Save the Power Hour!

Posted on 10 May 2010

On May 7th, I received a trademark infringement / cease and desist email from a guy named Steve Roose, claiming that this website, Power Hour HQ, is in violation of his trademark for the term “Power Hour”:

from Steve Roose <steve@powerhourgame.com>
to peteberg@gmail.com
cc legalteam@powerhourgame.com

Hi Peter,

Your entire website at www.powerhourhq.com is in violation of my trademark. You are sharing and promoting digital media with the term “Power Hour” of products that are not related to my company. This violates my trademark for “Power Hour” drinking games in the form of digital media. You are violating my trademark for “Power Hour” Serial Number 77805395 and Registration Number 3780534.

I will also be contacting viddler.com to have all videos removed.

Please remove any additional known content that infringes upon my company’s mark immediately. My legal team has been notified of this violation. Your expedited action and confirmation is appreciated. Any delay and continued infringement will result in legal action.

Steve Roose

Power Hour LLC
www.PowerHourGame.com
www.facebook.com/powerhour

Initial response: You’ve got to be kidding me.

Upon further inspection, I discovered that through some oversight in the trademark office, Steve Roose of “Power Hour, LLC” had indeed been granted the trademark for the words “Power Hour.” It went into effect on April 27th, 2010. (See the trademark here.)

Wait, what? How?

 

A little background on Steve Roose

Steve runs a series of spammy websites where he sells a power hour DVD and power hour software. The main one is PowerHourGame.com.

The power hours all feature a character called “The Beer Man” and are essentially just PowerPoint presentations that burp. The graphics are terrible, and there is no music or sound other than belching every sixty seconds. Anyone who has done any other video power hour will recognize immediately that this is a pathetic representation of our favorite drinking game.

A few years ago, Steve somehow managed to get his DVD into Spencer’s Gifts, and has also listed it for sale on Amazon.com for poor saps to buy. He claims he has sold a total of 20,000 copies — which is a complete tragedy.

Now that Steve has been granted this trademark, he’s trying to bully all other power hour websites into shutting down with legal threats. He threatened Power Hour HQ. He also started harassing Ali Spagnola, the artist and musician behind Ali Spagnola’s Power Hour Drinking Game. He’s trying to wipe out ALL the power hours off the Internet except his own!

Steve Roose is a sleazebag and a bully. He didn’t invent the power hour. The term was in wide use years before he started selling his terrible power hours. Now he’s trying to use an oversight by the trademark office to commandeer the term and force out any “competitors.” We believe that Steve Roose is wrong and doesn’t deserve to own OUR term. And we’re not going to stand by and let him ruin power hours for everyone else!

 

Why Steve’s trademark is bogus

The term “power hour” has been around for years and years, and was already widely used long before Steve Roose began marketing his products. He didn’t invent the term or the power hour game, he just created one variation of it. Lots of other people have created power hour music mixes, DVDs and software.

Trademark law states that “Registration of a mark that is merely descriptive should be refused.”

Additionally, trademark law prohibits the registration of terms that have become genericized. Millions of people already use the term “power hour” to refer to this game and have never even heard of Steve’s power hours. His claim to “Power Hour” as a brand name is bogus.

It’s like if I suddenly trademarked the word “Basketball” and tried to sue anyone who sold basketball jerseys or Michael Jordan videos!

(I suspect Steve’s application only managed to slip through because there aren’t many binge drinkers in the Trademark Dept.)

 

How do we fight it?

Luckily for drinkers everywhere, Ali Spagnola has hired a lawyer and has launched a campaign to get Steve Roose’s trademark rescinded!

Ali created her own original power hour, consisting of 60 original, one-minute songs about drinking. She sells her power hour as a DVD online, and she also performs live power hour concerts and sells an audio CD. Ali has put a lot of work and creative energy into her power hour, and she is fighting back.

Ali’s lawyer has already begun the legal paperwork and accumulated large amounts of evidence for refusal of the trademark. Ali has shelled out lots of her own money to pay for the legal expenses so far.

However, the estimated cost to file the lawsuit and rescue “Power Hour” back from Steve is a whopping $15,000. This is where you come in. Ali is accepting donations to help pay for the costs, but she can’t do it without your support. Even a few dollars will help, and if you donate more, she will send you things like signed copies of the DVD, or fly to your city and do a live power hour concert!

To find out more about Ali’s legal struggle (as well as some of the incentive to donate), you can read about it on her website.


Click this banner to help Ali save the Power Hour!

Donate if you can, and be sure to share this with all of your friends! You could even throw a power hour party as a fund raiser. :)

Also, you can feel free to NOT BUY Steve Roose’s products. That will help too!

