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We're an online e-commerce storefront only, ALL orders shipped. We are unable to entertain drop-by shopping/or tours, do not offer classes at this time. Thanks!

REGULAR SOAP LINES INCLUDING SOAP CLASSICS:

 
 

Simply Men - Our Soaps Men Most Favor

Simply Teens - Soaps Teens Often Need

SPECIALTY SOAP LINES:

 

THE WYLDE SOAP LINES:

 
BASED ON ANCIENT RECIPES:
 
SHEA BUTTER ENRICHED SOAP:
 
SEASONAL or NEW TRIAL SOAPS:
 
BRIDAL:

Carol is also an artist! Several soaps are available with her *art labels*! You can find art prints and originals on this website you're currently on, at this menu:

WILD OAKS ART (Fantasy Fairy Mermaid Art)
ENCHANTASIES (Bewitching Witch Art)

You can ALSO find prints of her art at her Etsy Shop: WILD OAKS ART

Other art merchandise: Carol's art on a large selection of products, including phone cases, device sleeves & skins, as art prints, framed art, tote bags, pouches, drawstring bags, mugs, throw pillows, journals, notebooks, ornaments, clothing (adults, kids & babies), duvets! Available at:

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Carol is also a fiber artist, crafting one-of-a-kind fiber confections available at:

CAROL OCHS *Finished OOAK Items* HANDSPUN & HANDKNIT ETSY SHOP

And COMING SOON here at this site! Carol's handspun art yarns!

Twisted Spinstress menu button fiber arts

Upon MANY requests, we're introducing candles! A 100% organic beeswax line! Available in limited varieties, for starters.....at this Etsy Shop!

Bewick'd Candles

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We are the registered trademark holders in the U.S. of the name "Simply Soap - A California Handcrafted Soap Co.-"...and are not affiliated in any way with any other companies illegally using the name "Simply Soap", or companies legally using the name in other countries.  We have not franchised our soap line...the only place you can obtain Simply Soap soap products is here through this website (www.simplysoap.com) or through retail stores that carry our lines either under our own Simply Soap label or under their own private label.  If you are uncertain as to whether you have the *real* (as in *us*) Simply Soap....check the label for contact info which should list our website on it and lead you back to us, or a retailer carrying our line(s).  You are always welcome to contact us: simplysoap@aol.com

QUICK LINKS

US Copyright Office
 US Patent and Trademark Office
 US Trademark Database (online search for TM's)
CopyScape-Infringement
 Intellectual Property Insurance Services Corporation
 What Is Copyright Protection?
 Stop Internet Plagiarism
 Copyrights In Cyberspace
 Creativity and Copyright
 Copyright Law
 Trademarks, Copyrights and Internet Business
 The Copyright Website
 Copyrights: Obtaining and Observing


New info has emerged on domain infringement:

Trademark DomainNames

FAQ about Domain Names and Trademarks

FAQ about UDRP

ICANN | Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy

Electronic Frontier Foundation

 

 

 

Disputes Over Competing Claims to Domain Names

As an alternative to a lawsuit over use of a domain name, trademark holders can file a complaint with an ICANN-approved dispute resolution organization. See http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-policy-24oct99.htm. Generally, complainants must show that they have valid rights in the mark, the domain name registrant has no rights in the mark, and the domain was registered in bad faith. The World Intellectual Property Organization and the National Arbitration Forum are approved by ICANN to conduct domain name dispute resolution. The process is similar to a lawsuit but is designed to be speedier and less costly. Generally, no hearing is required and the arbitrator resolves the dispute on the papers submitted. ICANN has promulgated general rules of procedure which are augmented by a supplemental set of rules for each arbitration organization. See http://www.icann.org/dndr/udrp/uniform-rules.htm

 

 

 

The Mere Act of Registering a Domain Name May Infringe a Famous or Already Trademarked Mark

  1. Jack In The Box, Inc. v. Jackinthebox.org, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9586 (E.D. Va. 2001). The court held that a trademark holder is entitled to relief under the ACPA when the act of registering a domain name itself is found to violate the holder’s trademark. The court held that the mere act of registering an Internet domain name is sufficient to invoke the protection of the in rem provision of the ACPA.

