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Problem with an Ex Business Partner


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I left my ex business partner recently because of her unpredictable explosive episodes she would have. I thiink she got angry that i left her so shes relaliated.

 

After the conversation on FB that made me decide to leave, i decided not to even tell her because i knew i would deal with yet another one of her weird freak outs. So to avoid it i decided to log in quietly and not even say a word to her. I teleported to the sim where the store sat, i picked all of my decor,, all of my products in the store, ejected people from the groups.

 

I thought doing it quietly would avoid drama from her but that was not the case sadly. SHe has gotten 4 different friends of hers to jump into my IM harassing me. Ive had to rile reports. SHe herself never IMd me and I never IMd her either.

 

I had assumed after break up the business partnership naturally she would move on and create a new store name. Thats not what has happned. I created that store. While she payed the 100$ while i was offline to make the group, it was me that came up with the whole idea, it was me that provided the name, i even have an old notecard from 2013 with a list of words to combine to create a store name. I made that notecard for another friend and those 2 words are on that  short list.

 

My ex business partner has decided to keep and claim the name i made. Shes also decided to use the same sim decor i had up.She also refuses to take down the ads that i created for her. I even have the original snapshots i took of my own avatar before putting them in the ads. She has also ripped apart the product packaging i made and altered it, changed the color and threw her new logo onto it.

 

Its been very frustrating that shes doing this. She knows what shes doing is wrong, or atleast she should know. Im not sure what to do with this situation. I saved so many screenshots of everything incase i need evidence for whatever reason.

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Unless you trademarked the name in RL, you have no case.  She is free to use the name and LL will not stop her.  

They will also not get involved in any AR's you file from this dispute, unless there is a clear violation of TOS.  LL considers this type of thing a resident to resident dispute and under the TOS will not get involved in it.

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If shes prone to outbursts its really not surprising she did any of this. I don't really have words of advice. I just wanted to extend my sympathy and hope it works out for you, The best thing you can do is to start over. It seems like you were the idea maker so you should be successful in no time. Or at least one can hope. 

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Yeah i had considered these things as well that they may not be able to do anything because i didnt get the name trademarked or anything in RL. I had also thought that nothing would be done about that. I had just hoped she herself would come to realize what shes doing is wrong and stop. Only hoping though. I have already created a new brand which i am in the process of setting up. So no worries there.

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I had an experience very much like this back at the beginning of last year. My partner and I had decided to make a business out of customizing car paint jobs for people and building them custom. I helped her come up with the name and even fabricated for her a name for a racing team and a brandname energy drink to spice things up and spread our name around. On top of that, I did a heck of a lot of the work, nearly all of it actually, and that's not gloating.

Well, eventually, as all relationships do, it came to an end. So what does she do? She keeps the work I did and the names I came up with and calls them her own. She only eventually removed my things from her store after I threatened to file reports, but then she goes and actually pays for a copyright on the business name.

I know right? Totally crap.

It wasn't all bad though, because I ended up creating and copyrighting a new store name and even made my own brandname energy drink with way better mesh and textures but that's beside the point...

While LL won't really do much without proof of copyright, I've found the number one way to avoid this and learn from it is to never ever start a business partnership where everyone owns like half of everything, especially in a romantic relationship. The way to have the best outcome is to own the entirety of a business yourself, and then designate business partners below that title and rank, without giving them control over brandnames and products.

I know that doesn't help much now but had I been wiser at the time, I would have copyrighted the name beforehand, but then I think the biggest problem is that people are just out to make a dollar or two, whatever it takes. It's true in the real world and it resonates in Second Life. Heck, just today I saw a new location in Second Life that is a complete ripoff of a particular successful business and it makes me wonder how that even happens without immediately flagging someone's radar.

Best of luck to you though, and if you need help in advertising and picking your new business up, let me know, I might actually be able to help.

