September 4, 2003





                        RE:            Trademark Infringement
                                          FOR DUMMIES


Dear Mr. Agassi:

Wiley Publishing, Inc. (“Wiley”), formerly Hungry Minds, Inc., publisher of the well-known and well-regarded “… FOR DUMMIESÒ” series of reference books and products has recently become aware of your use of the “… FOR DUMMIESÒ” trademark on your webpage in your article, “Metaphysics for Dummies”.

As you may know, Wiley has over 100 trademark registrations and applications in the United States, Canada, and other jurisdictions for the trademark “FOR DUMMIES”, many “DUMMIES” formatives and the FOR DUMMIES trade dress.  The FOR DUMMIESÒ trademark appears not only on our books, but also on CD-ROMs, trade and consumer advertising, in catalogues, point of sale displays, Wiley’s websites, and other promotional and licensed material distributed worldwide.  This series has been in existence since 1991 and has enjoyed tremendous success.

Since the FOR DUMMIESÒ trademark is a federally registered mark, United States trademark law requires that Wiley take all reasonable steps to prevent others from using its marks, or confusingly similar marks, in such a way so as to “dilute” its distinctiveness as an exclusive designator of Wiley’s goods and services.  If the mark is used by too many different sources, it becomes a “generic” term, and Wiley may lose its exclusive right to use it.  Thus, it is Wiley’s responsibility to police for the use of “…. For Dummies” in any manner, and stop all unauthorized use of its trademark.  Accordingly, in order to fully protect its valuable trademark, Wiley cannot permit such unauthorized use in connection with your website.  In order to resolve this matter quickly and amicably, we request that you:

  1. Remove all materials from your website which refers to “… For Dummies”; and


  1. Provide written confirmation to me by no later than September 12, 2003, that the above step has been taken and you will refrain from using the “… For DummiesÒ” mark, or any other mark that is confusingly similar to any Wiley mark, in the future.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to hearing from you on or before September 12, 2003.




Kimberly Ward Skeel                                                                           
Manager, Brand Management & Contracts
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
(317) 572-3304



-----Original Message-----
From: Aaron Agassi []
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 10:32 AM
Subject: RE: Infringement
I do not care to be bullied out of what I perceive as fair and necessary use of ordinary idiom. Therefore, I have made no plans to comply with your perfectly outrageous demands.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 9:30 AM
> To: agassi@#####.###
> Subject: Infringement
> Please be advised.
> Lauren Shymkus
> Assistant, Brand Management & Contracts
> Legal Department
> Wiley Publishing, Inc.
> 317-572-3322
> (See attached file:

Return to: Metaphysics for Dummies
                  The Philosophy of Science Made Easy
From Hunger's Brush with Intellectual Property Litigation
Likewise as with the above hyperlinked, the title under contention here is an ironic usage. And, likewise, there is a conceivable reason why IDG presumably has never actually released a volume dealing with the same subject matter. And that would be because it would not actually fall within the category of, or market for, How-To for any practical household chore etc. And so, there can be  no infringement within their field which ought to demark a limited domain of their trademark protection at all.