MORE.....

________________________________________________________________________________

This is a page in progress.  The goal being to provide copyright/trademark infringement information via educational links, insurance & legal links, to encourage intolerance of copyright infringement as a community of public opinion, in addition to what is already established LAW!

Learn to protect your works, respect others', and promote legal follow-through....but moreover, to prevent this crime before it starts, through education.  Thanks for coming and we welcome your input and informative links you may wish to add!  The fact that you are here and curious to learn is an important step towards professionalism within our craft!  Thanks for coming!!!

You can e-mail me at: Carol Ochs -  SimplySoap@aol.com

 

Why This Site?

I put up this site at the encouragement of several fellow soapmakers, and as a response to experiencing copyright infringement on my intellectual material on several occasions.....occurring in the following ways:

 

Copyright Infringement

1)Theft of my business website design and content information, including theft of my product photos with my label design in the photos,

2)  Theft of my physical brochure design and content,

3) Theft of my product label design.

 

Trademark Infringement

4) I have also been made aware of several others using my Simply Soap company name I own the registered trademark on. I have prosecuted two cases of individuals who would not stop using my name upon my request, and won both cases. 

Clearly, there is a real NEED for education on this topic.

   A BIG part of the problem is that many within our own industry look the other way and ignore it when they see infringement taking place. Fortunately, a large number recognize it as the crime it is, are repulsed by this crime, and have been very proactive in being "eyes" for others in the soapmaking community and do not hesitate to report it when they see infringement taking place.  Kudos to them!  Keep up the great work!

Ignoring this problem contributes to an atmosphere that it's OK to do, or doesn't apply to you if you're a small soapmaker who only sells soap one Sunday a month at your church bazarre, or you only give your soap away as gifts.  Please do not be part of spreading this attitude that it's OK.  ANYTIME you use another's trademarked name on your product, whether given or sold, you are representing that company name illegally.  YOUR transgressions, business practices, potentially poorly product, or bad labeling practices become the problem of the one whose name you are using illegally!  Hence, why you can be sued for:..............

If you are an infringer and are discovered, you can consider yourself fortunate if the copyright or trademark owner is congenial enough to call, e-mail, write or fax you and ask you to refrain from your violation ,and you are intelligent enough to do so.  It will save you a lot in time and expense, among other headaches.  If there is a discrepancy regarding who was using the material in question first, have dated copies of your use, registered copyrighted/trademark, or some other proof.

If it gets to court, and court finds that copyright or trademark infringement has occurred, it can award the copyright or trademark owner money damages for any loss suffered because of the violation, or the amount of receipts made by the violator that the copyright owner could potentially have had or, in the alternative, statutory damages assessed by the court on the basis of how intentional the violation was.

 

The court can also:

- Order the violator to cease it's violation.

- Impose TRIPLE the amount of actual damages on repeat offenders, including lost sales or damage to the copyright or trademark holders reputation.

- Order the violator imprisoned for up to 10 years if the violation was for personal or financial gain.

- Order that all attorney and court fees be paid by the violator for both parties.

- If the violation occurred on the internet, all domain or ISP services to the violator can be terminated or resumption prohibited.  Domain or ISP servers can be named as liable in the case and the violator can then be counter-sued by them for damages and attorney or court fees.  ISP's usually have policies encouraging users to report any suspected cases of copyright infringement, because they DO NOT want to be involved!

The above are legal ramifications and do not even begin to name the peer, social and business implications of being discovered for intentionally copyright or trademark infringing.

As a community, I encourage anyone who has witnessed copyright/trademark infringement to take the time to alert the parties involved, and make computer or printed copies of what you have observed, PRIOR to alerting both parties.  Let them know anonymously if you prefer!  Copies of infringement serve as the best evidence.  Often an infringer will quickly take down their website evidence to feign innocence, but later resume infringing, even under a new domain name or url.    If you have dated copies of what was infringed, it helps the victim's case and serves as proof if the case goes to court.  

