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What is FREEGLE?

October 2, 2009

The troubles within the Freecycle network have resulted in over 40 per cent of the UK Freecycle groups breaking away to form an independent network called FREEGLE the Ecologist reported this week: The Ecologist Report.

Unless it were successfully argued that FREEGLE is confusingly similar to the FREECYCLE brand – which is registered as a European trade mark here – it is an excellent choice of name. The problem FREECYCLE would have in opposing FREEGLE as a trade mark is in potentially laying itself open to attack on the grounds that the word FREECYCLE is too generic. That could then see its European trade mark revoked.

Interestingly FREECYCLE abandoned its word mark application in the USA (USPTO serial number 78415420) and only has its logo registered there (USPTO serial number 78475113) This does not give it exclusive rights to use of the name FREECYCLE.

The most effective way to put an end to the troubles within the FREECYCLE network would be to get the European trade mark cancelled.  Without a trade mark it is difficult to see why Yahoo would heed the founders request to delete the UK networks.