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"I had assumed after break up the business partnership naturally she would move on and create a new store name"

So if I'm reading this right you left and now because you left she should have to start all over. If I'm reading this right your the one that needs to move on and start a new store and brand. IMO

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I did move on and start a new brand, but that does not make it right for her to claim and use what i created now does it? Its pretty low and crappy considering most of the work for that brand was mine. I find it funny now that thats all she has left is claiming the brand name and using my pictures. She doesnt however have the products i created. I took all of that with me. I guess i can consider myself lucky she didnt get those too. All she has left is in inexperince that shows in the new items shes releasing. Im not worried about that. I know people can clearly tell the difference between my work and hers. I know people can see that she wasnt even capable of creating the things shes claiming now. Ill leave her in the dust while my bloggers and regular customers follow me over to my new brand. Its all good.

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So you have a business in which you have an equal partner. And you decide to disolve the partnership, so you removed the products and stuff from the store, and emptied the groups. What on earth made you imagine that doing it that way would be "doing it quietly" and "avoid drama"? Your now ex-partner turns up at the store, and the changes in it positively SHOUT at her.

Anyway, I don't understand the reason for this thread. You aren't asking any questions, or anything along those lines, and you aren't bringing to light anything that should be avoided. You've picked up, moved on, and everything is fine with you. So why the thread? You're not even making a big complaint about the few IMs you've received. They seem to be relatively small in number and not much of a big deal. I can imagine that the thread is an advertisement (look in my profile and you'll find out where to see and buy what I make and sell). I can't come up with any other reason for posting it unless the IMs are so many that it really is a big problem. If they are, mute and block.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

So you have a business in which you have an equal partner. And you decide to disolve the partnership, so you removed the products and stuff from the store, and emptied the groups. What on earth made you imagine that doing it that way would be "
doing it quietly
" and "
avoid drama
"? Your now ex-partner turns up at the store, and the changes in it positively SHOUT at her.

Anyway, I don't understand the reason for this thread. You aren't asking any questions, or anything along those lines, and you aren't bringing to light anything that should be avoided. You've picked up, moved on, and everything is fine with you. So why the thread? You're not even making a big complaint about the few IMs you've received. They seem to be relatively small in number and not much of a big deal. I can imagine that the thread is an advertisement (look in my profile and you'll find out where to see and buy what I make and sell). I can't come up with any other reason for posting it unless the IMs are so many that it really is a big problem. If they are, mute and block.

Agree, Phil. Doesn't seem an above board way to dissolve a partnership, and in any case, what is the point of this thread? To stir up some drama from nothing? 

Bet the ex partner would tell a whole different story. 

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Reminds me of a SL business venture I was involved in. Me and a partner came up with the idea of 'donut di cks' - male genitalz that couldbe worn for the 'obvious' - but with a HUD enabling a partner to throw a round donut which would land on the male 'member' - up to 5 donuts per member, then it started again - fabulous novelty item, sold hundreds - then my partner found God and became a SL preacher at a church and forbade me from selling the donut di ck as he was ashamed of the past - I have lost numerous linden dollars thanks to God - but now I am working on a new product, a special fishing rod / HUD that also enables you to bug your partner's chat...

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wow the assumptions from you people. I did not come here to advertise. I never once mentioned my new brand name i created. Ive had it less than a week, so advertising it right now i spointless as it does not exsist  as a physical store or even on marketplace.  So you are 100% wrong on that. I didnt expect much of any real advice as the forums are usually filled with people assuming things and being jerks. My post was mostly to vent my frustrations over the situation hoping someone else that had been through something similar may have had something helpful to share themselves. No longer matters now as late yesterday i payed for the trademark rights to both brands and notified the ex business partner with screenshots of the purchase. She was forced to change the name. The situation is now solved.

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Theda Wytchwood wrote:

wow the assumptions from you people. I did not come here to advertise. I never once mentioned my new brand name i created. Ive had it less than a week, so advertising it right now i spointless as it does not exsist  as a physical store or even on marketplace.  So you are 100% wrong on that. I didnt expect much of any real advice as the forums are usually filled with people assuming things and being jerks. My post was mostly to vent my frustrations over the situation hoping someone else that had been through something similar may have had something helpful to share themselves. No longer matters now as late yesterday i payed for the trademark rights to both brands and notified the ex business partner with screenshots of the purchase. She was forced to change the name. The situation is now solved.

Nobody assumed anything. Advertising was all I could think of if the IMs aren't a big problem. But it wasn't an assumption.

