Protecting Your Investment
It seems like every day there is a new report of a non-member company illegally using the NADCA logo or falsely advertising NADCA membership and/or certification. Trademark infringement is a problem that has catapulted to new levels since the advent of the Internet. It’s extremely frustrating to our members who pay their hard-earned money for membership dues only to find some guy up the street reaping the benefits of the NADCA name without being a member.
It’s an issue that seems overwhelming at times as it requires constant vigilance, fierce persistence and follow up, and unfortunately, costly legal fees. Nonetheless, NADCA is fully committed to fighting this egregious behavior to protect our members’ investment.
The following outlines the steps NADCA takes to fight trademark infringement and how you can help.
Step 1: Report Infringement
Infringement cases are reported by staff, consumers and members. When you notice that a company is using the NADCA logo or is making a claim of NADCA certification, but you cannot find them as a member in our Find a Professional Directory, please report it.
NADCA has a new online trademark infringement reporting form at nadca.com/report-trademark-infringement. It is very important that members and consumers utilize this new form to submit trademark infringement and complete the information requested. Be sure to upload images of where you have seen the logo or false claim being made, including online and in print advertising.
Step 2: Investigation
NADCA staff reviews every infringement report when it is received to confirm that the company using the logo or making false claims is not an NADCA member. In some cases, a company may use a DBA name, which can cause confusion or lead members to believe there is trademark infringement when there is not.
Step 3: Cease & Desist Tracking
Once the infringement has been verified, NADCA staff immediately contact the infringing company with cease and desist communication directing them to remove the logo and/or false claim within 24 hours.
Every infringement case is tracked in a database, so staff can monitor and make note of the cease and desist communications and status of the case. If the offending company fails to remove the logo or the false claim, their information is then provided to the NADCA attorney for cease and desist communication. If the offending company complies, the case is marked as closed.
For websites and online violations, NADCA staff directly contacts the web-hosting provider to report violations for companies that do not comply. Web-hosting companies understand it is in their best interest to prohibit trademark infringement and often reserve the right to take action against websites they host if there is evidence of infringement.
From 2014 – 2018, NADCA had a total of 288 trademark infringement cases reported and closed out 282 (a 98% closeout rate).
While the number of cases reported continues to increase, so do our efforts to combat this infringement and get these false claims removed from non-member advertising.
In addition to the process outlined, NADCA’s Anti-Fraud Task Force has established a strategy for providing information to Better Business Bureaus and Consumer Affairs Divisions to help educate them on verifying NADCA membership and educating consumers on avoiding scams within the industry.
NADCA’s new Breathing Clean Campaign is specifically targeted to residential consumers to help educate them on things to look for before hiring an air duct cleaning company, including NADCA membership. The campaign includes a public service announcement video with the theme of “you get what you pay for” to help educate consumers.
NADCA also offers the Yoshki logo verification software to all NADCA members. The verification logo is embedded on a page on your website. Consumers then click on the logo to verify that your company is a NADCA member. This is one more tool that can be used to help fight trademark infringement and give consumers peace of mind. But, it will only have an impact if all of our members actually use this tool.
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Help us Fight Trademark Infringement
- Report infringement when you see it at nadca.com/report-trademark-infringement.
- Visit the “Members Only” section of nadca.com to download the Yoshki logo verification software today.
- Utilize the Breathing Clean campaign collateral to help educate consumers on the importance of hiring a verified NADCA member and the importance of having air ducts cleaned properly.
We appreciate your continued support as we work to protect our members’ investment and the reputation of our association.