Yes, we’ve taken appropriate action against any company who’s created this problem for our brand and consumers in the marketplace. We cannot discuss specific companies or specific details, but know that we’ve done our due diligence.
We’ve reported trademark infringement where possible and done the best we can to protect our mark from abuses like this:
Yes, we’re also aware that our products are vastly different from those that have copied our product name, but are still close enough to cause confusion. It’s like a tennis shoe and high heel being branded with the same name. They’re both clearly different at first glance, but on paper are still both footwear which is very specific and will cause confusion. As such, since the products are unique, if you put your product out after a similar product which has already taken a name you like it would be wise to find another name. Choosing to neglect this is where problems begin to arise.
On the internet, the problems are more concerned with infringers stealing traffic away from the official product on Google and for technical issues like this, etc. We’ve never taken issue with any other products that are copying our product name, in fact some of them are quite nice, we’ve only ever asked that they please name their products something unique that’s not already taken.
The reason this specific issue is possible is because of the conflict with the WordPress update API. This is the very reason there are WordPress quality guidelines and requirements: http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Review#Guidelines.
Specifically, we’re looking at this rule:
Themes must provide a unique slug for anything in the public namespace, including translation textdomain, all custom function names, classes, hooks, public/global variables, database entries (Theme options, post custom metadata, etc.)
Naturally, since we were the first Startup WordPress theme, we’ve used the slug startup. It’s important to understand that the purpose of having a unique slug is to avoid this very kind of conflict. We respect the community, consumers and the marketplace. Now, if a company were to come along and neglect others trademarks and name their product the same as another, they would most likely neglect to create a unique slug as well.
What we have here is clearly a conflict of theme names/slugs which has confused the WordPress update API.
Again, please note that we do our best to respect others in the community and marketplace and know that we’ve done all we can on our end. It’s now the responsibility of other companies to take ownership of their mistakes and correct them. And of course, you, the consumer, are the most important reason why trademark laws and guidelines like these exist and it’s your right to make a complaint if you ever think a business it displaying unfair business practices.
You may also want to make a request to any company practicing business this way where you use their products or services to do the best they can to protect yourself and their other customers from these pitfalls in the future.
Thank you again for raising these concerns and allowing us to clarify what is happening.