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What's in a Name? Plenty when people try to take it.

COW Blogs : walter biscardi's Blog : What's in a Name? Plenty when people try to take it.

In business you're all about your name. Keep a good name and business flows to your door. Get a bad name and you're looking for a new career. Get a really REALLY good name and from my own personal experience, some people will try and use your name for their own gain.

Now if you're reading this blog, then you're already aware of the Creative COW forums and the really REALLY good thing we have going here. During a recent thread in the Apple Color forum, a user pointed out that a production facility in Los Angeles changed their name to Blue Cow Creative.

Ok, so perhaps they didn't know about the Creative COW forums and it's an honest coincidence. I mean just because something like 10 million+ media people per month read these forums, that doesn't mean everyone in the industry will know about the COW. Well, except as a leader in the Creative COW Apple Color forum, I have seen at least one of the key personnel in Blue Cow Creative participate in the forum...before the name change. So at least by all appearances they must have been aware that a company called "Creative COW" that focuses on the production industry existed.

So the right thing to do would have been to NOT use the words Creative and Cow in your company name. Especially since it's obvious you've been using the Creative COW website and know about the site's forums and one can logically assume other resources, as well.

Cow? Sure. Creative? Sure. But not the two words together in the company name. How obvious is that? Now this is just me looking in from the outside, but Creative COW is clearly an industry leader, and in my opinion it seems the new blue variety figures it can gain some instant name recognition by putting Creative and Cow together in a new company name. I could be wrong here, but that's what it looks like to me.

Especially a company in Los Angeles. How many cows do you see in L.A.? Maybe if the company was in farm country somewhere, you might almost be able to make some sort of argument that they are playing off the Cows in the area. But even there, the Creative COW has used the trademark for over six years that I know of and has earned a tremendous name in the production industry. I also suspect that the COW will have to mount a legal battle to protect their name

At this point, you might be wondering why do I care? Why am I making a fuss about this? Because I have worked very VERY hard during my 17 year career to build a good name for myself and my company. I have had at least two instances of someone trying to ruin my name and trying to use my company name for their own personal gain. With so much hard work and time put into getting myself to get where I am, the worst feeling in the world is someone coming along and trying to step in and take it all away.

In the first instance the person tried to use very negative statements about me and my work to stop clients from working with me. That took some time to work through but eventually I regained the trust of all but a few clients. In the second instance, my name and abilities were used to sell a project and then the project was taken elsewhere. Not just a small project, a network series. You have to wonder how well the concept would have been received without multi Emmy, Telly, Aurora, Peabody award winning production team associated with it.

Those two instances could have been devasting for me and my entire company.

A name is not to be taken lightly. In fact, it should not be taken at all.

Posted by: walter biscardi on Dec 9, 2007 at 7:20:46 amComments (8) creative cow, business


Thank you for your candor, Christian
by Ron Lindeboom
I appreciate your position and your openness about your thoughts. Unfortunately, as I said, and which is made public in the court documents that are now a matter of public record, there were three members of PlasterCITY that had accounts here long before they filed for the name Blue Cow Creative. There was also a key member that attended Creative COW West in 2003. Their VP, as I recall, was a subscriber to Creative COW Magazine.

I am perplexed as to how they could possibly have "stumbled" onto a name like Blue Cow Creative and think that there was nothing confusing about it.

But, as you say, they have been straight up with you and that is good. That at least tempers my thoughts of them a bit. ;o)

Oh, and as to the others you cited? We are pursuing our hard-earned rights there, as well.

My apologies if it felt as if I was stepping on your toes a bit. To be honest, Kathlyn and I read your comments a couple of years back and felt a sting in our own toes, as well. But as you said, you were forthright in your admission as to having worked with them and we have always known you to be a good man and a man of principle -- even if we have disagreed and have been on opposite sides in this episode.

Ron Lindeboom
Hey, Ron
by Christian Glawe


First off, you'll note I was open and up front about my relationship with Plaster City - I certainly didn't need to be.

Secondly, if you Google my name, you'll come across a quote of mine calling the COW the "best magazine in the industry, period."

Thirdly, at a recent NAB, I allowed the COW to interview me, record audio of my speaking voice, and freely use my glowing comments about your business.

Biased? Maybe. But I've also never been bashful about the fact that I'm a fan of the COW.

The people I've dealt with at PlasterCity have always been completely professional, courteous and honest with me. It's hard for me to believe that they were intentionally piggy-backing on the COW name (and I stated as much) but, then again, my opinion is entirely irrelevant in the matter.

Thank you, Walter, for the congratulatory kindness
by Ron Lindeboom
It is appreciated. It is amazing how much the fight cost. It was a good thing that cows come standard with four teats. ;o)

The part that befuddled me was how people can sign up for our magazine, sign up for our Creative Cow West tradeshow we did back in 2003, have multiple key people in their company sign up for accounts here at the COW and publicly post, get the newsletters -- and then claim that they did not know anything about us. They quit using that argument and switched to a different one, once the documents were rolled out showing all the people there that had proven prior awareness of us.

It was expensive, but it was money well spent in our eyes.

Thanks again, Walter.

Ron Lindeboom
Congrats Ron
by walter biscardi
Cool. I guess I better drop the plans to change my name to "Creatively Cool Creators of Cow and Other Creatively Cool Things."

