Who do you think comes best out of this little legal tussle? LibraryThing.com or a company called American Reading? LibraryThing’s response made me laugh.
I am very grateful to you for your kind and reasonable reaction to our request that you not use our 100 Book Challenge trademark. A school teacher in inner city Philadelphia, I developed a reading program 15 years ago and called it the 100 Book Challenge. With the help of colleagues, we determined the reading level of thousands of books, put color stickers on them, helped each student find their reading level, and then challenged them to read 100’s of books, while we coached them. The results were phenomenal. Kearny Elementary School went from about 25% passing the Penna state test to about 75% in one year. Students who had never read much before became avid readers. Teachers realized that many students will make rapid progress in reading if they have enough of the right books to read under the right circumstances. On Thanksgiving day, 1998, The Philadelphia Inquirer put us on their front page. Baltimore requested 100BC and a few colleagues and I created a company to provide it for them, calling the company 100 Book Challenge. The program spread quickly. We found advisors to help us and of course they said we needed to trademark the name. In 1994 we were an INC500 company, and are currently
in 1600 schools in 40 states. Although we have since changed our name to the American Reading Company, the 100 Book Challenge continues to be our foundational service. For years we could
GOOGLE 100 Book Challenge and were the only thing that came up. I was surprised to find several 100 Book Challenges popping up recently and asked our lawyer if this would be a problem. She says if we don’t protect our trademark, we will lose it. You know how hard it is to start, protect, and grow a business. I know you and your readers share our mission, and again, thank you for your understanding.
CEO, Founder, American Reading Company
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