 

What else can we do?

Well, first off, DON’T buy any of Steve’s power hours or products. Not only are they all TERRIBLE, but why would you want to support this jerk?

Secondly, you can use your free speech to help warn other consumers about how truly lame these products are.

Power Hour, LLC sells its power hours on several websites that allow public reviews and commenting. Feel free to check out the products and post your thoughts on them!

Please keep your reviews civil and make them about the quality of the products (not about this trademark issue)!

 

If we work together, we can save “Power Hour” for binge drinkers everywhere!

 

 

69 Comments For This Post

  1. steve roose Says:

    haha. this is hilarious. you guys are a joke. “save power hour” ridiculous… power hour is not in any danger. my company made the first software in 2000 and we chose the term power hour and have been claiming rights to it ever since. It wasnt until last summer that we filed the trademark due to all the copycat programs, videos, and other digital media. my mark proves that I created the term and first used in on digital media. it gives me the exclusive right to name my products power hour. none of your products existed before mine.

    power hour is not generic like basketball. the term is trademarked in several markets: religion, exercise, life coaching, financial, etc. clearly its a term that can be trademarked and a trademark for that name can exist in each category. i chose the term in 2000. terms of power hour and drinking prior to the year 2000 dont relate to the claims that i have made. in fact the USPTO office already did a self opposition of the term outside of ali’s lame attempt to block it. Ali and her lawyer originally filed for opposition and they failed to provide any evidence. then the trademark office scanned the entire history of the term and brought for over 30 pages of potential issues citing everything relating to power hour and drinking and nothing, NOTHING, interfered with my trademark claim, therefore it was approved. as it should be. just because you are familiar today with the term power hour, doesnt mean that its a result of a widely known term that is generic. it is my company’s work of 10 years that has made it a widely known term. we have over 50 websites and have marketed the term for 10 years, we have been on national television, radio shows and in several magazines and newspapers. to you, somebody that knows nothing about power hour, it feels like a generic term because all of the rip-offs like ALI and yourself who copied the idea of my products 5 years later and now thinks she somehow has rights to the term. I don’t think so and neither does the trademark office. you honestly think they dont take the seriousness of every mark filed and that it just slipped through? ha. given the already existing internal opposition that was reviewed and my mark was still granted, i would say anyone here is better off buying theirself a beer.

    ali, you, whoever… can still make cd’s, games, apps and videos, etc. you just have to choose another term. your site isnt even a year old and you want to talk about rights.

  2. NY Law Student Says:

    As a student of Intellectual Properties, I felt obligated to comment on this. Regardless of Power Hour, LLC’s supposedly notoriety, I have only heard the term “Power Hour” applied to third party uses, and to none of his uses. This cuts against the supposed strength of the mark. Furthermore, Power Hour HQ operated PRIOR to the Power Hour mark being registered. This fact would permit Power Hour HQ to operate in its present form, regardless of the mark, provided it does not expand its market. That Power Hour HQ existed prior to the mark’s registration means that Power Hour, LLC had an affirmative duty to inform the USPTO of all other users of the mark upon application for registration. That Power Hour, LLC did not could show bad faith (and in fact, be tantamount to fraud) rendering the mark invalid.

    Even if one accepts Power Hour, LLC’s trademark as valid in 2000, as of 2010, it may no longer be protectable. There are many trademarks that have fallen as “victims of their own success.” Xerox, for example, was once a protected mark but now is considered a “generic” term as Xerox often is used interchangeably with “photocopy.” LEGO, Kleenex, Clorox, and even Google, all might one day fall victim of genericide; why should “Power Hour” be any different?

    The smarter alternative is for Power Hour, LLC to license out the use of “Power Hour,” thereby preventing a protracted legal battle where everyone involved will lose something. Even if Power Hour, LLC wins the dispute, the amount of negative publicity might indefinitely destroy the company. Should Power Hour, LLC lose, the trademark becomes invalid, and the users of the mark can continue doing so in perpetuity.

  3. Pete Berg Says:

    Steve, if your goal over the “past ten years,” was to establish a brand name for yourself, you failed miserably.

    There’s never been a more generic term, and NOBODY associates the game of “power hour” with your terrible product.

    Also, there are thousands of examples of the generic use of “Power Hour” before January of 2000, when you claim you started your business. Here’s one from February of 1998: http://www.angelfire.com/ca/drinkinggames/power.html

    Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of generic uses of “power hour” that exist. I’ve also found a video power hour DVD dating to 2001, which predates your power hour DVD by at least 4 years.

    What are you going to do next, try to commandeer “Beer Pong” and “Flip Cup” too?

