(A Kleenex box always says “facial tissues”). There is an ethical issue here. The trade mark commission needs to know this. As far as I can tell, this response boils down to “we were the first ones to think of trademarking the term, so we’re going to enforce it.”. It is the only compromise that is actually a compromise and would benefit everyone. That’s what I want in my remedy!! That word sets off my OCD something fierce! Join the HuffPost community – it’s free! I am one of those weirdos that actually loves the zing of vinegar, but some people add the cider to juice or tea to make it more palatable.  We are 3 people who were already overworked before trying to respond to hundreds of emails and FB posts, so while we are trying to respond to all civil comments and keep communication open, we just don’t have the time to give every comment a full answer. It is incredibly difficult for small businesses, crafters, and herbalists to slog through all of the regulations, laws, and rules. I agree with what Jeremy said above about trademarking their name in front of the words Fire Cider. So, what is this controversy all about? That is, after all, the whole point of everyone making all this noise! For all intents and purposes, for the USPTO office, it’s like a company making up a word, trademarking it, and then saying, actually.. it’s generic. I certainly agree that it is not a very creative name, and if the owners simply put their name in front of it, it would make a lot of people feel better, fast. 🙂. Also learn about the Fire Cider controversy, and why it should matter to you. Forgive me, if I’m wrong, BUT wasn’t there a product made by Bragg’s sometime in the 60’s or 70’s named “Fire Cider”??? And it has to do with trademarking. Fire Cider Chutney Recipe. To share something as if you’re the only place it can be gotten doesn’t empower people to take care of their own health; that’s not what herbalism is about. And sure, maybe not everyone is familiar with borscht, and perhaps yours is amazing and you are turning the general public on to it, but now all the people who make and sell borscht have to call it something else, like beet soup, which doesn’t sound as cool. absolutely! Some people take a one-ounce shot a day as a preventative medicine to keep colds away during the winter flu season. I’m going to go pour myself a shot of my own schisandra turmeric fire cider, which I might rename Shire Cider and bottle on up and take to market as a play on my disdain for the trademark. You can also save the strained pulp and mix it with shredded veggies like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and … This includes an initial explanation of their position from the company. Thanks for subscribing! I say all this as a non intellectual property lawyer so I can easily be wrong. all herbalists should be able to sell their own formulation for fire cider and use the term common for the industry. Published for Opposition October 2, 2012  No one has contacted us to ask actual questions, the folks who’ve gotten in touch thus far have mostly seemed interested in venting, not conversation. This, however, does not mean the tradition of fire cider is trademarked. Fire Cider Controversy. These people are not part of the herbal community they are simply wannabe bussiness people. There are only three of us and we don’t want to respond to anyone from a place of fear or anger. Let’s play fair 🙂, Thanks for sharing this! One is a store who is selling their product ..no special interest there except maybe no need for additional competition. It’s hard to see a clean way they could extricate themselves from either mess. However, there is a certain logic to patent , copyright and trademark law and this make far more sense than what the company in question is representing. I’m pretty sure (well, not really, since I don’t know the laws very well!) It’s also become a symbol and wake-up call of the importance of protecting our herbal traditions. _____________________________________. Look at the plethora of hot sauce names out there. I think it hurts Fire Cider®’s case and will bring them more trouble than it’ll save. Standard Characters Claimed When I checked back, it had been deleted. Today, I got an email reply from Dana, as follows: Thanks for getting in touch. It feels a bit like trademarking the term Borscht, because you made some particularly good borscht and didn’t want anyone else to take that from you. Carry on! ) […] abound. These concerns are coming from herbalists and people deeply invested in the community who are making their feelings known about an issue close to their hearts. Hippocrates (age of Pericles 370BC) touted daily doses of a similar vinegar sweetened honey beverage for health, longevity and overall vigor. We use fire cider recipes and ample servings of immunity teas whenever our needs a real immunity boosting kick in the pants, but … First, to get it out of the way: it looks like the Fire Cider® Retail Stores page – the list of stores which carry the product – has been taken down from their website. This business we are ranting about is a small business! One of my favorite ways to start preparing for winter and beat my blues is by brewing a big batch of infused apple cider vinegar, known in the folk medicine world as ‘fire cider’. Working with herbs should be done with good energy and intent. Er, I mean….Volcano Cider, Holy Toledo Cider, Mexicali Blues Cider, Flame Cider, Pele Cider (having lived on the Big Island, I’m rather partial to that last one). How Do We Win Against COVID-19? Fire Cider is also an ingredient in The Hive’s signature Skinny Greens juice, which contains spirulina, kale, ginger, and