Maybe I should get your lawyers involved in my suit......
I guess I should update this thread
by Ron Lindeboom
After a long and costly legal battle, the Federal 9th Circuit Court recognized our right of prior use in this industry -- of which MANY parts of Creative COW and PlasterCITY Digital Post cross the same paths -- and so the Federal Trademark fight has ended with PlasterCITY Digital Post being barred from use of the name Blue Cow Creative in this industry.

So, at long last, after a battle that began in September of 2007, the lawyers are back in their offices and out of the courts. And Bessie is proudly sporting the wordmark of the words Creative Cow® in this industry, as well as the Bessie mark® in the upper left of our site interface. Both are recognized and successfully defended registered trademarks.

Oh, and Chris, if you had spent years and millions of dollars to build value into a name that someone arbitrarily lifted -- arguing that we do not do production services, when we cut across so many of the same lines in the same industry -- you would not like it one bit. Maybe the fact that they put money into your pocket had a biasing effect on your opinion? Thankfully, you weren't our judge.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Uh... not really
by Christian Glawe

First off, let me state publicly that I am *not* an employee of Blue Cow Creative, nor Plaster City Digital Post.  I *have* performed work for them on a freelance basis in the past.

 That said, I think there's been a number of assumptions made here (some of which are not healthy).  The first assumption (and most unhealthy one), is that Blue Cow Creative is somehow trying to piggy back on the Creative COW name and brand.  I don't see how this could be true.  First, Blue Cow Creative (and their parent, Plaster City Post) is a *production and post-production company*.  They have made a name for themselves in LA providing production services for a wide variety of indy films, broadcast, etc.  They are recognized as an industry leader in formulating digital film workflows.

My understanding is that Blue Cow Creative is a subset of Plaster City... let's see here... oh, yes!  It says so right on their homepage:  "A division of PLASTERCiy Digital Post". 

And believe me, Walter... they don't need to "increase their business", or "need more name recognition"... everyone working in high-end indy film and/or video here in LA knows who Plaster City Post (and Blue Cow Creative) is. 

 Last I checked, Creative COW is not in the production, post-production or workflow consultancy business.  Also, last I checked, Plaster City Post (and Blue Cow Creative) are not in business of building an online community of creative professionals.

Yes, both institutions are industry leaders... but I don't see where the competition or "piggy-backing" is.

Walter, I'm very sorry that people in the past have tried to ruin your name.  I can assure you that, for the folks at Plaster City, this is not their intent.  They are among the nicest, most professional, most genuine people in the industry that I have ever met.

 To me, whatever similarities in semantics that may (or may not) exist are coincidental, at best.  I've been posting/reading/visiting Creative COW on a daily basis for about 8 years now.  I've also done work for Plaster City and Blue Cow Creative... I never made the connection until reading your post.

I won't get into all the little nit-noid arguments of "well, the order of the names is different", and "are you going to go after Milk Cow Creative, and Holy Cow Creative, and Red Cow Creative, as well?" (yes, they do exist!).  I think it's really beside the point.

I think a deep breath, a little research, and some relaxation techniques will help folks realize that there's most likely not any kind of malfeasance here.

 Just one person's opinion.





"Pain is temporary... film is forever"

Christian Glawe


Name Recognition, plain and simple
by walter biscardi

Plastercity Digital has had their name for many years now. Why the sudden change to Blue Cow Creative?

Again, from the outside looking in and guessing, they might have needed to increase their business, or they might have needed more name recognition. Aligning yourself with the Creative Cow Brand can help in both instances. I really don't see any other reason to suddenly change your name if you're successful, so those are my guesses.

I also don't see why you would set yourself up for legal action by choosing a name so close to such a highly recognizeable company in the industry.

If they win, there could be no more Creative COW
by Mark Nancetor

It's not right that someone like Plastercity Digital could come along in 2007 and brand their company Blue Cow Creative. If their lawyers are strong enough and if Creative COW is not able to mount a legal fight, there could be no more Creative COW as we know it.

I am not a lawyer and I don't know if the Creative COW has retained legal counsel in this matter, but if they haven't, they could one day lose the right to use their own name. I think that if Creative COW loses the right to use their own name in this industry, I know people who will boycott Plastercity Digital or Blue Cow Creative, or whatever they choose to call themselves.

I work for a company that does business with Plastercity Digital and when I first saw it on their website, I couldn't believe it. The COW is one of the best known and recognizable trademarks in this industry. There are few people working in the trades and crafts who don't know who Creative COW is. I have talked with a number of people that I know in this field and none thinks they stumbled on this new name by accident.

Plastercity Digital has had their name for many years now. Why the sudden change to Blue Cow Creative?

Mark Nance 


Professional Video Editor, Producer, Creative Director, Director since 1990.

Credits include multiple Emmys, Tellys, Aurora and CableAce Awards.

Creative Director for Georgia-Pacific and GP Studios, Atlanta. Former Owner / Operator of Biscardi Creative Media. The show you knew us best for was "Good Eats" on the Food Network. I developed the HD Post workflow and we also created all the animations for the series.

Favorite pastime is cooking with pizza on the grill one of my specialties. Each Christmas Eve we serve the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian seafood meal with approx. 30 items on the menu.

If I wasn't in video production I would either own a restaurant or a movie theater.



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