Well, I say unfortunately. I guess the result will be seen as unfortunate if you are one of TPTB in TFN. If however you are me, then in fact YOU WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS.
The Freecycle Network did not just lose, but they lost on all counts. You can read more at the Ninth Circuit Blog in which is a link to the PDF that has the complete decision.
In one piece of evidence (pdf) submitted on behalf of SunnyvaleFreecycle in paragraph 30 it is asserted that groups that did not have ErsatzFriend as a co-owner where therefore they were not trademark compliant. For these groups TFN filed an application to Yahoo and the group was deleted and Yahoo deleted the groups for not being trademark compliant.
Forgive me for being stupid but how on earth can the existence of an email address being a member of a group ever mean that a group is or is not trademark compliant? I thought that trademarks were to do with logos and brand names.
If I was part of the Yahoo team that acted many times on the existence of ErsatzFriend being deemed a reason for deleting groups I think I would be very concerned and would ask some questions.
TFN have formally asked that this evidence be rejected citing they did not know the person whose statement this is. Note they do not deny the evidence, their objection is purely procedural. Mind you even their “procedural” argument is debatable. The objection cites that there are many 1000’s of volunteers. However this person rose to the status of GOA. How many GOAs can there be? These must be in the 100’s if not less. And this particular volunteer was around for a long time so it is hardly as if he came one day and went the next.