  4. Tom Says:

    Steve Roose is a bully and bastard. By commenting on this thread he is on the defensive and deserves a pie in the face. Steve loves to claim he built a company over the last decade around “Power Hour”… but if that is true.. why did it take you nearly a DECADE to file a trademark claim?

    My logic is that you are a prick.. and like to bully youthful creators.

    This is America.. feel free to keep schlepping your shitty products.. but don’t mess with my “Power Hour HQ”…

    I promise this a battle you don’t want to enter into… either rescind your bullshit claims or prepare for the wrath of a youth nation hating on everything you stand for. We will raise the capital, take your asshole self to court… AND WE WILL WIN.

    I personally know numerous lawyers who are willing to take on this case Pro Bono… if Roose wants to pony up his cash for a lawsuit.. then lets bleed him dry… suck every penny he’s ever earned through intimidation and empty threats… and give him a sleeping disorder from the stress related to harassing others.

    Whomever invented the “Power Hour” (probably a fraternity in the 1950′s)… imitation is the highest for of flattery.

    I leave every Power Hour HQ fan with these immortal words from Braveheart:

    “I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny (aka Steve Roose). You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?

    Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”

    LONG LIVE THE FREEDOM OF THE POWER HOUR!

  5. Mark Cornelius Says:

    Steve, I don’t have Pete’s courtesy.  Since the trademark is registered in the name of an LLC chartered in July  2008, I think it’s fair to say your claim that you’ve been using it since New Year’s Day 2000 is bullshit. It was not challenged before; if it had been you’d have something to point to, other than a website created after Pete’s and a company chartered 5 months after the creation of this site. The generic use of the term existed before your trade use. In short, go fuck yourself.

  6. Jake Says:

    Dear Burger King (Pete),

    Please stop selling “french fries.” We were the first ones to cut up potatoes, and fry them in oil. Even though your “french fries” are much tastier than ours, and more people like them, we own the trademark.

    Sincerely,
    McDonalds (Steve)

  7. Jake Says:

    Dear McDonalds (Steve),

    “French” fries?
    You’ve got to be kidding.

    -France (drinkers everywhere)

  8. Pete Berg Says:

    Haha Jake, it’s funny that you used Burger King for your example, given this previous legal precedent:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burger_King_(Mattoon,_Illinois)

    The big Burger King corporation tried to shut down a small local restaurant in Mattoon, Illinois called “Burger King” that existed well before BK filed their trademark. Suffice to say it, Burger King the corporation lost in court (and spent a lot of money doing so).

    See any parallels here?

  9. NY Law Student Says:

    Absolutely. I remember reading about that case in class.

  10. Jacki Says:

    Additionally, the fact that Steve fails to grasp the spelling, grammar and capitalization skills of a fifth grader knocks him down yet another peg.

  11. Bill Says:

    “i would say anyone here is better off buying theirself a beer.”

    Buying thierself a beer? Are you kidding me? How did this d-bag even complete the forms for a trademark? Did you write it in Crayon Steve?

    Also, I love all the reviews your sister wrote on Amazon. How many of the 20,000 copies did she buy?

  12. Tim Says:

    Hey Roose,

    Drunks don’t like people trying to monopolize their God-given right to get sauced. Selling your pitiful excuse for a drinking game angers nobody except the poor saps who were tricked into buying it, but intimidating people who are merely using power hours as a source of fun is simply low, as are you, you dummy.

  13. Theo Says:

    Tom:

    In your sentence

    “We will raise the capital, take your asshole self to court… AND WE WILL WIN.”

    you used the name of a drinking game, “Asshole,” that I created fifteen years ago and single-handedly popularized. This morning I wrote down on a piece of paper, “I invented the word asshole” and mailed it to myself. Take down your blog comment or I will see YOU in court with the unopened envelope as evidence. I’ll open it dramatically, the jury will gasp, I will become a hero, and then finally people will start buying my $10 game instead of a $3 a deck of cards. Maybe someone will want to be my friend, too.

  14. Kit Says:

    Please do not feed the troll. (in the comments thread, that is)

  15. organicsarcasm Says:

    HEY ROOSE!
    ‘POWER HOUR’ HAS NEVER BEEN COOL, WAY TO BE A HUUUUGE ASS SUCKING DOUCHE :D
    HEY GUYS WHO RUN THIS SITE!
    BEER PONG IS ONLY COOL UNTIL YOU’RE 40 AND PLAYING ALONE BUAHAHA, FUCKERS.
    HAVE FUN BEING DRUNKEN IDIOTS FUCKING EACH OTHER IN THE ASS THREE WAYS FROM SUNDAY.

    Love,
    organicsarcasm
    ps- HEY REDDIT!

