BEST IN SHELTER trademark dispute

Sad to say, BEST IN SHELTER has been forced to expend significant financial resources in a trademark dispute involving the threatened use of the BEST IN SHELTER trademark and name by Jill Rappaport.

Notwithstanding our long use of the BEST IN SHELTER name and trademark, we became aware some months ago of an application filed by Jill Rappaport and her corporate entity, JR Rescue LLC to use this name for a series of proposed television shows promoting shelter animal adoption; these shows would involve shelters providing pets who compete before celebrity judges to determine who is judged “BEST IN SHELTER.” This is, of course, exactly what we have been doing in our on-line BEST IN SHELTER competitions since 2012.

While we support any program designed to increase shelter animal adoptions, we understandably object to programs and activities offered by JR Rescue being called by the same name, a trademark identical to our own. In an effort to avoid a legal dispute, we contacted the attorneys for JR Rescue back in July, 2014 and said that JR Rescue needed to call its program by a different name. We requested that they change the name, which we have already used for several years.

But JR Rescue refused to abandon its application for federal registration and has, in fact, filed additional applications to register BEST IN SHELTER and BEST IN SHELTER WITH JILL RAPPAPORT.

This has required us to hire an attorney who has filed several oppositions to the registration of the marks in the US Patent and Trademark Office, which oppositions are pending. We are also aware that JR Rescue may soon be airing a BEST IN SHELTER television program in selected markets. This program is not affiliated with us in any manner.

We of course would prefer to avoid the expense of paying legal fees to stop the wrongful use of our name and trademark and, instead, devote our limited financial resources to helping shelter pets get adopted but we have been forced to divert substantial resources in trying to stop these actions by JR Rescue. We will continue to keep you advised regarding this issue.

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