The Net Tells That Giraffe's Lawyers "Pick Two"
These are the latest. If you haven't already seen them,
don't forget to check out the earlier
We can't disclose full contest entries yet, but we can
let you see a few of the letters of support we have received.
Meanwhile, write letters to or call Geoffrey! Alert Mirriam Webster!
Write Major Major! (Maybe we can get on TV when the PLO is sent
in to wipe us out!)
All opinions expressed belong to their owners. Our opinions
about a certain mongo toy chain and its corporate parent
are hopefully apparent from these pages!
Remember, you must send the letters to TRU via us,
or at least Cc: us on email, if you want to qualify
for the contest!
Names will be added after the contest is over.
What You've Been Saying
Some of these have been lightly edited purely for spelling,
grammar, or strong language. My comments are emphasized just
like this text.
Added to page Dec. 9
I cannot believe the nerve of that company. This is a great story.
Half of my life (in Manhattan) is spent as a freelancer for UPI
(United Press International), among others. If you are at all interested
in talking about the story, please email me."
I did, but looks like AP got there first through the local paper.
I was just on your page a while ago and raed that thing about
Toys-R-Us and you. That [reeks]. Anyway, the reason I'm writing is to give
my support. I don't exactly want any prizes or anything, but I do want to
help. Toys-R-Us cannot make you do ANYTHING. If you received my other
letter a little while ago, you will know that since you changed over 20
percent of the name under copyright, they can't touch you.
In an effort to help out, I made a page stating your case and giving
a pretty big link to your page. And at the very beginning of my page I
included a subtitle so it now reads:
And the "ARU" is a link to the page that summarizes your stuff.
All I can say now is "Good Luck." I also asked my friends
if they could alter their homepage names like I did to bring more and
more attention to your problem....
Looks like you got the Giraffe by the horns.
I'm joining your boycott and will let TRU(tm)
know. In addition I will pass the word to
friends, family, and foes to do likewise.
The nightmare story was hilarious. I was hoping for a link to check out the
TRU homepage and ask them about the prices on what I hear is their lastest
subdivision: nontraditional native meats. I suppose if you put a link to
the TRU homepage, they would probably claim harrassment. I'll just have to
check out one of those overworked search engines and do it myself.
To add to your ever growing list of "coulda-been-a-contenda" names, why not
add Roadkill-R-US-asterisk. (Make sure that the R is reversed, so that they
can see that not only is it satire, it's satire that cares about the details!)
The asterisk of course refers to the usual lawyerly B.S., including finance
charges based on MSRP, all stated very softly and rapidly at the end of the
commercial. I would recommend the 3 point type, just to cover the
Diagrams of this strategy can be provided for the legal department for TRU,
since anything beyond elevator buttons is likely too obtuse for them. I
considered emailing them to suggest they get a life; they would probably
respond that they have that and many other traditional board games, all at
The lawyerly jargon about "theirs, or yours, sprouting wings" was pure gold.
Sic Semper Giraffus! ("Thus be it always to overpaid stuffed shirts")
Well, well, well. Another case of a large company with
their fat head up their [exhaust pipe]. Perhaps next
they'll be after [nevermind -thbbbt] 'R Us?
After seeing your article in the paper today I have change the title of my
homepage and plan to encourage others to do likewise. Hang in there.
I guess that since the Intel/AMD war, the Microsoft legal
procedings, and the O.J. trial, Toys R Us found that the
best ways to get publicity is either murder or getting into
the high tech lawsuit game. Seeing how murder would
definatly be bad for business, and how well Intel and
Microsoft are doing now, a lawsuit in the computer industry
was the way to go. Why not attack the Net? Heck, the U.S.
Government has already installed the thought that it is
filled with pornography, terrorists, and child molesters.
A web site would be easy pray and they get thier name on
the front page of the business section. I think you should
fight this (disclaimer: I am not responsible if you lose).
According to the article in the paper, this is a hobby
page. Therefore you are not a business, let alone a
competitor. And what is this all about anyway, the way are
is spelled R in the name with Us after it? Lets look at
- Roadkill and Toys-I don't see the connection.
- The R is writen backwards in Toys-R-Us, where
in Roadkills-R-Us it is writen forwards. This
brings up an interesting notion, if the letter
R is written backwards then it is no longer
a proper letter R in the English language and
has therefore become a symbol.
- Us- A common pronoun stated in the dictionary
as the objective case of we.
Using this breakdown of the two names makes it pretty clear
that no trademark infringement has been made. I don't think
that the large toy company using a backwards capital R in
thier name, therefore making it impossible to type with a
common wordprocessor, can trademark the word Us. I think
this proves you have more than enough legal standing to win
P.S. Publicity works both ways. I probably wouldn't have
found this site if the URL wasn't printed in the paper
with the article. I bet you get more hits this weekend
than you ever had on any other.
I cannot believe that Toys-R-Us is so clueless as to
waste time on this.
I was very disappointed to learn of your campaign to force the administrator
of the Roadkills-R-Us Web site (http://www.rru.com/rru/) to change the name.
I have pleasant memories of shopping experiences at Toys'R'Us, and I also
have derived a great deal of amusement from the Roadkills'R'Us page (perhaps
those of us who live in Texas are more easily entertained by dead thangs in
the roadway ... nonetheless ...). Never at any slack-jawed, glassy-eyed Web-
surfing moment did I imagine Roadkills'R'Us to be in any way related to your
company or sanctioned by you. The content is not even toy-topical. An old adage
asserts that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Please, please, reach
down into the dark depths of your corporate soul and rediscover a little of your
childlike innocence and sense of humor. It's nearly Christmas. Do you really
want the shopping public to see you looking this petty?