  16. SteveMack Says:

    Wow, what a stupid arguement. I can’t beleive i randomnly stumbled across this page. Tell you what, l’m going to go out and GET LAID, while you losers sit here and argue over power hour. Sad and pathetic.

  17. Dixon Says:

    Wow, we were doing power hours in high school (that’s the 90′s for me). We are talking about the drinking game where you take a shot of beer every minute for an hour right? There is no way that this term should be copyrighted by some douchebag that “invented” it in 2000.

  18. Paul Phoenix Says:

    Prior art. Sum 41′s Half-Hour of Power, which I assume references the full “Hour of Power” predates Douchey McDoucherstein, came out in 1998. As the posts above indicate, the term has clearly been in use in several different contexts for at least a decade. This is nothing more than trademark trolling: registering a common trademark for the express purpose of bullying people with it. It’s generally not legal, and if Douchey McDoucherstein is an attorney, he might want to look up the definition of “barratry” in his state’s Code of Professional Responsibility. Judges… typically don’t like it when you commit barratry. In some cases, it’s grounds for censure. Just walk away quietly. You’ve had your fifteen minutes. Now take your cute little trademark and go cry in a corner.

  19. Paul Phoenix Says:

    Also, +1 to Steve Mack /supra/. While y’all are arguing about the power hour trademark, he’ll be getting laid and I’ll be out saving the world. See you in the streets.

  20. IP Lawyer Says:

    The arguments on both sides are ridiculous. Readers, please don’t donate money to anyone “save power hour” – any barely competent attorney would tell powerhourhq and their ilk to wait it out, keep doing what they’re doing and let this D-bag file if he’s going to. The court would have no problem seeing what’s going on here.

    Everyone involved in this argument is an idiot.

  21. Rusty Says:

    “we have been on national television, radio shows and in several magazines and newspapers.”

    http://www.bookofodds.com/Accidents-Death/Accidental-Deaths/Articles/A0392-Many-Drinks-Too-Many-The-Odds-of-Alcohol-Poisoning

    He didn’t mention this one, so I thought I’d share.

  22. Darren Says:

    IP Lawyer: You’re involved in the argument, so I guess that makes you an idiot too!

  23. DrinkUpOrlando Says:

    Steve….Cmon. Really?

    I make Power Hours so that people can have fun and see hilarious clips that they might not see EVER! Your DVD that you sell saying its a “Power Hour” is just…lacking. I had more fun talking to my friends about making a better power hour video than I did watching yours. I am not trying to offend you in any way. I am just trying to get you to open your eyes. Make something better and actually amusing! Rotating text each minute and a burp noise every 60 seconds? That’s the best you could think of? I do commend you for selling so many, I just don’t think telling people to stop is actually going to work.

    Telling people to stop using the word “Power Hour” is like trying to make the world stop downloading mp3′s and movies. Power Hours should and always will be free.

    -DrinkUpOrlando

  24. Linkin Says:

    Steve, you are ridiculous.

    That said, I’ve been holding out on a power hour that we debuted here at UConn a few months ago that I think is my best work. I will have it to you, Pete, by tomorrow.

    by the way, I invented the power hour when i shot out of the fucking womb with a shotglass and a keystone light. Fucker.

  25. keloidformer Says:

    Why not just call it “Power Hower” and move on?

  26. NY Law Student Says:

    keloidformer: Because that in itself would not be enough to avoid a trademark battle. Though it is not literally the same, dilution would still be a problem. For example, opening a burger joint called MacDonelds next door to a McDonald’s with a symbol of a capital E.

  27. Pete Berg Says:

    Good news everyone, Ali Spagnola’s fundraising campaign is picking up steam.

    She just got an anonymous donation of $1300 from a stranger in Switzerland! There are a total of 21 backers so far.

    http://www.alispagnola.com/powerhour/

  28. Pete Berg Says:

    On another note, does Steve Roose happen to also work for the Subway corporation?

    Subway’s Lawyers Tell Rest Of World To Stop Selling “Footlong” Sandwiches
    http://consumerist.com/2010/05/subways-lawyers-tell-rest-of-world-to-stop-selling-footlong-sandwiches.html

    All this trademark stuff is freaking ridiculous.

  29. B Says:

    The son of a bitch got them all taken down. Congrats Roose, you asshat. You and your five friends can have a great time buying Ed Hardy clothing and drinking to your powerpoint presentation. Burn in hell, Roose.

    UCONN, DrinkUpOrlando, etc – your power hours seem to be really popular. If you can get a bunch of people to donate $5 to Ali Spangola’s lawsuit she’s forming, we can get this shit reversed! Roose would never win in court.

    I’ve got another power hour ready to go up and am working on an America one for the 4th of July. You know America, Roose. It’s that country you hate.