Looking out for one another was how I was alerted to all the incidences that I experienced and I am grateful to those who cared enough to let me know!!!  And if nothing else, in a non-deliberate case of infringing, it provides an opportunity for the issue to be resolved equitably out of court by the infringer simply ceasing their violation, making apologies, and life goes on...if indeed it was an honest error.  However, being a conscientious voice in this cause sends the message to our peers that we will not tolerate copyright or trademark infringement and this helps uphold high standards among our professional community!

 

"Registered" Copyright

The law says, that as soon as you put pen to paper, or design to material, what you've created is yours, and is automatically copyrighted.  This only seems to stretch just so far, however.  All legal counsel that I have inquired with said "get your work copyright  'registered.' "  (See the US Copyright Office link below)  This costs $20 per work copyrighted.  So, what does someone who modifies their website almost daily do who wants it copyright registered?  The response I received was that if you don't make "major" changes in your site, the copy you send in for registering will indicate the overall basic lay-out, design, and intellectual concept and this will likely hold-up well in court. However if you make major changes, re-register!

 

A Need For Education.....

It is distressing, infuriating, & frustrating enough to experience copyright infringement, however I found through my experiences and those of others, that a great many in our craft community have expressed ignorance about what exactly copyright infringement is or why it is so offensive.  I've heard some within the soapmaking community respond to me saying "Why should this bother you?  You're successful, how's it hurting you?"  or "You should be flattered that anyone would want to emulate you!"  I assure anyone who shares these views...regardless of one's level of success, it is NOT flattering; but rather it feels the same way it does when you've been stolen from, because you HAVE been stolen from.  Hopefully through education, ignorance on this topic can be remedied.  

 

"I'm offended t hat you think or insinuate that fellow soapmakers would actually steal..."

Obviously not all copyright or trademark infringement is deliberate.  For those offended by the suggestion that others within our professional community DO willfully commit copyright or trademark infringement.....the reality IS, it happens.  I wish I had a dollar for every small time soapmaker who has said to me, "I'm just a small soapmaker and don't even live in your city, how can my using your same name hurt you?"  Believe me, it can hurt A LOT! 

  I weighed the sense of offense some indignant soapmakers may be feeling at the suggestion that they willfully infringe, against the sense of offense that an infringed-upon person feels, and the latter weighed-in far heavier in my decision to create this website.  Regardless, copyright  and trademark law does not care whether you're offended or not; the law is the law!  The need for a site such as this was glaringly apparent.  I encourage anyone deluded by complacency or a sense that copyright/trademark infringement is "OK"  to spend time at each and every link provided below.  This site is FOR YOU!!!

A case example that immediately come to mind to share that happened to me personally is the following: A very small-time soapmaker across the country from me who sold soap through a church group only occasionally.  She sold it one day to a lady who developed a burn on her eyelid after using the "oozy soap".  There was no contact info on the label the soapmaker used, only the name "Carol's Simply Soap".  The injured lady looked up "Carol's Simply Soap" on the internet, and presumably because my name is "Carol" and my company called "Simply Soap", found me, called me, and proceeded to scream at me over the phone her plans to sue me for her injury over the bad product I'd supplied to the lady she bought from.  After much hashing out of details and non-matching of product (and Carols), the injured lady finally realized that the product she bought and used was not made OR SUPPLIED by me and I was not the target of her justifiable injury complaint.  She later found this soapmaker, as did I.  You can see how  illegal use of another's name can cause a lot of unmerited problems for them, as well as tarnish their reputation!

 

The Evidence: (examples)

All occurances that I experienced were deliberate and done knowingly by others within the professional handcrafted soapmakers community.  It was no "accidental duplication" or "great minds think alike" type scenario. The three incidences included: 

1) Complete brochure duplication with only business name and contact information altered.  My brochure was simply photocopied; graphics, words and all..... with my business name & contact. info. whited-out and new contact info. cut-and-pasted in, then new copies made.

2)  I had my complete website design lay-out, and product concept/descriptions duplicated to the degree that others who saw it  recognized it immediately as "my" work and alerted me to the site.  It was this almost indistinguishable "sameness" that is the classic hallmark of blatant "copyright infringement,".....or  "you know it when you see it" type copying, enough to cause customers and peers  to comment on it's obviousness sameness, and even ask "Who's site came first?" This is enormously insulting when you know it was YOU who did all the work to create that site.