cucumber. US 006 018 044 046 051 052. The first time I encountered this traditional folk recipe, I have to admit I was terrified. On deleting posts.. If you need to flag this entry as abusive. Others have written about it quite eloquently and with much grace. . perhaps a Change.org petition to request them to do that…. This recipe -like many others- was j… Regarding the posts about the openness of the herbal community ~ I have seen so much cutthroat crap in the herbal community over the past 25 years, it’s not funny. They are doing to thousands of people what they didn’t want to have happen to them. I checked out the Fire Cider® website and found contact info there, so I wrote the following to dana@firecider.com: i read this blog post today: Folk traditions and herbal healing have always belonged to the people, first and foremost because they were available, accessible and in many cases free to the common person. Goods and Services IC 005. In Rosemary’s book Medicinal Herbs you can clearly see the recipe’s similarity to The Shire’s Blend. The original recipe calls for horseradish, but for the sake of the kids I typically substitute echinacea root. We offer herbalism training online through our podcasts, live Q&A sessions, and full video courses for dedicated learners. I’ll let you know what I discover. Compile a list of herbalists (particularly ones who have a company)who are willing to submit a letter seeking administrative relief, who have either been harmed by this action, know the history of fire cider, or who are just deeply offended. The term "fire cider" was coined by one of our most famous herbalists, Rosemary Gladstar in 1980, where it's featured in her home study course, copy written books, and writings. By slapping a trademark on a traditional recipe you are limiting others in the community and those who may wish to learn more about it. The recipe in and of itself is not the problem, but taking something culturally and regionally known for it’s healing properties and saying by way of a trademark that only they can possess the rights of distribution for profit espouses the bigger demon in the room, Cultural Appropriation. I was going to use Pirate Cider.. A retraction and and apology would go a long way toward faith being restored, and the continued success of his fledgling company. I’ve seen some articulate and pertinent arguments made by those who feel that this action is inappropriate, particularly the following points: It’s a valid and noble goal which Dana espouses: to disseminate this knowledge, get the ‘general public’ fired up about natural remedies, and give them an entry point into traditional healing practices. Then it’s branded as yours, yet the generic term is left open for use. If too dry, add a little of the Fire Cider Vinegar to the mix. But the herbal community … Serial Number 85603738 I’m not sure what ended up happening with it though. For decades, recipes and processes have been stolen and claimed by so many people. This way you can put your own good mojo into it (I swear by this—singing the tune “Got my Mojo Workin'” every time I shake it up. It seems counter productive to take terms in use for many decades and allow them to suddenly be controlled by a single entity. Â. Then if they market the product well, make it available to a large audience, perhaps Shire Cider would become synonymous with Fire Cider, while still leaving the term fire cider available to other companies for use. No one ever says “adhesive bandage”, we all say Band Aid, and gelatin is often called Jell-o, even if it isn’t Jell-o brand. I find it unconvincing for all the reasons already presented here, and feel that at best it sidesteps the issues being raised, at worst it presents outright untruths. Some people call this recipe Master Tonic, others have called it cyclone cider, no matter the name, this fiery immune boosting concoction … Add to fried rice or cauliflower fried rice. Thus rosemary gladstar’s fire cider, mountain rose fire cider, Ellen herbalists fire cider should be equally valid to protection. They actually mean it. Bills of rights. Read short blurb at this link https://www.uspto.gov/faq/trademarks.jsp#_Toc275426712: Federal registration is not required to establish rights in a trademark. I wouldn’t have any heartburn with the issue if they had just put a person or company name in front of the word. The corporatization of America! Plus you can use fire cider in so many ways — from … I liken it to my love of the popular beverage Masala Chai which dates back 5000 years to Siam, India and other regions of South Asia. Used with permission. Add your voice. Vandana Shiva, among others, successfully challenged a major drug company who had patented Neem — any inspiration there to protest this current theft of tradition? We can all work together, because we all have these shared experiences. Even though it has a general title, you would still want people to be able to easily find yours, not another herb book by the same name. i’ve been wondering where else this is going on. Alexandria, VA 22314, The Office of the General Counsel may be reached by telephone at (571) 272-7000 during business hours.”. Why do herbalist who have been using the name Fire Cider for generation have to suddenly stop calling their product Fire Cider, when that is what it is. Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK All of these products are so ingrained in our minds that the brand names are often used interchangeably with or instead of the product name. Trademarking or claiming rights to any product or folk remedy goes against the core foundation of herbal healing and herbalism as a system of the wise crafters among us. I’m struck by this on many levels, trademarking a folk medicine is a form of appropriation one which goes against the core of herbalism and wise woman healing. […] and natural medicine. EFF writes about this issue here in an article called “Trademark Law Does Not Require Companies To Tirelessly Censor the Internet”: Sounds like an oversight on the part of those who granted the copyright! What next!?!?!?!? Perhaps some will see this as stretching because no one culture is responsible for Fire Cider or herbal healing. G & S: Dietary supplement drink. To share something as if you’re the only place it can be gotten doesn’t empower people to take care of their own health; that’s not what herbalism is about. Where do they go from here? You just have to plan in advance, so it’s *ripe ‘n ready* when you need it most. Will they call it Fire Cider® – Four Thieves’ Formula™?  In addition to being called evil, worse than monsanto, and a zesty grab bag of curses, folks have wished for us to fail and be rendered homeless, or alternatively to contract cancer to reflect our dead souls. However, fire cider created controversy a few years ago when a small herbal business that was selling the bottled tonic decided to trademark the name “fire cider”. I guess sooner or later everything catchy will be trademarked! And on the non trademarked fire cider Facebook pages- my posts, which were neither angry, malicious, or abusive, but rather posed as another perspective, were deleted.   Everyone else can continue to make and discuss vinegar tonics under whatever name they wish to use, and more power to them! https://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-patent-and-trademark-office-pto-or-uspto-revoke-fire-cider-trademark, Thank you Ryn, the response from Dana shows a total lack of understanding of the larger meaning of herbalism, the people’s medicine, where bringing the healing power of plants is typically done in a generous, open and caring community. They would have found another way to market and trademark their product in a way that allows for the free exchange of knowledge and handcrafted herbal medicines. Rosemary:Basically, the old fire cider recipe was a really simple household recipe that was developed in the late 1970s at the California School of Herbal Studies, which is a little old school that I started way back in 1974. All Rights Reserved. And so these facts have most probably set a legal precedent that the name Fire Cider attached to a vinegar extract of herbs is, and has been, part of public domain for a very long time. That means (IN THE COMMERCIAL SETTING), asking others with the same name to change their name. My first introduction to the milky sweet drink had me swooning to create my own GLobally inspired version which others have spun off on over the years. Yes, they are bringing a product to a wider audience who may be unfamiliar with fire cider, but so is The Withered Herb and the many others who produce fire cider for sale, trade, and personal use. This is no different. I am disappointed, but unfortunately, not surprised. Some examples would be Kleenex, Band Aid, Q-tip, Jell-o, and Cheerio’s. They are mass producing this product. The Fire Cider 3 Illustration by Margarat Nee. Think I’ll jump on the same band wagon, put a name in front of “Fire Cider” and cash in while the getting is good. United States Patent and Trademark Office Why not trademark it as “Dana’s Fire Cider” and avoid the controversy? If you look at ancient texts and research the origins of any folk remedy you can trace many dangling roots back to a plethora of origins. 600 Dulany Street Just one day after Jeopardy named Ken Jennings interim host, the game show legend has found himself in hot water due to an insensitive tweet from six years ago. So, what is this controversy all about? It can still be passed down from generation to generation, imparting the goodness of whole foods medicine to the people as the people’s medicine. This term has been in use for at least three decades (long before the company’s inception in 2011), and probably longer. (I believe all of these Facebook posts are public, so you ought to be able to click right through.) Today is National Voter Registration Day! Thanks! I’m so surprised that USPTO let this go through, that I even went to search for it to make sure they really owned it. How many companies make “Baked Beans” “Apple Sauce” “Minestrone Soup” should these words be trade marked? Suing hundreds, if not thousands of wee herbalists isn’t very practical and last time I checked, one can still not get blood from a turnip. Fire cider is made from immune boosting herbs and roots such as: … Common law rights arise from actual use of a mark and may allow the common law user to successfully challenge a registration or application.”. Any summons or complaint to be served in person or by registered or certified mail or as otherwise authorized by law on the Office to: Most all my herbalist friends are, too. Patents, like class structure, may be meaningless in the long run, but what damage they do in the short run! Add the herbs to a food processor or blender and grind coarsely (don’t blend into a smooth paste, but only until coarse and crunchy). The “99%” are the ones CHOOSING to give all their money to huge corporations. In order to obtain the Fire Cider trademark, this statement appeared above the signatures of the owners applying for the mark: The undersigned, being hereby warned that willful false statements and the like so made are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under 18 U.S.C. 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