  30. B Says:

    Might I add another way this situation can be looked at – a large group of people volunteer for an organization called Community Service. They go for free and help others have a better time. One day the group is told that someone has copyrighted the phrase “Community Service” and that if they continue to volunteer with that organization, they will be sued.

    That is literally what Power Hour HQ’s power hours are: a free service to the people. Not for money, not for profit. This is a travesty.

  31. Al Yunk Says:

    Mr. Roose not only had all of my videos, but also went as far as to have Vimeo & Youtube accounts (which included non-power hour related material) removed as well.

    Regardless of who is right and wrong in this ridiculous matter, it is pretty damn disheartening to see that 4+ YEARS worth of my work completely wiped from the internet.

    I didn’t create the term or drinking game “Power Hour”, but I would like to think that I (and my fellow Power Hour creators) are owed some due respect from Steve.

    Even if he is the creator of the term & drinking game Power Hour (which he is more than likely not), we have been the ones pushing the game to where it is today.

    Sort-of the Jordans to his Naismith, to use the apparently popular basketball analogy.

    I will be uploading my 30-odd videos to free file hosting sites imediately. And I will continue to create said type of videos as long as the want is still out there, as always, free of charge.

    I hope that everybody out there who creates 60 Minute Drinking Games will share my resolve.

  32. Superman C Says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, where I love the term power hour. If this is a simple case about what we call our beloved binge drinking game, I suggest everyone call it what it is referred to at NIU. Pow Wow. Let’s do a Pow Wow.
    POWER HOUR = POW WOW

  33. Theo Says:

    In case anyone thinks there may be some legitimacy to Roose’s trademark, peruse http://tess2.uspto.gov/tmdb/tmep/1200.htm#_T1209. “Power Hour” is a generic, descriptive term. January 1, 2000 my ass.

  34. steve Says:

    hi guys, i don’t appreciate the slander/libel or posting my contact information publicly. you have promoted the posting of negative reviews of my products and company with the purposeful intent to harm my products and services as well. also, you are stating loads of untruthful information because you don’t know all the facts. your site and ali’s products were not created before my company or my products. in 2000 we created the first ever power hour software along with a power hour video available on vcd format. the games included content like sing along songs, dares, jokes, beer quotes and more. in 2002 an article written documents my products as the first and only known power hour products. i worked as a sole proprietor until creating power hour vx llc in 2004. I have plenty of documentation of these products including registering of domain names, copyrights, and source code re-enforcing dates that are all prior use to your websites and ali’s products as well as any power hour products that have been mentioned. in 2004 another article was written mentioning my appearance on a national tv program where i played power hour. the program also states my digital products as the first and only products. power hour is not just the name of the game but it is my brand of products. i created power hour mixes, power hour dvds, power hour cell phone programs and much more. along the way i changed entity locations, converted entities and established a new one. i have registered over 50 domains related to power hour including powerhourvx, powerhourgame, powerhourdvd, powerhourmusic, powerhourmixes, playpowerhour and so many more along the way. how could i not be the first person, yet own all of these valuable domains? even if i make lousy products and nobody ever likes them, i still have the right to carry a brand name and create more products. my trademark does not prevent you from playing a power hour or calling it that at a house party, etc. those statements are dramatizations by ali and powerhourhq. my trademark states that my product line is known as power hour and that it started in 2000 and that it encompasses several forms of digital media. all of which i can and will prove as first use. because i have spent 10 years and lots of money developing products with the term, i have been granted the mark. ali will attempt to oppose it and i will show all necessary documentation of existing use years before her. itunes states her album was released in october 2007. she claims to have started working on stuff in 2005. i’m still 5 years ahead of that. my lawyer says all the proof is there to merit my actions, my mark and a case. the mistake i made was contacting the individual parties myself. my lawyer will now take care of that for me. although everyone here is passionate about power hour and enjoys the videos posted, you cannot deny that they are illegal. even outside of my trademark, the consist of one minute video clips…some even with music from production studios and artists who have not authorized the use. so each video includes 60-120 infringements. although hq isnt selling the videos they are building a name and domain based on illegal content. just a free site? i dont think so. once the popularity and use base grows, i would bet advertisements are implemented and there you have your commercial gain from illegal content. the fact that the copyright owners havent yet enforced their rights and had the videos removed, doesnt make the use of them legal or appropriate. i would advise against further slander/libel. I have documented all of this and we are building a case against ali and yourself. My company will continue to enforce it’s trademark. We will also fight a prolonged trademark opposition battle if necessary. We will bring a suit against you for resulting damages. You can expect to hear from my lawyer directly very soon.

