on that video and we will release it this week. At the least, it will raise awareness! But we still need a lawyer! If you know a lawyer or you really want to help and just call lawyers and ask them to help us…. we would appreciate it so much!!!
On February 24, 2009, the following letter was sent to the Board Members of Breath of Hope, Incorporated. It is our formal attempt to end this trademark issue peacefully and to request that their organization do what is best for all families affected by Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.
This is our effort to resolve this particular issue and end this trial and to save the entire CDH Community 2 years of USPTO trial dates and to use our time and resources to better help CDH families.
The trademark trial is continuing, and will go forward, unless Breath of Hope, Inc. decides to resolve this issue.
What happens next is up to Breath of Hope, Inc and it’s Board Members.
Court starts tomorrow everyone!!!
I’d like to ask you all to please say a prayer that Breath of Hope, Inc will help to resolve this trademark issue peacefully and also I’d like to ask everyone to please use the Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Ribbon in your on-line profiles (Facebook, Myspace, Blogs, etc) tomorrow to show unity against the trademark on Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness. Raise a little awareness while trying to save CDH awareness. 🙂
If you need a ribbon you can use any posted here or you can have a personalized one made by sending your cherub’s photo, name and date(s) to email@example.com
1:00 pm EST tomorrow, February 11, 2009 …. please say prayers for all CDH families that this drama may end.
How else can you help? Sign the petition and invite family and friends to sign.
Ask Breath of Hope, Inc and it’s board members why this trademark and attacking other CDH organizations and parents with legal threats is necessary. Under their “company profile” you can see their current Board of Directors:
Elizabeth Doyle-Propst (CEO, Primary Director) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Marsha McInnis (Director) – email@example.com
Rick Bryant (Director) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Luning (Director) – email@example.com
Jean Ashner (Director) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Holly Centurino (Director) – email@example.com
We suggest finding other ways to contact the board (Myspace, Facebook, personal e-mail) as there is no guarantee that their BoH e-mail addresses are real or that mail is not filtered by the CEO. This has been suggested by former BoH Board Members. We will not post their private e-mail addresses.
Thank you everyone for your support throughout this ordeal and for all you are doing to help CDH families!!!
So we wonder what in the world Breath of Hope is thinking with all the flimsy excuses and smoke screens and double-talk when it comes to the “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” Trademark.
A few important points.
– The March of Dimes has trademarked “Prematurity Awareness Day”. “Prematurity Awareness DAY“. Notice the DAY? 🙂
– The March of Dimes didn’t and wouldn’t trademark “Prematurity Awareness” because it would be unethical and millions of parents of premature babies would be in an uproar.
– “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” is the ONLY trademark in the entire United States of America solely filed on awareness of a health issue. Other organizations have filed trademarks on specific events or fundraisers – March of Dimes’ “Prematurity Awareness DAY” – but not for all awareness of a health issue.
– No one cares if Breath of Hope trademarks “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Day”. No one. Really. We’ve said this all along. Breath of Hope made the decision to trademark “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” instead. Then did the other one as well.
– 100’s of CDH families are against this trademark. Including members of Breath of Hope, Inc.
– Almost 100 pediatric surgeons and nurses have signed the petition against the “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” trademark.
– When you file a trademark on something as important as “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” and tick off 1000’s of people and threaten CDH families and organizations, I wouldn’t say that “CHERUBS started it”.
– Breath of Hope, Inc and Elizabeth Doyle-Propst are now saying that all CDH organizations, families and researchers must ask their permission before we use the phrase “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” on any goods and services that Breath of Hope offers. That means that any brochures, newsletter, fundraising items, shirts, events, etc – would have to get “permission” from Elizabeth Doyle-Propst and no doubt give Breath of Hope, Inc the proceeds. Even though CHERUBS was offering these services 8 years before Breath of Hope existed. Several CDH organizations have been around before BoH. This includes the CDH Researchers and CDH Clinics as well.
– This includes cafepress and zazzle products – to which they have already filed complaints. CHERUBS has been on cafepress for 7 years. 3 years before BoH even existed.
– If you start a new goods or service that Breath of Hope currently does not offer – there is no protection that they will not copy your idea and then claim trademark over it. They are known to imitate the work of others – the entire structure and even original name and all the original members of Breath of Hope, Inc came from CHERUBS.
