Archive Fire Cider: Rosemary’s Response January 26 2014
Rosemary’s Response to Fire Cider:
Dear Friends, I just found out about this situation a few days ago and, of course, was surprised and extremely disappointed that someone would think they had the right to trademark a name and product that’s been in public use for over 3 decades. I had written to the gentleman directly, hoping to be able to persuade him that this wasn’t his name to trademark as I didn’t want it to go public without giving him the opportunity to rescind his trademark. Unfortunately, he seems pretty set in his ‘right’ to own the name even though I first made fire cider and gave it its name over 35 years ago. In the meantime I’ve taught hundreds if not thousands of people to make it, who have them taught others…this product is clearly a ‘peoples medicine’ and isn’t to be ‘owned’. Of course, as with most herbal products, its based on old formulas, so it’s even pretentious for me to say ‘I made it up’. My grandmother used herbs, vinegar and honey and she probably learned from her grandmother. We all learn from one another…..
My guess is that this man or his sister (I think its actually his sister or sister in law who makes the product) learned how to make it from someone who read the directions in my book or from one of my classes, or, perhaps, one of my students. They thought it was a great recipe, which it is, and decided to make it for others, as so many others have done, and have been doing for centuries. That’s the beauty of herbs, learning and passing the information on. Like so many others, he, too, decided to make it and sell it. All great, but then to lay claim to something that’s clearly not his to lay claim, is wrong. And to then tell others they can’t use the name anymore!! What am I suppose to do, remove it from all of my literature, copyrighted books, class handouts and correspondence course?!
Personally, I don’t think that a good response is necessarily anger, but rather a clear message that this isn’t to be tolerated in the herbal community. That we as a community are here to teach, educate, heal, and share information, recipes, and ideas. Furthermore, with something like Fire Cider that’s been in use for so long, and a product whose name is already well known and circulated in the world, he nor anyone else has the right or privilege to take ownership of it. He can certainly make the product and even call it Fire Cider, but if he wants to trademark it, he needs to make up his own name, and, ideally, a product that’s uniquely his own. If we allow Fire Cider to be trademarked, then it sets a precedent. Next we’ll see Rosemary’s Famous Face cream copy righted or Kloss’s lineament, Kava Chai, Chaga Chai, etc etc. Its one thing when you make a totally unique product and give it a name that’s not been used before. But this clearly isn’t the case in this situation. He may have brought the trademark and thinks he owns the formula and name, but he’s doing it at a great cost to himself, and his company.
I spend hardly any time on the internet or Facebook so am behind the times in what information is being passed along in ‘cyber space’. But please do feel free to post this response. What I would suggest is for people to actively respond to this person with a kind but clear and straightforward that this isn’t going to be tolerated. He needs to rename his product. Fire Cider was around long before he ever starting making and using it and that unless he rescinds on the trademark, we will spread the word like wildfire. He may end up owning the name but he won’t have a very popular or successful business. We also needed to cc Etsy on all correspondence, as they too, need to understand the situation.
Thank you again for contacting me.
With you in herbal ways,
Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center
PO Box 420 East Barre, VT 05649