March 21, 2014

Preliminary Injunction Favors Takoma Academy

Nearly a month before their
Alumni Weekend officials at Takoma Academy in Takoma Park, Maryland, received
positive news regarding their yearlong conflict with a breakaway group known as
Takoma Academy Alumni Association, Inc., (TAAA, Inc.). Deborah Chasanow, U.S.
District Court chief judge, issued a preliminary injunction in the trademark
infringement lawsuit in favor of the Potomac Conference and
Takoma Academy.

Potomac Conference officials
filed the lawsuit last year against TAAA, Inc. and Henry Pittman, president of
TAAA, Inc., after they received a strongly-worded letter from
Pittman’s attorney asking the school to relinquish use of the “Takoma Academy
Alumni Association” name. Pittman’s attorney claimed that the school’s use of
the name was “unlicensed and unauthorized.”

In an April 18, 2013
statement, Potomac Conference officials explained that it was Pittman’s
organization “improperly using the names ‘Takoma Academy’ and ‘TA’ and that
they are liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The suit
further [alleged] that their actions have caused confusion among TA’s

Potomac Conference officials
noted in a fact sheet issued last year, “We do not want any independent group
using the good name of Takoma Academy when in fact it is not affiliated with or
sponsored by the school.”

Nearly a year later, the
March 4 injunction states in part:

“Defendant Takoma Academy
Alumni Association, Inc. and its officers, directors, agents, servants,
employees, and all persons acting in concert therewith, be and hereby ARE

1. Using the names “Takoma
Academy,” “TA,” Takoma Academy Alumni Association,” and “TAAA” in any manner
whatsoever, including without limitation, in connection with the advertising,
promotion or sale of any product or service, solicitation of contributions or
fundraising, as a logo on Facebook or LinkedIn or any other Web site, and
including, without limitation, on all signs, advertising materials, letters, e-mails,
forms, or any other articles;

2. Operating Web
site, or any other Web site whose domain name contains the words “Takoma
Academy,” “TA,” Takoma Academy Alumni Association,” and “TAAA.”

3. Committing any act that
infringes the “Takoma Academy,” “TA,” “Takoma Academy Alumni Association,” and
“TAAA” marks.

In a statement issued March
14, Potomac Conference officials wrote, “We are thankful for the positive
ruling that secures ownership of the Takoma Academy brand, protects the good
name of our educational ministry and ensures that its legacy remains strong. As
a school and alumni we now have opportunity to move forward in strength
together, to fulfill the mission of Takoma Academy, which is to lead young
people to Jesus Christ, provide excellence in academics and a commitment to

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