The topic of hand-crafted products using the pawprint logo arose for the first time in conjunction with the DaWanda.de website. While there had previously been a clear distinction for Jack Wolfskin when it came to the pawprint logo being employed for commercial use on products in our registered product segments, the DaWanda case quickly showed that this regulation could not apply to the same degree for arts and crafts enthusiasts or small business owners.
Of the ten warnings sent out in this context, our research showed that they exclusively applied to products that had, in our view, been machine-made and that could not be deemed hand-made. All products concerned had been sold commercially. These warnings were deemed resolved once the products had been removed from the ranges in question.
Leading up to the warnings on ranges offered by this website, Jack Wolfskin issued a list to DaWanda.de consisting of 46 products that appeared to be at risk of creating confusion. These products were then immediately deleted by the website operator. However, we were unable to exclude the possibility that some of these items may have been hand-made, in which case other provisions would have applied.
The dispute with users of DaWanda escalated very quickly. We now know that we acted too slowly, incorrectly and inconsistently. We know that this caused quite a storm and that we were in uncharted territory in the social media realm.
However, we learnt a lot, even while the DaWanda case was ongoing. Once the individual cases were resolved, we immediately sought out a solution-oriented dialogue with those affected. By doing so, we were able to resolve the conflict, as a result of which we were awarded with the oskr, an accolade given in recognition of exemplary conflict management in the social web. We would far rather have had better communication prior to issuing the warnings than an award; but we didn’t manage things very well in this instance.
In order to avoid such conflicts arising in future, we have imposed our own Code of Conduct in terms of trademark law proceedings, which generally aims to seek out a dialogue with those concerned before taking any further steps. A mutual solution avoids costs arising for the persons/companies affected.