  35. Pete Berg Says:

    Steve, a few responses:

    1. You can’t claim libel or slander, because I have not misrepresented you at all. All the information in this article, and everything I have written about you, is entirely truthful, or is an expression of my own opinion. It is my right to state that I believe that you are a “sleazebag and a bully,” (and from everything we have seen from you, I have a lot of evidence to back that up). These are not falsehoods, these are opinions, and I have the right to share them.
    Secondly, it is not illegal to organize a boycott of a company’s products, especially if the products are shoddy and the company’s business practices are suspect and unethical.
    Finally, it is not illegal for people to use their free speech to write reviews of your products. I have only encouraged people to use their “free speech to help warn other consumers about how truly lame these products are.” These reviews have been posted in various public forums, and thanks to the First Amendment, this speech is highly protected. There’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

    2. If you are so concerned with copyright, then why do you also run an ILLEGAL website where you distribute COPYRIGHTED MUSIC? http://www.powerhourmixes.com
    You are a hypocrite, and even worse, you are using copyrighted material for COMMERCIAL PROMOTION of your DVD and software. I highly doubt that you own the rights to all the Led Zeppelin and Dave Matthews Band songs that you’ve illegally posted on your website.

    3. All of your contact information is already PUBLICLY POSTED on your website http://www.powerhourgame.com/contact.htm, and any information that I am sharing is already publicly available. You can not claim that you had an expectation of privacy if you are already sharing this information in connection with your business.

    4. Whether or not you were the first person to sell power hour software or DVDs, does not matter. That is not what we are arguing. We are arguing the VALIDITY of your trademark. “Power Hour” was already a WIDELY USED, GENERICIZED and DESCRIPTIVE term before you ever began using it. The trademark should not have been granted. Power Hour is the name of an activity. I have accounts of people who were doing “power hours” as early as the ’70s, and there are dozens of documents using the term “power hour” which predate even your dubious claims that you first used the term commercially on 1/1/2000. See the Wikipedia article on “Genericized trademarks” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genericized_trademark
    In order to prove that you have the sole right to use this term, you have to demonstrate that the average person in your market associates the words “power hour” with your products, and not with a generic activity. Every college student I’ve ever met knows what a power hour is, and not a single one of them has ever heard of your products, or associates the term with your business. Power Hour is a diluted and weak term, and it can not be used as a brand name.

    5. You did not file your trademark application until August 14, 2009. Legal precedent has shown that if others are using a trademarked term prior to when the trademark is filed, they may continue to use it “in the present form, regardless of the mark, provided that [they] do not expand [their] market.” Both Ali and I, and hundreds of others, were using “power hour” well before you tried to trademark it.

    6. Power Hour HQ is not a commercial operation. You claim that I intend to some day make money with this website. That is not true. I have never made any money on this website, and I never will. I run this website as a hobby, and it is a website where many other power hour hobbyists share their work. This is not a commercial venture and it never will be. All the content is free, and there are not even ads on this site.

    7. Furthermore, we are well aware that you are petitioning various video sharing websites to take down power hour videos with your legal threats. You know that these are videos that have never been used commercially, are strictly for entertainment value, and videos that hundreds of people enjoy. People made these videos for fun, and their sole existence is for other people to have fun. This just proves my point that you are an anti-competitive bully, and a complete jerk.

    Steve, you’re ruining power hours for everybody else, and you know it. The fact that everybody despises you, and that you have received the wrath and scorn of the web is entirely your own fault. It’s karma. You deserve every bit of it.

  36. NY Law Student Says:

    Steve: I am going to discuss some things here to address some of the points you have noted. I am going to first start with your claim of libel. Note, I said libel and not slander/libel; slander is verbal, libel is written, collectively they are defamation. If we look into the general definition of “libel,” of course independent jurisdictions vary, we generally find that libel is “a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person.” We see there are three elements to any libel claim:
    -lack of truth;
    -that is malicious; and,
    -with intent of defamation.
    If what Pete says is true, your claim fails. If what Pete says is not done maliciously, your claim fails. If what Pete says is not for the intention of defamation, but for any other purpose, your claim fails.

    In the United States, the freedom of speech is a dearly-held facet of free society. There are a few cases where a government might curtail free speech, for example, restricting the time, place, and manner of speech or screaming “fire” in a crowded building. I do not recall ever seeing a case where a court has said a person may not suggest to third parties to voice their opinions. Pete is not suborning perjury, the third parties are not under oath in a tribunal. While I have not read any of the third parties’ comments, Pete cannot be held liable if any of them defame you, take it up with them. Furthermore, he encourages third parties specifically to be civil and only about the quality of your products, NOT about any other, and unacceptable, basis of review.

