18 Jan 2000 16:16:57 -0500
League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) is a civil rights organization founded 87
years ago with a mandate to "stop...the defamation of the Jewish people.
Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens
alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against
and ridicule any sect or body of citizens." One of ADL's most valuable
assets in fighting discrimination is its name and reputation. For
that reason, ADL must to everything necessary to protect its trademark,
in order to maintain the credibility and record associated with its good
On September 29, 1999, after cordial correspondence between outside counsel
for the ADL and Stephen Foster, President of the Witches Anti-Discrimination
League, Mr. Foster agreed to comply with the ADL's request that his organization
refrain from infringing ADL's trademark rights. Mr. Foster confirmed
that by January 1,2000, his organization would select a new name that would
not include the phrases"Anti Discrimination League", "Anti Defamation League",
any confusingly similar phrases or the acronym ADL. Further to this
conversation, on December 29, 1999, Mr. Foster informed outside counsel
for the ADL that the new name selected for the organization was the Alternative
Religious Education Network, or AREN. ADL was satisfied with this
response, was appreciative of Mr. Foster's prompt attention to this matter,
was pleased that the matter was resolved quickly and amicably and considered
the matter closed.
ADL understands the inconvenience that it may have caused the Witches Anti-Discrimination
League in requesting that it change its name to one that did not infringe
the ADL's rights in its trademark. This is why in its initial letter
to Mr. Foster the ADL offered to work out a timetable for the Witches Anti-Discrimination
League to phase out all infringing use. Furthermore, the ADL in no
way sought to single out the Witches Anti-Discrimination League nor does
it take issue with the objectives or beliefs of the organization.
In order to protect its trademark, the ADL has taken action against several
of the organizations referenced by Ms. Ashby, and plans to look into the
remaining organizations of which it was unaware.