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Fire Cider Controversy. The recipe in and of itself is not the problem, but taking something culturally and regionally known for it’s healing properties and saying by way of a trademark that only they can possess the rights of distribution for profit espouses the bigger demon in the room, Cultural Appropriation. Then again, I don’t have a background in marketing. I would hope that in the course of the outrage by the herbal community Dana would decide that his misstep all be it a human one, is a slippery slope stacked on a house of cards. I posted this to their Facebook page and will also send throughout the herbal communities I belong to, maybe public pressure will get them to reconsider. The cider concoction is a spicy and sweet folk herbalism recipe taken to alleviate symptoms of the common cold. ], Fire cider is a traditional preparation of various spicy and pungent herbs macerated in vinegar and honey.photo credit: Fire Cider by The Dabblist, on Flickr. Trust me on this) they would also realize that the cost of legal fees to defend this( and they will be huge and you will not prevail in court) is going to destroy the cash flow they are so anxious to protect. We trademarked the phrase with the intention of protecting our business from bigger players in the natural foods industry, not to persecute folks making home remedies and selling their remedies on a small scale. Hence the negative reaction. Perhaps. this post by Darry Madden on the Fire Cider® Facebook page, this one from Lauren Murphy, who was directly affected by an Etsy removal, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet, https://firecider.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/why-and-how-we-trademarked-fire-cider-2/, 2014: The Great Fire Cider Rebellion | Mad Crow Herbalism, For the People, By the People: fire cider and Folk Herbalism, Herbalism and the Commons » The Winged Seed, https://commonwealthherbs.com/2014/01/trademarking-tradition-the-fire-cider-controversy/, https://www.punkdomestics.com/category/tags/fire-cider, Don't Say “Fire Cider” : Natural Wellness Review, Fire Cider of the People, by the People, for the People |, Fire Cider: A Magical Elixir | the Urban Herb School, Spring Brunch at PJ’s Lager House: Calligraphy Class and The Detroit Card Co. | Small Craft, Preserving Community in Fire and Spice | Petal and Moss, For the People, By the People: fire cider and Folk Herbalism | Wildflower Revolution Blog, https://www.uspto.gov/faq/trademarks.jsp#_Toc275426712, The Fire Cider Controversy…my thoughts | The Tangled Herb, The Fire Cider Controversy: My Thoughts…a reblog | Wise Waters Botanicals, https://commonwealthherbs.com/trademarking-tradition-the-fire-cider-controversy/, How To Make Fire Cider- DIY Winter Wellness Series - Self Care, EVRY DAY YEAH: Herbal Tea for Workouts & Recovery, Thoughts on Decolonizing, or, How to be a Good Houseguest. To share something as if you’re the only place it can be gotten doesn’t empower people to take care of their own health; that’s not what herbalism is about. Hmmmm, that kind of has a catching sound to it…maybe I’ll trademark it! The photo you are using in this article is mine. For all intents and purposes, for the USPTO office, it’s like a company making up a word, trademarking it, and then saying, actually.. it’s generic. If you wrote a book entitled “Herbs for Healing” that had great herbal recipes with your own special touch, wouldn’t you want it copyrighted? And it has to do with trademarking. It is basic theft of common property. We have given out over 200 gallons of samples in the last 2 years, in person, at craft fairs, health food stores, and the Big E.  We have gone through more than 250,000 sample cups, a quarter million! 1. I am super late to the party, but Ryn, I admire your patient & thoughtful examination of the topic! I also recognize that the sheer volume of thoughtful and measured comments, deserving of responses, would be difficult for any three people to work through in one weekend. Published for Opposition October 2, 2012  These are the types of comments that I was referring to as venting and not conversation.  We are 3 people who were already overworked before trying to respond to hundreds of emails and FB posts, so while we are trying to respond to all civil comments and keep communication open, we just don’t have the time to give every comment a full answer. I love to add the cider to soups, cooked veggies and homemade salad dressing. Dana & Co. (the owners are truly wonderful people) have done more to share fire cider with the world than anyone else before them. Revoke Fire Cider Trademark, a petition to the US Patent & Trademark Office, organized by Rad Herb, . This is fascinating from a sociological perspective. Use as a marinade for tofu, meat, etc. […] and natural medicine. i’m headed to bed, but i’ll make sure to go through and approve anything left here when i get up in the morning.). This is the foundation of trust and reputation that has made other herbal suppliers and producers successful and resilient; I hope Dana, Brian, and Amy can see the value in that, and take the message to heart. They are doing to thousands of people what they didn’t want to have happen to them. I made some some time back and wife bout run me out of house… It’s