This is not the first time that this particular company has used legal
threats to force a name change. Several years ago (about 3 or 4) they
threatened a BBS sysop in Portland, Or. with legal action if he didn't
change the name of his BBS from "Points-R-Us" to some other name.
It is my belief that TRU goes overboard with their legal threats of
alleged trademark violations. I find it hard to comprehend how "Roadkills",
"Points" or any other word (not associated with toys) linked together with
R-Us could be construed to have any connection with a toy seller.
Evidently the TRU lawyers don't have enough work to keep them busy.
I for one, have not shopped at, nor recommended shopping at a TRU store
since the Portland BBS incident. In fact I rather tend to discourage
anyone from shopping at TRU if asked.
I just recently learned of your web site from
another web site with which you are probably
familiar, Roadkills-R-Us. I was completely
floored by what I read up there. I would like
to think that the situation is the result of
simple confusion and as such, easily corrected
with some informative discussion. But now
I'm not so sure.
After hearing the recent National Public Radio
spot about your pursuit of the domain name
www.toysrus.com, I started to wonder about the
company behind the giraffe (I'm not sure if I
should put a (tm) after giraffe, I'm certain
your house counsel will advise me. ;-)
As a father-to-be and a long time customer of
your company, I would hate to see you continue
this ridiculous legal crusade against a humorist.
My generation is web-literate, has a large
disposable income, and has families that I
suspect comprise the bulk of your customer
base. I really don't want to have to explain
to my kids that we can't go to your store
because you represent corporate belligerence
towards free speech and humor.
Call off your litigators before the financial
community call this into the limelight. I
cannot imagine any good PR from this,
even if you were to successfully prosecute
your case. You have a responsibility to your
shareholders as well as your customers. I
am certain that in the end, you will do the
[Whack] Toys-R-Us! We distinctly learned in business law
that they've tried the same [fertilizer] with other companies
and each time it has gone to court the courts have used whether
the R was backwards as the deciding factor. Basically, they've
said that if the R isn't backwards it is not enough of a
I'm not a lawyer, but I am roadkill on the net...
OK, I don't know what part of your contest this may quailify
for but I'll tell you anyway- Today Prodigy put on their
opening highlights page an icon to go to an article in it's
web ezine Living Digital about suck.com, which I of course
immediately checked out and where you were mentioned
prominently, and that's how I found out about all this, in
2 clicks from the Prodigy main page. THIS IS A VERY GOOD
THING! My letter will be off to TRU and I'm telling all my
friends, and tonight when I finish my Christmas shopping I
will actually go to the MALL instead of TRU. Good luck!
Miles, Sounds like a bunch of RedTape [cow pies].
Keep on truckin anyway.
This is the most hysterical and horrifying chain of events
I've ever heard of!
This is the most ridiculous lawsuit (okay, maybe not THE most
ridiculous, but close) I have even heard of. If they want to
get rid of some of those extra billions lying around, tell 'em
to send it my way!
You heard her, send it on! Much less painful than all
that cyberscorn, eh?
The naming contest should be for a new name for Toys'R'Us,
not for your site. I've only been in a tru once in the last
couple years and I was blown away by how there was literally
a blue half and a pink half of the store with the toys sorted
accordingly. They're a [epithets-r-us] anachronism.
Perhaps that's the problem with their legal department
as well - they think they're King George III.
You may want to share any knowledge that you have of Internet courtesy with
your pea-brained superiors. Many toy-buying people are watching the roadkill
attack closely. I'll be shopping at Play Co. until this matter is resolved
to my satisfaction.
I think that the Toys 'R Us attack against Roadkills 'R Us
is sheer harassment at its worst. I'll be boycotting TRU
this Christmas and am encouraging my brother (who has three
toy-aged-children) to boycott as well. This sort of
harassment against innocent humor on the Internet is
TRU: This is no longer the Industrial Age, and the
corporate bullying tactics of that Age won't work
as effectively in this new Information Age.
You guy's have definitely got my vote!!! TRU obviously has
giraffe droppings for brains.
Now I regret ever shoping there....
I can't belive tru would even think that your web page could
even, by the worlds dumbest person, be thought of in anyway
as related to their store......UNBELIVABLE........
sounds like someone at tru main office has a bit too much
time to kill and should spend more time in any one of their
stores cleaning the mess up and marking their merchandise
I will shop at only their competitors till they issue you
an apology letter.......
Letting you know that your battle with TRU was mentioned on Channel 4 news,
WNBC TV New York. I went immediately to Infoseek and sought you out.
I was really confused as to the difference between your site and
a toy store, but I've figured it out.
Keep up your good work.
I am an artist who frequently does parody. I recently saw
on court tv (12-03-95) two copyright lawyers discussing the
copyright laws of the U.S.. There is a provision in U.S.
copyright laws called: fair use. There is a section under
fair use concerning parody. In essence, anyone who produces
a parody of someone else's copyrighted work is exempt from
copyright infringement. Also, a parody does not remove income
from the person who holds the copyright. you are not competing
with the copyright holder on the sale of thier products.
[TRU vs RRU Page]
[Out of the Blue!]
[An Incredulous Reply]
[Lightning Strikes Twice]
[A Slap to the Head]
[They Think They Won]
Last updated: 25 October 2001
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