Florida lawyer Melissa Wilson, who has used the slogan “Ever Argued With a Woman?” since 2007, is doing more than argue with San Antonio lawyer Heather Clement Tessmer about their website taglines.
Wilson filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Tessmer and her firm over their use of the very similar slogan “Ever Argue With a Woman?”
Tessman’s phrase “is causing and will continue to cause confusion, mistake or deception on the public as to an affiliation, sponsorship or approval between plaintiff and defendants’ legal services,” according to Wilson’s complaint filed Tuesday in San Antonio federal court.
Wilson, owner of Advocate Law Firm in Bartow east of Tampa, is seeking a court order to prevent Tessmer and Tessmer Law Firm from “engaging in the acts of trademark infringement and unfair competition” and from using “Ever Argue With a Woman?”, “Ever Argued With a Woman?” and any other “confusingly similar” verbiage.
Wilson, who practices family law, also seeks all of the profits the defendants made from the “trademark infringement and unfair competition” and unspecified damages.
Tessmer, who does family law, estate planning and personal injury litigation, was not available for comment by deadline.
However, responding to the allegations on Tessmer’s behalf, associate Christine Rudy said: “We are not worried about it. We’ve been using this since at least January of 2012.”
Wilson and her lawyer, John Cave of Gunn, Lee & Cave in San Antonio, had no comment by deadline.
In the complaint, Wilson maintains she has used the trademark “Ever Argued With a Woman?” for advertising legal services since September 2007 and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued her a trademark on July 22, 2014. She said the trademarked slogan has provided her a significant amount of goodwill.
She said she licensed the mark to lawyers in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia for legal services and is negotiating with a potential licensee in Texas.
The complaint said Tessmer and her firm have used “Ever Argue With a Woman?” since at least early 2014 for legal services in the San Antonio area and on billboards, a website, business cards and promotional material.
The Bartow lawyer said she learned about the Texas “infringing mark” in April 2014 when “confused members of the public” contacted her to ask if she opened an office in San Antonio or was affiliated with the defendants.
Wilson said she notified Tessmer by email in July 2014 of her trademark rights and objected to the similar mark but has been unable to speak with Tessmer. The complaint said Tessmer Law Firm was issued a trademark in Texas in May for “Ever Argue With a Woman?” for representing clients in civil litigation and other matters.
Wilson insists Tessmer Law Firm’s Texas trademark registration is invalid because of her prior use and ownership of the “Ever Argued with a Woman?” trademark.