3)  I also had my website product photograph "right-click" stolen off my website (even though the products had my own label and logo on them!) and applied alongside word-for-word website verbage of mine into a brochure/flyer by a soapmaker, in which her company name and contact info. were substituted in for mine.

 

Non-isolated cases

Three times may sound unusual for any one person to experience copyright infringement as described above, but I am far from alone.  I have been witness to other soapmakers who have had their custom-designed & paid-for website logos stolen, as well as product photos/word-for-word website & brochure verbage, and often it is the same businesses being infringed upon, over and over again.  

These cases of theft are NOT accidental.  No one accidentally happens to have YOUR product photo, YOUR custom-designed logo, or YOUR word-for-word work.  They are stolen, and stealing is illegal!  You must learn to think of someone's intellectual property as an actual physical piece of property.....would you steal someone's property?

"It was an honest accident!"

 

Honesterror in duplication of another's work will invariably occur, but usually occurs in a smaller, more innocent manner....i.e. duplication of a soap name, or similar lines of descriptive text, or marketing verbage.  What is the best course to take?   If you discover you've done this, or another has done this to you......be up front about it!  Assess the duplicated material and ask yourself (if it was YOU who was infringed upon) is it really an offensive duplication to you?  Contact the other party (if you have discovered that you infringed upon another) and assess whether they are offended by what you have done!  In many instances, a mere duplicate soap name (if it is a fairly common name) will not cause a problem.  However if the original author of the soap name went to great lengths to be highly creative, he/she MAY be offended and you should not assume how the other party feels, but determine who began using the name first and come to an agreement, if possible, between the two of you.  Ask yourself too, is it worth alienating another in the soapmaking community to not resolve the issue fairly and equitably.  Also, copyright issues have a way of becoming "known" in the soapmaking community; do you want this to be a an issue you are known for not resolving?  HOW you handle a case of infringement perhaps speaks louder about you than the actual infringement itself...in an "honest" error.

 

"FREE" Graphics

Use of free web graphics can be a "gray area" in designing your website.  Personally, I obtained all of my website graphics from website design sites that advertised the graphics as free.  When I chose to use them, I "thought"  I was doing something perfectly legal and non-infringing.  I later had two graphic artists e-mail me to ask why I did not have a link to their site for using "their" graphics.  When I explained how I obtained the pics, the artist was as surprised as I to find that these copyrighted graphics had been stolen and then made available for public use by a "free graphics" site.  I offered to remove the graphics or add a link to my site, back to the original artist.  Both were happy to have a link added.  In cases such as this, obviously I did not set-out to steal these graphics.  But it was the correct thing to do to resolve this with the originator of the work.  In anticipation of such an occurance, it is a good idea to keep record of where you obtain all of your "free" graphics, so if follow-up is necessary, you'll remember where they came from.

 

What's in a name? A LOT!

In the soapmaking community, often times we start out as hobbyists with no plans to go professional.....initially.  A name is chosen just to have something cute or catchy to put on a label and no thought is seriously given to long-range infringement implications because you're just marketing to friends and relatives, or at local craft shows or retail establishments.  Usually, it's not until you take your business onto the internet and your business is now global, that you suddenly realize that there are five other people with YOUR company name!  Or a name that you copyrighted in your own city is not the same thing as a company name that is registered  trademarked nationwide.  

 

A good idea is to trademark search a name nationwide before ever choosing it as your own (Main libraries have the computer data bases that provide the opportunity for you to do this self-search for free, or you can hire a trademark attorney to do so.  The US Patent and Trademark Office is constantly upgrading their online service to do this also.  See link below.) whether you choose to TM it yourself or not, or whether you choose to expand your business presence or not.  Chances are, someone else with that same name, who established their business before you, is NOT going to appreciate you having that name also, even if you are a "small potatoes" business.  Confusion results among customers or there can be potential lost income due to this confusion when search engines pull up both your names at once, among other problems.  The costs of having to change your name and all marketing materials after you've established yourself in business is also not worth it.

