Submitted by Nigel, aka SubDirectory (3), 04 April 2018
BLUF events around the world have been organised by volunteers ever since the club was founded in 1997. In Berlin many different members have organised events over the years - since at least 2003 - including social meet-ups, dinners, and gatherings during large events such as Folsom Europe and BLF's Easter Berlin. We're extremely grateful to all the people who've put their time and effort into helping with these events, past and present.
However, without consulting the BLUF admin team, in 2015 one member registered the name 'BLUF Berlin' as a trademark owned by themselves. We do not believe this to be necessary or helpful.
Given the secretive manner in which the trademark was registered, and the owner's refusal to answer questions for months after the matter came to light, we do not believe this registration was undertaken in good faith. The BLUF name belongs to the club as a whole, not to one individual.
In the interests of solving the matter amicably, BLUF Ltd offered in 2017 to pay the original registration cost, if the trademark was transferred to us. To date, we have had no response to this offer.
In March 2018, the organisers of another BLUF event in Berlin received communications telling them they should not use the name without permission of the trademark owner. We regarding this sort of bullying as completely against the spirt of BLUF and the community.
Additionally, the holder of the trademark has filed a complaint with our merchandise supplier, preventing us from selling any products bearing the BLUF Berlin logo. We cannot view this as anything other than an attack on the club, attempting to stop us raising money using our own name.
We have therefore, with regret, concluded that the only option open to us is to terminate the membership of the member concerned, and to take steps to recover or cancel the trademark. You can help by supporting BLUF with a donation.
Nigel, aka SubDirectory (3), Director
Leon, aka L1cop (1), Founder