This week in the urban homesteading community there was a fairly egregious act perpetrated on the rest of us by one family. The phrase Urban Homestead was trademarked by the Dervaes family in an effort to keep others from using the term, even though the term has been used in multiple publications prior to the trademark and is frequently used to describe what people like myself are doing. And while I consistently refer to my little operation as the urban farm, this move on the part of what I can only assume is a family more interested in fame and fortune than in the proliferation of the urban homesteading movement, has made me reconsider that.
The family has tried to deny that they are actively pursuing bloggers and other internet uses of the phrase Urban Homestead, but this post by Jamie, author of the urbanhomesteadx.com blog was sent a letter by the family informing her of the trademark and asking her to respect their “legally protected intellectual property” by ceasing use of the phrase Urban Homestead. Seriously?
I like to think that those of us interested in real food, self sustainability, urban farming, and all the glorious things that go with it such as canning and chickens, are in this together. I like to think that those of us who are doing these things are doing them in an attempt to take back our food from the corporations and the highly processed machinations of modern food production. But when one of the high profile members of this community actively works to suppress and discourage the rest of us, I can only throw up my hands with frustration and wonder if there is really any progress being made at all.
I sincerely hope that this trademark is overturned and that the Dervaes family is unable to push through any litigation against those of us who are simply trying to fight for healthy food and self sufficiency. However until then, I will proudly stand up and say I am an urban homesteader with an Urban Homestead. And you can’t do anything about it!
Happy Eating and Gardening and Homesteading!