 

Recipes

Recipes are a tricky issue.  You may "think" you were the originator of a specific soap or toiletry recipe, but how can you prove it?  Many, many others may have dreamed up the same idea but never claimed ownership, or could be using the same ingredients, same proportions and do you think that because you attempt to copyright a recipe that anyone will stop using that same recipe just because you copyrighted it?  As you can see, it would be a very difficult to copyright or trademark, or try to enforce recipe ownership.  Others could be making the same basic recipe but be just a few ounces off from your (hypothetically) copyrighted recipe, but how could you prove it, and even if you could,  how could you catch everyone who did?  It would be like saying you own a copyright on a "palm kernel, coconut and olive oil soap recipe"......impossible!  

I've witnessed a published author accuse another published author of copyright infringement on a soap recipe previously published.....only to find later that there was yet another soapmaker altogether who was using the recipe long before either of them.  So who actually "owns" the idea?  Confusing, indeed!

Written or designed intellectual property is obviously much easier to discern.

 

But how do we NOT "cross the line?"

While all of us creating our business websites, brochures, soap labels, and all manner of marketing materials, may invariably duplicate what another has done in some similar way (i.e How many ways can one describe a bar of soap without inadvertently over-lapping with what another soapmaker has said about the same type of soap?), or we find ourselves at a loss to creatively come up with a "new" name for a type of soap that we all typically manufacture (i.e. peppermint, lavender, etc.) there are lines that obviously should not be crossed in our being influenced by others as we design our own image and intellectual materials.  Exact wording and descriptions are obviously a violation.  But so too, is altering words just slightly so as not to be "exact," yet continuing this theme throughout your lay-out and design if you obviously are only slightly altering another soapmaker's work.  For those unsure of what "crossing the line" is...below are several links to help educate you. Focus on the "Fair Use" articles..... If you really are in doubt about it, contact an experienced copyright attorney.  And for those who rely on hoping that your copyright infringement will not be discovered....this is highly unlikely; especially with as tight-knit a community that the soapmaking world is, brought even closer together by the internet.

 

"But it costs so much to 'get legal!'"---Alternatives and ammunition....

In my copyright infringement episodes, I was deterred somewhat by my perceived expectation that enormous amounts of money and time would have to be spent by me to settle the cases and obtain justice.  I have since learned that there are many ways to deal with this crime with a very equitable result, including implementing copyright infringement abatement insurance beforehand (<--usually quoted to you for your personal needs) so someone else does a share of the legal footwork for you!  But note, you cannot obtain copyright infringement abatement insurance on a case that you are already involved in; it must be in-place beforehand.  I encourage any of you interested, to check into this!  Often times, sending a letter of acknowledgement to the offending party on attorney letterhead is enough to alert that party that you they are discovered and need to cease and desist or face legal proceedings.  Many seem to think they go un-noticed and are quite surprised to find out that you've found THEM out!

 

What can happen to me if I infringe?

If you are an infringer and are discovered, you can consider yourself fortunate if the copyright or trademark owner is congenial enough to call, e-mail, write or fax you and ask you to refrain from your violation ,and you are intelligent enough to do so.  It will save you a lot in time and expense, among other headaches.  If there is a discrepancy regarding who was using the material in question first, hopefully you'll have dated copies of your use, registered copyrighted/trademark or some other proof.

If a court finds that copyright or trademark infringement has occurred, it can award the copyright or trademark owner money damages for any loss suffered because of the violation, or the amount of receipts made by the violator that the copyright owner could potentially have had or, in the alternative, statutory damages assessed by the court on the basis of how intentional the violation was.

 

The court can also:

- Order the violator to cease it's violation.

- Impose TRIPLE the amount of actual damages on repeat offenders, including damages to the copyright or trademark holder's reputation.

- Order the violator imprisoned for up to 10 years if the violation was for personal or financial gain.

- Order that all attorney and court fees be paid by the violator for both parties.

- If the violation occurred on the internet, all domain or ISP services to the violator can be terminated or resumption prohibited.  Domain or ISP servers can be named as liable in the case and the violator can then be counter-sued by them for damages and attorney or court fees.  ISP's usually have policies encouraging users to report any suspected cases of copyright infringement, because they DO NOT want to be involved!

