M22 believes transparency is important to any successful business and would like to take this opportunity to address some of the confusion around our M22 trademark. There are many statements being made that are not true. This is somewhat understandable given trademark law is complicated. Here are some basic issues we would like to address:
- M22 has never sued anyone. We have sent “cease and desist letters” if someone is infringing on our trademark. This is a last resort. We try to discuss the subject first as sending these letters is costly and not as friendly as we strive to be. Most of the time, people thank us for informing them and respect our rights as trademark owners. By federal law, we are required to do this to maintain our trademark.
- Trademarks exist to protect you, the customer. When you purchase an M22 product or see one on the market, you should expect that it came from us. M22 has created a Brand Guideline and set Quality Standards so our customers can be assured we use the highest quality items we can source, sourced from certified companies, embellished in specific ways, and marketed with our specific style. Whether you are from Michigan, or out of state as many of our customers are, people should not see a similar logo and wonder if it is produced by M22.
- M22 does not own, or claim to own, all road signs in Michigan. The M-22 road sign is still in the public domain as it always has been. Our trademark protects the category of goods and services provided in association with the M22 brand against any logo that could be confused with, or dilute, what we offer. Before we created the brand “M22”, the M-22 road sign, and similar signs, were not used on the goods and services we offer. We have worked hard to create our brand and within that, a secondary meaning for M22 that goes beyond the road sign. Companies have tried to copy our business model and reap the benefits of M22’s goodwill as a brand by using another road signs similar to, or the same as, our trademark. If this dilutes our brand, or a person could be confused by another product on the market similar to ours, then by law, we must address the issue.
- We do give back and we do share. M22 has generated millions of dollars in taxes. The M22 brand has highlighted not only the healthy, active lifestyle it represents, but also our local area and businesses state-wide. It has given back thousands of dollars a year to the Leelanau Conservancy and was awarded the 2015 Business Donor or the Year. It supports businesses in Northern Michigan by using their services rather than outsourcing. We sponsor school teams, events, athletes, and ambassadors from around the country. We employee many full time staff members and seasonal employees locally, and wholesale our products to dozens of retailers who each contribute to their local economy.
Many people have asked how they can help. Please share this information, and let Attorney General Bill Schuette know you stand behind M22 by signing the petition link below. Thank you for the overwhelming support! Now we are off to enjoy this amazing September surf season and hope you are living the #M22life wherever your home may be.