    I now take up some specific statements of yours.

    To address: “i would advise against further slander/libel. I have documented all of this and we are building a case against ali and yourself.” I, personally, have not seen anything yet come from Pete that is libelous. I also hope you do not intend to use anyone else’s comments as a basis of your suit against Pete, as those would be hearsay and irrelevant.

    To your question: “how could i not be the first person, yet own all of these valuable domains?” Simple: there is no governmental authority governing domain registration. Furthermore, cybersquatting has only recently become an issue. What comes to my mind easiest is the case of the Jay Leno show. (See: http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2009/d2009-0570.html)

    To address: “even if i make lousy products and nobody ever likes them, i still have the right to carry a brand name and create more products.” Yes, you do have that right. However, you do not have the right to pull something out of the public domain and exclude others from it (for example, your use of the term “Power Hour,” which some have stated has existed from the 70s for the exact items you seek to use it as a mark) nor to preclude others who used the mark prior to your registration of it. For example, see the prior posted case about Burger King versus Burger King.

    To address: “my lawyer says all the proof is there to merit my actions, my mark and a case.” Of course he does. If your lawyer is not working on a contingency basis, he has every possible incentive to bring any, every, and all claims he possibly can to rack of legal fees.

    While it is not relevant to your trademark dispute, I am going to address usage of third parties’ copyrighted works. Prior to the copyright act of 1976, fair use was a right. Now it is a defense. Factors to consider are:
    -the purpose of use;
    -nature of the copyrighted work;
    -amount and substantiality of the portion used; and,
    -effect on the market.
    In Steve’s case, the use of the copyrighted material was to create an unauthorized derivative work. I doubt that Steve has paid royalties for the music featured in . As it is interactive, he cannot claim he is providing a radio service and be covered under that licensing rubric. In Pete’s case, he is merely hosting content that people have already made into derivative works. Steve’s use is for profit, Pete’s is not. The other three factors would likely be the same for both Steve and Pete.

    As a partially ad hominem comment addressed solely to Steve (and not Pete): that key directly below your carriage return is used to capitalize letters consistent with the grammatical rules of the English language.

  37. Mark Cornelius Says:

    So, Steve, you are claiming the tradmeark’s legitimacy because a person named Steve Roose has been using it in a sole proprietorship since January 1, 2000, and so Power Hour LLC (not the aforementioned “administratively-dissolved by the State of California for delinquency” or “administratively-dissolved by the State of Wisconsin for official correspondence being returned to sender and marked undeliverable” Power Hour VX LLCs (yes, plural)). You didn’t file a trademark registration for Steve Roose. You filed it for POWER HOUR LLC, claiming not that Steve Roose, but that POWER HOUR LLC (not even POWER HOUR VX LLC) has been using it since January 1, 2000. POWER HOUR LLC has not existed that long, but just in case there’s any confusion, here’s a 1998 Usenet post explaining the term: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.beer/browse_thread/thread/df0844ead08ee28f/942d67c2d348bb25?#942d67c2d348bb25

  38. Kyle Says:

    Wow Steve, you just got owned.

    You’re the man Pete.

  39. DTM Says:

    Steve Roose is a Sleazeball and a Douschebag. His products are god awfully atrocious. I hope the federal courts chew him up and spit him out for breakfast. Way to show that fucker, Peter. You are a god amongst men.

  40. KAL EL Says:

    If I spent 10 years working on something, i would hope it was something to be proud of. Steve’s product is worthless, useless, and an embarrassment to all binge drinkers everywhere. He got my review pulled from amazon.com. For those of you who want to see steve’s crappy products, my friend downloaded it though a torrent or something like that and showed me how terrible it was.

  41. The Real Beer Man Says:

    From Pittsburgh City Paper: http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A79329

    Michael J. Madison, who teaches intellectual-property law at University of Pittsburgh, stresses that no one can trademark a phrase that is merely descriptive. “If ‘Power Hour’ is a generic description of ‘a drinking game that involves drinking a shot of alcohol each minute for an hour,’ then Mr. Roose can’t have any trademark rights at all.”

    Winning a case like this, Madison says, usually depends on finding that the trademark holder was not the first to use the phrase to sell or market a product, or that “the trademark isn’t actually associated by consumers with a service that the registrant provides.” In any case, Madison says, Spagnola might merely need to change the name of her event and DVDs: “He can’t stop her from singing or recording one-minute songs.”

  42. Pete Berg Says:

    Save The Power Hour has made it to the front page of Reddit!
    http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/c6e49/a_girl_named_ali_wrote_sixty_original_songs_and/

    Everyone vote this up, please.