The above are legal ramifications and do not even begin to name the peer and social implications of being discovered for intentionally copyright or trademark infringing within your community.

When in doubt about something you plan to use or claim as your own property, err on the side of safety or over-cautiousness if you are unsure.  The consequences can obviously be quite harsh!  And "Gee, I didn't know what I was doing was copyright/trademark infringement"......is an extremely weak defense.

 

Be part of the solution.....

As a community, I encourage anyone who has witnessed copyright/trademark infringement to take the time to alert the parties involved, and make computer or printed copies of what you have observed, PRIOR to alerting both parties.  Let them know anonymously if you prefer!  Copies of infringement serve as the best evidence.  Often an infringer will quickly take down their website or cyber evidence to feign innocence, but later resume infringing, even under a new domain name or url.   If you have dated copies of what was infringed, it helps the victim's case and serves as proof if the case goes to court.  

But above all, please do not stand idly by and watch infringement go unacknowledged if you have witnessed it!  If someone else is doing it, even talking about and promoting themselves on soap listserves and forums, seize the opportunity to let them know that you know a name they are using is someone else's.  Or if a design they are using is clearly copied, tell the original owner and let them deal with it.   Ignoring the problem only sends a message of quiet consent. 

Looking out for one another was how I was alerted to all the incidences that I experienced and I am grateful to those who cared enough to let me know!!!  And if nothing else, in a non-deliberate case of infringing, it provides an opportunity for the issue to be resolved equitably out of court by the infringer simply ceasing their violation, making apologies, and life goes on...if indeed it was an honest error.  However, being a conscientious voice in this cause sends the message to our peers that we will not tolerate copyright or trademark infringement and this helps uphold high standards among our professional community!!!

 

"Registered" Copyright

The law says, that as soon as you put pen to paper, or design to material, what you've created is yours, and is automatically copyrighted.  This only seems to stretch just so far, however.  All legal counsel that I have inquired with said "get your work copyright  'registered.' "  (See the US Copyright Office link below)  This costs $20 per work copyrighted.  So, what does someone who modifies their website almost daily do who wants it copyright registered?  The response I received was that if you don't make "major" changes in your site, the copy you send in for registering will indicate the overall basic lay-out, design, and intellectual concept and this will likely hold-up well in court. However if you make major changes, re-register!

 

"Poor Man's Copyright/Trademark"

If registered copyright costs are prohibitive but you want protection that has been known to stand up in court (not guaranteed!), keep recent physical copies of your (preferably dated) work and send it to yourself via CERTIFIED MAIL--which furthers establishes dates, but do not open this mail.  Keep it on-file in the event of infringement to prove your date of useage of original material..

Another soapmaker made a good suggestion:  Make a video-tape of your website loading, and tape each webpage as you click on it.  Send this to yourself, again, Certified Mail, and leave unopened.

 

Learning links!

Below are several hand-picked links to information sites.  We're always looking for more, so let us know!

(Click and go!)

US Copyright Office

US Patent and Trademark Office

US Trademark Database (online search for TM's)

Intellectual Property Insurance Services Corporation

What Is Copyright Protection?

Stop Internet Plagiarism

Copyrights In Cyberspace

Creativity and Copyright

Copyright Law

Trademarks, Copyrights and Internet Business

The Copyright Website

Copyrights: Obtaining and Observing

 

 

**************************************

 

 

 


SPECIALTY SOAP LINES:

California-Themed Soaps

Rustic Soap Collection

Rustic Soaps Simply Soap

Wylde Faerie Soaps

Wylde Faerie Soaps Simply Soap

Wylde Mermaid Soaps

Wylde Mermaid Soap Collection - Simply Soap http://www.simplysoap.com

Wylde Wytch Soaps

wyldewytchsoaps-intissue

Ancient Alchemy

Bog-Bar Simply Soap Ancient Alchemy line

(Our ultimate luxury bar...50% shea butter-50% olive oil, with goatmilk & ground oats - Goatmeal Butter Bar)

handmade handcrafted soap Simply Soap Carol Ochs goatmilk oats shea butter soap