great if they want to buy it from you because they don’t have time to make their own, or yours is of really excellent quality, but they should know, too, that anyone can make this stuff, and that traditionally, everyone did.” ~Ryn Midura […]. I also hope all those Herbalist whom shared there recipes both freely and publish police this company and if there recipe is being used exactly like there that the herbalist push the trademark company to drop this company in question. I say all this as a non intellectual property lawyer so I can easily be wrong. And remember how karma works. Will you please credit? Current Basis 1A  We are the very first company to advertise Fire Cider to the general public, and the first to file for and receive the trademark of same. Access comments, members-only events, HuffPost Insider and more. It a cultural creative that all who practice this type of wort cunning, witch doctoring, wise womaning, herbalin as my 5 year old likes to call it that we abide by the unwritten rule of sharing and crafting medicines and knowledge with the community in mind and holistic empowerment through wellness as the goal. They have every right to trademark “Fire Cider” and stand by their trademark. I think the most pertinent excerpts are these: Spiced vinegar as an idea has dozens of names for hundreds of recipes. This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Common law rights arise from actual use of a mark and may allow the common law user to successfully challenge a registration or application.”. If you look at ancient texts and research the origins of any folk remedy you can trace many dangling roots back to a plethora of origins. They took a name that was originally popularized by someone else and claimed it as their own. I am not opposed of the company trade marking the name of their company, but I am opposed to them trade marking the product “Fire Cider” That would be like a chef saying to the rest of chefs, you can no longer call your soup Minestrone. That is why our application was accepted and our trademark granted. We all spend all summer at the farmer’s markets trying to educate people. A retraction and and apology would go a long way toward faith being restored, and the continued success of his fledgling company. It would be best to work together on this! I feel very confident that if Fire Cider® were to drop the ®, cease actions against local producers, and admit having made a mistake in taking these actions to date, they’d be met with overwhelming support and goodwill from the herbal community – that they would be able to weather the “existential threat” with support from those who can do the most direct, ground-level work to support a company whose values align with their own. Join the HuffPost community – it’s free! It’s great if they want to buy it from you because they don’t have time to make their own, or yours is of really excellent quality, but they should know, too, that anyone can make this stuff, and that traditionally, everyone did. The cider recipe is variable and is an excellent example of folk medicine, because it can be made in infinite ways, all dependent upon what the creator has in their kitchen. Yep! I also studied with Rosemary and learned to make this recipe years ago and there is nothing proprietary about it. Fire cider can be taken straight by the spoonful, added to organic veggie juice (throw in some olives and pickles for a non-alcoholic, healthy bloody mary! Why And How We Trademarked Fire Cider. You’re not actually in this alone. I’m so surprised that USPTO let this go through, that I even went to search for it to make sure they really owned it. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. This is something their legal advisors should have discussed with them since it is a product that has already been developed, they just added a few things to make the recipe their own. (I’ve also heard of folks adding it to cocktails for a “healthy” twist). Give it up Shire. 99% of folks that come into the shop have never heard of anything called “fire cider”. Hey! If this is all these people are ever going to learn about herbalism, it’s not appropriate to act as if you invented it, and they can’t get it anywhere else. Some people take a one-ounce shot a day as a preventative medicine to keep colds away during the winter flu season. The decision to take action was a difficult but necessary one. It would be a good idea to obtain a copy of the application for the mark and all supporting documents that were submitted. i actually hadn’t heard of that thing with Young Living until today. In 2012 the US Trademark Office issued a trademark to Shire City Herbals for exclusive use to the phrase ‘fire cider’ to describe a healing tonic of garlic, ginger, onion, horseradish, hot pepper, apple cider vinegar and raw honey. Others have written about it quite eloquently and with much grace. . FIRST USE: 20101204. Just this month Fire Cider has also become a book! Thanks for subscribing! There should be a name associated with these terms that people want to TM instead of upsetting the apple cart that has brought them business. If too dry, add a little of the Fire Cider Vinegar to the mix. Give me a break. I’m struck by this on many levels, trademarking a folk medicine is a form of appropriation one which goes against the core