Current events, goings-on in Delaware and anything else of interest here.
 #87438  by Wynder
So, as you all know, we maintain a Facebook presence ( to answer some common questions and guide the masses into Delaware Open Carry and increase our membership.

As you may also know, we moderate the Facebook page because of issues in the past where people join and start debates that simply turn into a name calling contest. We are in the media and, with Delaware being such a small state, we need to represent ourselves as being civil, reasonable and intelligent citizens so that that image of open carrying in Delaware is commensurate with that behavior.

So, a gentleman on our Facebook group had some of his posts moderated and I believe he may have been dropped from the group because of some inflammatory comments. He then created a group called "The Real Delaware Open Carry Page."

Now, I have owned the "Delaware Open Carry" as an unregistered trademark and a domain name for over 5 years now. My claim to that piece of intellectual property cannot be refuted, so I've filed a trademark infringement claim with Facebook for consideration. I want to document this process and keep it as open and transparent as possible so no one can claim a he-said/she-said.

The following few posts will be my communications with Dave Thomas.
 #87439  by Wynder
Good evening, Dave.
My name is Rob Wiltbank. I'm the founder and copyright/trademark holder of Delaware Open Carry.

I understand that there were some issues you encountered on the Delaware Open Carry Facebook group and you created a Facebook group named "The Real Delaware Open Carry".

While I appreciate and fully support you wanting to have an open forum group, I must ask that you change the name to accurately represent your group. Because of your actions, the likelihood of confusion between what is the official Facebook representation of Delaware Open Carry and your group is certain.

I have filed a Trademark Infringement notice with Facebook, using both the date the Delaware Open Carry Facebook group was created and public ICANN records of the domain name to establish my ownership of this intellectual property.

Please change the name of the group within the next 24 hours to something more appropriate... perhaps "Open Carry Discussion"?

Again, I fully support the proliferation of open and concealed carry; however, the property and intellectual property rights of others must also be respected.


This was the conversation that followed:

Conversation started today
David Thomas
You dont own the words "Delaware" or "Open Carry" so do what you want.

Rob Wiltbank
Correct; however, the three together constitute a trademark.

David Thomas
So. My page has six words. And I dont own them either.
With whom is your trademark filed?

Rob Wiltbank
That's fine. We'll let Facebook and our attorneys sort this out. Did you want to provide an address for legal correspondence?

David Thomas
Or, I mean to say, where or with whom is your trademark registered?
you have an attorney?

Rob Wiltbank

David Thomas
With whom is your trademark registerd?
it's a simple question really.
and by the way, the name does accurately represent my group. I dont think you have any copyright or trademark registered at all with any government entity. So, while I appreciate your concern, I think I will leave things as they are.

Rob Wiltbank
I've owned Delaware Open Carry over 5 years, established by public record.

David Thomas
So it is NOT registered?
Not with the USPTO?

Rob Wiltbank
Doesn't need to be.
Thanks for your correspondence, I'll be in touch.

David Thomas
Well, like I said, the name of MY group is NOT the name of YOUR group.
You dont know where i live, Rob.
Can the Irish Republican Army sue the "Real IRA" for trademark infringement?

It's a shame really -- I think there's a good audience for that type of group to exists and, in all honesty, had he changed names, I probably would have directed people to his group for that type of open conversation.

However, I've reached out to an attorney with whom I worked on the "Life of a Law Student" project. He's a very knowledgeable lawyer who specializes in contract and electronic IP law and I'm currently waiting on his analysis and advice.

To be honest, if he comes back and says, "Rob, I think your claim is weak. Mr. Thomas isn't infringing on any trademark," then so be it, I'll wish him well. However, if the situation is actionable, then I'll pursue those avenues to their conclusion.

Just to make it clear, while we are all interested in our freedom, we must also respect the rule of law and the rights people have as property owners.

I'll keep you all updated.
 #87448  by Wynder
Well, he's agreed to change the name, so once that's done, I'll consider the matter closed.

I'm sure it's easy for folks to get fired up about issues online and then realize later that cooler heads should prevail.
 #87451  by Mr.Skellington
This has to be the same guy who called the mods deletion of his rampant off topic sales/service ads "censorship". He refused to recognize that the DELOC sites are open to the public yet privately owned and therefore its not censorship to remove his or anyone's spam.

He wasn't a bad guy until he decided to show his :censored: over that. I really hope he can get past that someday. It seems so trivial, considering how many people are out to chip away at OC and the 2A overall, for 2A supporters to get hung up and divided over some perceived butthurt.
 #87460  by sanman9781
myopicvisionary wrote:I heard he is not even from the Delaware area.
That's possible but does where he lives really matter? And just as he was pointing out the age of another member, it doesn't matter and has no bearing on the true issue: the FB page is not a sounding board, the forums are...why he couldn't get that into his head is beyond me...why he feels this has anything at all to do with the first amendment is also baffling...while the FB group is technically "open" that doesn't mean there aren't any rules about what can be posted there...
 #87463  by dave_in_delaware
Thank you, Rob, for posting this and letting us know what is going on.

Mr. Thomas had contacted me via message on FB as well. He started off our conversation mentioning that I "talk about freedom" and yet he was blocked from making posts on the FB Group. Later he agreed that his posts aren't protected under "Freedom of Speech" and are subject to deletion at the discretion of the mods on a FB group site. So I'm still not sure why he felt the need to start his own FB group with the name that he chose. It seemed to be purely spiteful, but I'm glad he agreed to change it.

It's a shame a simple matter can become so complicated.

I see that he still hasn't changed the name, and now he's telling his followers about Rob's "threat of legal action." This might not be so clear-cut after all.