No more heart-shaped jewelry allowed?!?!

As of September 25, 2012, Haven Body Arts LLC of Northampton, MA has a registered trademark for heart shaped jewelry called “ear-heart”. They are claiming first use as of September 30, 2009, presumably saying this was the invention. So… what do you think? Obviously this is a popular jewelry design that is being widely used all over the world and has been for some time, and “ear-heart” is an obvious but incredibly lame name. But who can show it being used before 2009?

I know that there are pictures in the BME galleries of it being used — ie. prior art — that is much older than late 2009 — for example, back in 2006 I posted this photo of John Lopez’s work. He was at Slave to the Needle in Seattle by the way. I’m sure I could come up with hundreds of others. I am sure some of them called it an ear-heart. I can’t stand jackasses who try and abuse patent and trademark and other intellectual property law.

Click the photo of the registration to see Reg #4,215,685 on Trademarkia.

Note: I should clarify that this trademark almost certainly doesn’t stop anyone for using jewelry of this design, it just stops them from calling it an “ear-heart”. Which is perhaps even sillier since these are such common and obvious words!

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

15 thoughts on “No more heart-shaped jewelry allowed?!?!

  1. question, a site we might all know sell something called “bendable hearts” is that still safe?

  2. This piercer has now claimed that they have been doing these since 2002, which I have asked to se documentation of, as this contradicts the date of first use that the u.s. patent office was told. Regardless, good luck with enforcement, Haven Body Arts.

  3. Rainbow Dash, yes, that is 100% fine as long as they don’t call it “Ear-Heart” jewelry. Assuming they don’t try and overextend themselves legally, or try and file for additional protections — on their website they are quite clear that they consider themselves the creator of this type of jewelry, so I don’t know if they play on further registrations, for example a design-based one… We shall see!

  4. Oh man, Perry, this keeps getting sillier. First they file legal paperwork saying they started doing them in 2009. Then they edit their website to claim that it was actually 2005 (I don’t want to say this is because of the 2006 post from John, but that’s the conspiracy theory answer), and now they’ve changed the story to 2002? Hell, why not go with saying their great-great-great-grandmother invented it during the War of 1812?

  5. I just find the whole thing a little strange and distasteful (and surprising, because other than this, I really only have good things to say about the piercer involved), because the piercer regularly does these with jewelry bought from other companies (Body Vision / BVLA for example), so I don’t really understand what the point of it all is. It just seems like a failed idea to try and stop people from using the same name as you do for piercings — imagine if all the common names for piercings that are not anatomical in nature like Daith, rook, medusa, snug, and so on, as well as jewelry names like microdermal or surface bar had been trademarked and restricted… I just thought that this industry was “above” that sort of bullshit, but I guess all good things come to an end. I sure wouldn’t want my name associated with an attempt to trademark the name of a piercing or piercing jewelry!!! And I say that as a person who has named quite a few piercings and even some jewelry designs.

  6. This is ridiculous. I have been personally pierced by her in college and had a lot of respect for her. Even when I graduated and wanted something that requires a bit more skill, I made the drive. This trademark gimmick cheapens the credibility she has earned and deserved. I would hate for something as silly as this to mar her reputation when she is such a dedicated and respected piercer.

  7. I agree Lilish, other than this I don’t have anything bad to say about Penelope, and while I don’t know her personally I have no reason to believe she’s anything but talented and qualified.

  8. Pingback: Let the heart-shaped drama END | BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News

  9. There are other piercers in NoHo claiming the same thing; when I was on the fence about what piercing to get at Lucky’s I had an artist there tell me that the “ear-heart” was their signature piercing and that they were the only people who made the jewelry.

  10. As a member of the staff at Lucky’s I can guarantee no one who works with us would stake any claim in ‘creating’ the ear heart. The whole patent situation is laughable. We do hand bend CBR’s into hearts for daith piercings, similarly to how we do custom bend industrials and ear projects, without worrying about having a ‘claim to fame’ or creating a marketing scheme. It’s about the clients wants, the esthetic and keeping the industry moving forward by creating new things.
    Not about who did what first.
    The only other thing I can say is I was working the day a client came in inquiring about getting a custom heart shaped bend in a daith piercing from Penelope and it was most certainly after 2002. I can safely say this because I didn’t even graduate high school until 2003 and I joined the Lucky’s staff at age 19. For us at Lucky’s the whole situation is a non-issue and it is unfornute that our shop will get lumped into the drama that a former employee creates.

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