of herbalism and wise woman healing. Rosemary Gladstar is a renowned herbalist who coined the term fire cider decades ago. Dana sent me this follow-up email today: Thanks for engaging with us in a civil manner about the issue of our trademark. I’ve heard stories of people’s great grandmas making it, so as I understand it, it’s a very old folk tradition with an introduction to the mass public in the 1970’s. Someone else could call theirs “Soothing Nerve Tonic. Standard Characters Claimed Hippocrates (age of Pericles 370BC) touted daily doses of a similar vinegar sweetened honey beverage for health, longevity and overall vigor. Fire Cider History. Each bottle that is made by you or purchased from your local herbalist is a vote against the trademark of cultural knowledge. Herbalists and established herbal companies will need to unite in order to squash this. Judge Mastroianni of Springfield, MA federal court has determined in a 40-page decision that fire cider is a generic term!! We offer herbalism training online through our podcasts, live Q&A sessions, and full video courses for dedicated learners. There’s also a great difference between moderating the discussion in a venue you control – your own website – and doing it on a social platform like Facebook. This is something I have often seen and it makes perfect sense to me. They actually mean it. I’ve been glad to see those, and also to see the responses to them from Dana, Amy, and Brian, which seem to indicate they’re still orienting themselves and considering how to proceed now that this has been brought to their attention. But oddly enough, the company that had decided they had the sole right to claim ownership of fire cider (although the recipe and name had been around for decades) decided to take legal action against the Fire Cider Three, filing a … (And the reality is, another group tried within this past year). Already the herbal market is saturated with regulations. Let’s play fair 🙂, Thanks for sharing this! Dilute the fire cider tonic with warm water, juice or apple cider. The herbs should still be somewhat firm and flavorful. Utopian maybe but I relish my herbal circles where that philosophy exists and find it sad that the legalized, commercial world is continuing to encroach on it. This has been done, it’s played out and has been like an 80’s one hit wonder, so too have the days of appropriating for profit. Not whining or venting, just saying! Add your voice. So for now, change the spelling, FYRE CYDER. I am sure Rosemary has made thousands of gallons and sullied as many sample cups sharing the recipe she calls: Fire Cider. It is incredibly difficult for small businesses, crafters, and herbalists to slog through all of the regulations, laws, and rules. I’ve seen some articulate and pertinent arguments made by those who feel that this action is inappropriate, particularly the following points: It’s a valid and noble goal which Dana espouses: to disseminate this knowledge, get the ‘general public’ fired up about natural remedies, and give them an entry point into traditional healing practices. Read our Privacy & Health Disclosure Here. Â. As we saw our business grow, it made sense to trademark our brand name. No need to convince the USPTO of anything, just let it go. Working together, we are stronger, and the community only wants to hear that you’re working, and that you’re not really wanting to shut people down. Just so mad that people who are supposedly part of our (herbal) community would steal this from us all for their own profit. Â. I’ve seen some comments that put me off, absolutely. I wonder if in reading all of the outrage en cited by his decision if Dana is reconsidering his choices or if this was all part of the grand plan to create a buzz around his product. We 100% hear your concerns! In the meantime, check out our blog & podcast! The reason trademark law prevents the trademarking of ‘generic’ names is to prevent people from trying to steal a common good for their own financial purposes. They’re operating based on a flawed understanding of trademark law. Upon hearing of this fire cider controversy, I thought of what he said. We are not asking anyone to change their recipe or process, just the name of the product they are selling. I did not invent the name Fire Cider, I got that percolating through the herbalist underground, without attribution. We also hold live in-person events in the Boston area. It’s appropriation vs reproduction based on reverence. An herbalist friend told me she was blocked from posting on the non trademarked pages as well after she questioned whether the measures being taken were actually necessary.. that it seemed almost militant… So the accountability of a public forum holds on both sides of the matter. Never fully win and briefly explained why I thought of what has everyone so fire cider controversy... Herbalists and established herbal companies will need to consult with some professionals to figure out our options becoming synonymous the. The us trademark offices willingness to allow the entire English language to be morally corrupt want anyone selling product! 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Happening ASAP like Itsy, they were the first time I encountered this traditional folk recipe, it...

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