    (Second time to the front page of Reddit in a week, I might add… http://www.reddit.com/r/entertainment/comments/c29cz/i_just_received_a_cease_and_desist_trademark/ )

  43. Slug Says:

    Steve just made some websites have massive traffic, while making his own brand take a serious hit….. nice work Steve, good business head! You fucking retard!!!

  44. Law Student is Wrong Says:

    Perhaps Law Student should keep his or her nose in the books before offering not-exactly-correct legal advice on blogs.

    Xerox has never succumbed to genericide. While it and Kleenex were once considered as possible generic marks, the enormous expenditure of advertising dollars saved those marks, which today are still considered fanciful.

  45. BEER MAN LOL Says:

    Excuse my French, but Steve Roose is a silly goose. Also a whiney cunt who is about to lose his trademark.

  46. NY Law Student Says:

    While Xerox still attempts to enforce their mark, Xerox likely would be considered by courts as generic, and no enforceable. Go talk to anyone in offices, schools, et cetera, and they refer to photocopies as “xeroxes.” Note the difference between lower and upper case. Google asks that people not use “google” as a verb, or at least do it in the lower case. LEGO requests that you never use “legos,” but instead, “LEGO brand building bricks.” Wrong? No. Perhaps a shade misleading in my first, rushed posting? Yes.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    When he is not trying to shut down all power hours apparently this is how he spends his time…

  48. Anonymous Says:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140383792281&ru=http://shop.ebay.com:80/140383792281_W0QQ_fviZ1&_rdc=1

  49. Ronian Says:

    “On Saturday, June 5, 2010, status on the POWER HOUR trademark changed to WITHDRAWN BEFORE ISSUE”

    =D

  50. Tim Says:

    Happy Honeymoon, Roosey.

  51. whats going on? Says:

    Give us an update of whats going on.

  52. Maverick Says:

    Round of applause to Pete and everyone else supporting save the power hour, even if it’s just by commenting on here.
    As has already been noted, every college student knows what a power hour is, although very very few have ever heard of Mr. Roose’s company or his incredibly atrocious product. The term Power Hour will NEVER be associated with Steve’s company. Saying you were the first to coin the term, or that you deserve the rights to it, is like saying you were the first to coin the term Happy Birthday or you deserve the rights to anything with the words Happy Birthday written on it. It is utterly ridiculous.

    That being said, Steve, being the no talent ass clown that he is, will not ruin power hours for me. We’ll still make them, publish them, and play them at parties on a regular basis. In the grand scheme of things, Steve’s outrageous claim only truly concerns people like Pete and Ali, or fans of theirs that use the internet to play power hours. For those of us that make our own, Steve will never be able to stop us from enjoying them.

    Lastly, Steve, a matter of personal advice. If you expect to be taken seriously at all, use proper punctuation and grammar. Seriously, reading what you wrote above sounds like a 15 year old wrote it. There’s a recent invention called paragraphs (maybe you’ve heard of it, I actually invented them back in 2000) you might consider using.

  53. American Dad fan Says:

    Steve, American Dad published a power hour, under the name “Power Hour” on their season 5 DVD. You might want to inform them they’re not allowed to do that, since you invented it.

  54. Anonymous Says:

    Dont forget to review this thing on Spencers. He is trying to sell his company on ebay. The more bad reviews the better.

    http://www.spencersonline.com/product/Dvd-Drinking-Game/#prReviewEngineDiv

  55. Anonymous Says:

    This is his other product he is trying to sell. Rate it!!!

    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Bottle-Bong-Beer-Bottles/dp/B003XZSCRW/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1289069131&sr=8-6

  56. Shisha hookah Says:

    Wow, we were doing power hours in high school (that’s the 90′s for me). We are talking about the drinking game where you take a shot of beer every minute for an hour right? There is no way that this term should be copyrighted by some douchebag that “invented” it in 2000.

  57. Jooman Says:

    hahaha, this is the first time I have ever heard of this terrible product. Trying to coin the phrase “power hour”? This guy is a huge dork. Now excuse me while I continue to work on my own power hour. I will try to upload it when finished.

  58. Selena Elefritz Says:

    Sit back and watch complete films for free

  59. Elwood Massimino Says:

    that just sucks. I thought the Soul Train LIne was the do-not-ever-miss the main show ‘cos the chicks were sexy with appearing like the hootchies today along with the guys were always stylin’.

  60. James Says:

    He got drink up orlando shut down! THAT MOTHERFUCKER!!!

  61. myp2p Says:

    made my day great

  62. john silver Says:

    http://powerhourgame.com/trademark

  63. Empress Says:

    Apparently, he’s a real estate guy, too. Here’s a linky. http://www.viewluxuryliving.com/steve-roose/

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