– The trademark on “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” is on the supplemental registry, not the main registry. Which makes it ILLEGAL for Breath of Hope, Inc. to threaten anyone who uses the phrase.
– Why did we file the Petition to Cancel? To get this trademark removed and stop this drama and the threats from Breath of Hope, Inc and make sure that it NEVER makes it on the regular registry.
– This trademark on “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” is filed by 1 person, Elizabeth Doyle-Propst. Where is the rest of BoH’s Board in all this? It is quite obvious that the Board of Directors at Breath of Hope, Inc. is in name only and either does not know what their “CEO” is doing or they do not care. Or they are the most gullible and naive people to ever walk the face of the earth after being given 100’s of pieces of evidence, including court documents, a petition with over 5500 signatures including many of their members and ex-Board of Directors and a voice recording from a court proceeding.
– Elizabeth Doyle-Propst has no medical or legal training. She is not a doctor. She is not a researcher. She is not a lawyer. She has little personal experience with CDH (no disrespect to the memory of her daughter – just stating facts here). No experience with taking full care of a CDH child. Her CDH “research” is compliments of Google. She cannot get along with other CDH parents or groups and has a long, long history of conflicts. This is not a person who should be entrusted with owning “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness”. Who decided she should file for this trademark and be in charge of CDH Awareness? She did.
– Elizabeth has said that we can all say “CDH Awareness” without fear…. isn’t that nice? But how is it raising awareness if no one knows what CDH stands for?!
– The “Pinkwashing” excuse is ridiculous and the only ones who think it holds any water is the Breath of Hope, Inc Board of Directors. This excuse defies all common sense and the statistics are not even valid. Does BoH not realize that CDH parents know this?
CDH families are very intelligent people. You can read their comments with the signatures here – http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cdhawareness/signatures.html
So what is behind the “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” trademark? One woman’s need for control, revenge and greed. Those are the only reasons that seem remotely plausible.
There is not ounce of care and concern for CDH families behind the “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” trademark.
CDH families are very intelligent people. It’s extremely disrespectful to the entire CDH community to file the trademark. Then attack CDH families and organizations. Then ignore their wishes. Then ignore the wishes of the researchers. Then try to excuse this behavior with ridiculous dribble.
We know what’s right for our children and the memories of those cherubs who didn’t survive. We know what is ethical and what is self-absorbed.
CDH families are very intelligent people. We know what is right and wrong. This is wrong.
Once again, for the hundredth time…. the entire CDH community – including now 9 CDH organizations and over 5500 people – including over 100 doctors and nurses from ALL the country’s CDH clinics and fetal centers – including 100’s of CDH families – including Breath of Hope members – including former Breath of Hope Directors….. as we form 1 huge, global collective sigh…..
Enough is enough, Elizabeth.
On April 1, 2008, Elizabeth Doyle-Propst, CEO of Breath of Hope, Inc, filed a trademark request with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to own the rights to the phrase “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” and a logo of a turquoise ribbon. This request was initially denied. It was resubmitted without the logo and went onto the Supplemental registry on September 17, 2008. Preceding and following this registration, Breath of Hope, Inc. filed complaints and sent threatening correspondence to other CDH organizations and families who used the term “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness”.
On December 4, 2008, CHERUBS filed a Petition to Cancel with the United States Patent and Trademark Office against the trademark “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness”.
It is our goal, along with 7 other CDH organizations and over 4000 CDH families and medical care providers who signed an on-line petition, that this trademark be canceled so that all people affected by Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia be able to raise awareness without the threat of lawsuits. Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia is a severe, and often deadly, birth defect that affects over 1600 babies each year in the United States alone and it would be extremely detrimental for one person or organization to dictate who can raise awareness for this birth defect. Because threats and complaints have been filed in the past and recently by Breath of Hope, Inc against organizations and persons using the term “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness”, we felt that we had no choice but to stand up for CDH families and to fight for their rights to raise awareness.
It is our sincere hope that the United States Patent and Trademark Office will see that it is in society’s best interest to cancel this trademark. We also hope that Breath of Hope, Inc and Elizabeth Doyle-Propst will refrain from any further attempts to harm members of the CDH community and will handle this matter in a mature, professional, non-vindictive and compassionate manner and put CDH families and their awareness rights first and foremost – as should be the behavior of any non-profit organization for families affected by Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.
Petition against the “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness” Trademark is located at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cdhawareness/index.html