Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Riverkeeper, a Registered Trademark

I noticed for the first time the other day that the name Riverkeeper, our friends on the Hudson, is a trademark. Now today there’s an AP story from Pennsylvania about a consultant who named his company The Last Riverkeeper, only to be sued in federal court by Riverkeeper for a trademark infringement.

Read the story. Riverkeeper sued in early May but the story came out only now. The owner of the company has strong anti-Bobby Kennedy feelings. It seems obvious that he told the AP about the suit himself and sees it as a way to get publicity and to cast himself as the underdog being trampled by the Kennedy behemoth.


Anonymous Gene Macri said...

It would be nice if you investigated the complete story. You can find some of it at The word riverkeeper comes from the fly fishing community. RFK jr. tarnished the word riverkeeper when the founder Robert Boyle quit over Kennedy's hiring of an environmental felon. RFK Jr. is not a scientist! I am. I am also a riverekeeper and that tradition started in the fly fishing world in the Cumberland Valley, Pennsylvania (It orginally comes from England).
How else do you expect me to fight this since I have no money! How smart is it to sue a nonprofit! They wanted me to join their alliance but I refused. Kennedy Jr. and his group have angered many scientists, fishermen and other people who would otherwise support him because he attacks everyone that doesn't believe everything he says politically. RFK Jr. is not a scientist but he pretends he's one!

The word riverkeeper (river keeper) is a generic noun. What if someone trademarked the word blog or blogger and then told you they could only use it! Perhaps they should trademark the word journalist or doctor or even fisherman, what type of insanity is that? What's the difference? A generic noun belongs to everyone. The word riverkeeper was used in this area before it was trademarked (Boyle got the word off of E. Schwiebert who wrote Death of A Riverkeeper). Kennedy and his crew are no better than the corporate fascists in the Whitehouse because he too wants to rule the world.

RFK Jr. only wants one voice coming from anything to do with the environment and that is his. When any of you have studied as many streams and rivers as I have, then and only then can you call yourself a riverkeeper.

You are obviously a friend of Kennedy and that's fine. Perhaps you can talk some sense into his head but I doubt it. This story has major political ramifications with fishermen, hunters, outdoorsmen and others that neither Kennedy jr. or his Alliance understand (or the democratic party). But they will!

I'm not anti-Kennedy but when he says the things he does and angers people that I need to try and help to save their waters...then you can tell me what he stands for!

He has turned everything into a photo op and he lose credibility when he tells people not to use an SUV and then flies in private jets. The majority of people who want to save rivers and streams have a negative impression of him (that's putting it mildly to say the least). Whose fault is that! He preaches to his own elite yuppie choir! You need to live in my world as scientist, riverkeeper and fly fisherman before you can understand what is going on at the local level.

His group has also filed frivolous lawsuits under the RICO ACT. Going into court without good scientific data is always a losing situation. Corporate America uses that against him. Furthermore, it makes it much harder for me because people think we are all "environmental crazies."

Robert Kennedy Jr. and his Alliance may win this because they have all the money and all the high priced lawyers but they will not win with it with citizens, outdoorsmen, fishermen, and the rest of people who understand what is going on.

I pose no threat to his organization except they think I must be stealing some of their thunder.

I will always be a riverkeeper and a scientist and RFK Jr. will always be a lawyer and all the New York Park Ave. attorneys can't change that! There are some excellent posts at HBO forums about the decline of Riverkeeper under Kennedy jr. Finally, I'm sure nothing I said will do anything to convince you but it really doesn't matter because riverkeeping doesn't belong to RFK Jr. and it doesn't belong to me either. The concept and the word belong to all of us!

Eugene Macri

3:38 PM  

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