The Toking Dead has come under scrutiny for their name. It’s not every day you wake up and find that your business is under attack from a heavy hitter such as AMC’s The Walking Dead, and the boys over at The Toking Dead weren’t expecting such a harsh wake up when they received a cease and desist from AMC.
The issue states that there is too much similarity between “The Walking Dead” and “The Toking Dead”. Its a case of “The (blank) Dead” being too common of a phrase, but the folks over at AMC don’t think so.
“We filed for our trademark August of 2017 and received a cease and desist letter from AMC shortly after. We responded, as requested and then received a second cease and desist from AMC which, of course we also responded to. “
The USPTO is a database for all registered trademarks. AMC went through all registered applicants and targeted them specifically. Why wouldn’t you if your show is on a massive decline. Basically, they’re pooling in all their assets for maximum cost. This means taking out small businesses – The Toking Dead being a focal point.
“Months passed and our trademark was approved in June of 2018 and published in the NY Gazette. There was a quick follow up by the notice of opposition.”
The Toking Dead Fights Back
Theres a sink or swim mentality that goes on with the guys at The Toking Dead:
“Were fighting back on it. It’s a principle thing. Why am I fighting this? Why am I not going after the US PTO. They aren’t even backing us up. “Its not what we do” is what they told us. These big attorney firms just crush the smaller guys. Were trying to do everything legally. That’s why we filed for the trademark in the first place. I was at comicon and there was a vendor called “The Stocking Dead” its about Christmas elves. Other people haven’t registered their trademark. They are applying under the radar. If we did that, and we became successful, they would hit us with an actual lawsuit. “ says Jeff Homan – Co-Creator The Toking Dead.
“We took them as very threatening especially with the line, “AMC will take any action it deems appropriate…” and second, the fact that it is obviously a template letter since they forgot to change THE WALKING FED. There are many other things about these letters that are extremely disturbing as well. “
“Researching through the USPTO web site we believe there is a pattern. The following are just some of the applications that have been abandoned, opposed, or both. The Walking Fed, Wake the Dead, The Walking Deaf, The Nearly Deads, The Walking Dad, The Walking Ted, The Drunken Dead, The Walking Sticks, The Tossing Dead, The Walking Red, The Walking Taco…. the list continues. “
There are enough factors to make a case for the underdogs here, and anything zombie related is too loose to be under one particular ownership. From George A. Romero to folklore, the dead rising up to walk the earth has been used throughout history. For any one company or brand and control it would be like bottling air and selling it.
Nobody has done a bong with nails in it before. Apparently, AMC thinks they have (even though they haven’t) and it appears they are stretching the line over what counts as copy write infringement.