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.
Wilson filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Tessmer and her firm over their use of the very similar slogan “Ever Argue With a Woman?”
“Defendants’ use of the mark ‘Ever Argue With a Woman?’ 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,” Wilson alleges in a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in San Antonio.
Wilson, owner of Advocate Law Firm in Bartow, Florida, located east of Tampa, seeks 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” mark. Wilson, who does 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 at Tessmer Law Firm, was not immediately available for comment.
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 could not immediately be reached for comment. Her lawyer, John Cave of Gunn, Lee & Cave in San Antonio, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the complaint, Wilson v. Tessmer Law Firm, Wilson alleges 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 alleges the trademarked slogan has provided her a significant amount of goodwill.
She alleges she licensed the mark to lawyers in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., for legal services, and is currently negotiating with a potential licensee in Texas.
Wilson alleges Tessmer and her firm have used “Ever Argue With a Woman?” since at least early 2014 for legal services in the San Antonio area. They also use it on billboards, a website, business cards and promotional material, she said.
The Florida lawyer alleges she learned about the Texas “infringing mark” in April 2014 when “confused members of the public” contacted her to ask if she had opened an office in San Antonio or was affiliated with the defendants.
Wilson alleges she notified Tessmer via email in July 2014 of her trademark rights and objected to the confusingly similar mark, but has been unable to speak with Tessmer. She further alleges that in May, Tessmer Law Firm was issued a trademark in Texas for “Ever Argue With a Woman?” for representing clients in civil litigation and other matters.
Wilson alleges Tessmer Law Firm’s Texas trademark registration is invalid because of her prior use and ownership of the “Ever Argued with a Woman?” trademark.