In the U.S., trademarks aren't registered that quickly, so, assuming you're in the U.S. (that's an assumption :) ) she hasn't been forced to change anything. The only thing that is done that quickly is apply for the trademark, costing $300 (unless it's gone up). Then the application has to be published by the authority, and then there is a wait of some months to allow anyone to challenge it. It takes about 6 months for a trademark to be granted. and, in the meantime, the applied-for mark can be used by anyone. An application is just that - an application. It gains no rights to the mark, and it doesn't make any restrictions on who can use it. So, if you applied for 2 trademarks, that's US$600. I hope it's worth it.

Perhaps you don't mean trademark. Perhaps you paid for something else, but a granted trademark is the only thing I know of that can legally prevent someone else from using the same name.

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Just out of interest - about tradmarks. Some years ago, a guy in SL opened a store to sell stuff in exactly the field I sold stuff in. And he used my SL trading name - Prim Savers. There was a discussion between us and he applied for the trademark, and immediately tried to get LL to stop me using the name. But LL wouldn't, because he didn't have that trademark. He'd merely applied for it. The person at LL who dealt with his request was kind enough to inform me that he'd applied for the mark, so I looked into it. That's how I found out how much it costs, and how applying makes no difference. Granting a mark is what makes the difference.

I could have prevented him getting it, due to my years of proveable prior use, but that would have cost $300 too and, even before the guy came along and set up shop, I'd already started the process of letting my store fade away, so I didn't bother. After about 6 months, the mark was granted and I had to change my trading name. I actually changed it to the name I prefered at the start but decided against it because I thought that Americans spell 'miser' with a 'z'.

That was quite a few years ago and the end result is that that guy's store didn't last long. It failed, and he ended up only selling in the marketplace. I don't know if he's still selling there or not. My store has continued to fade away through the years, and it's a lot smaller now, but it still makes a profit so it still exists. It shouldn't be too much longer before it's gone though - I've been saying that for years lol. I've never sold in the marketplace.

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Theda Wytchwood wrote:

wow the assumptions from you people. I did not come here to advertise. I never once mentioned my new brand name i created. Ive had it less than a week, so advertising it right now i spointless as it does not exsist  as a physical store or even on marketplace.  So you are 100% wrong on that. I didnt expect much of any real advice as the forums are usually filled with people assuming things and being jerks. My post was mostly to vent my frustrations over the situation hoping someone else that had been through something similar may have had something helpful to share themselves. No longer matters now as
late yesterday i payed for the trademark rights to both brands
and notified the ex business partner with screenshots of the purchase. She was forced to change the name. The situation is now solved.

I don't believe you. You are not telling us the truth, even if you think you are.

 

Note: I posted this because you didn't respond to my previous post, in which I explained to you that you hadn't paid for any trademark rights at all, and that your ex-partner wasn't forced to change anything, even though you may have told her she was, and she may have believed you. I'm very interested in your response that post - hence this one. I'm hoping that you simply made a mistake about trademarks, and that you haven't just slunk off, having been found out.

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I couldn't respond as i was busy moving across the country and had limited use of the internet. I only just got back so there has been little time to check in on things until now.  As for your questions and curiosity. I probably didnt word it the right way. No  it wasnt the exact trademark that was purchased it was just applying for them. But none the less the process was started and thats what matters to me and is worth every cent. I realize there is no guarentee but i couldnt not try. I didn't work this hard on everything for nothing. Even though its a long wait i just felt even notifying her thati was willing to protect what i worked for was the least i could do. So far sense then there hasn't been anymore issues. Its been quiet, which is a relief as i certainly didn't want to continue dealing with any of this mess after just moving.

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That clears it up. Thank you.

If your ex has no intention of shelling out money to challenge your right to the trademark, and get it for herself, then she's being sensible in moving on. I didn't change my trading name until I was forced to though. That was because he really did try to steal the name. Even now, maybe he thinks he stole it successfully, but he only got it because I let him. Either way, his inworld business failed, so I'm content.

Another thing I did was make sure that his inworld business couldn't rank near the top of the search rankings. I was able to manipulate the rankings and that's what I did. I'm proud of doing that :D  Since then, of course, inworld sales have pretty much taken second place to the marketplace, so I couldn't now achieve the same effect as I had on his business back then.

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