Statement from ISA on removal of ISTEX Facebook page
Discussion Group Name Change: ISA Trademark
January 18, 2017 ISA Board
Request that the Facebook ISTEX page be removed
ISA submitted a request to Facebook that it take down the ISTEX page because its use of "International Suzuki Teachers Exchange" infringed on ISA's INTERNATIONAL SUZUKI related trademark registrations throughout the world. Specifically, ISA is the owner of over 50 trademark registrations and applications of the trademark SUZUKI combined with the word INTERNATIONAL for various goods and services, including printed music materials, books, recordings, musical educational/training services, and association memberships. The registrations include the US and over thirty countries spread over the five major continents, including all countries of the European Union (with separate country-specific national registrations in Germany, the UK and others), China, Russia, Columbia, and more.
ISA regards its intellectual property rights very seriously, and consistent with that, takes all steps necessary to protect such rights and to prevent the unauthorized use of its intellectual property, including its trademarks. The ISA had contacted the administrator of the site previously about this issue several times, but received no reply. ISA first objected to the misuse of its trademarks and other intellectual property by the "German Suzuki Association" and Ms. Wartberg over two years ago in an attempt to resolve ISA's concern amicably. Those discussions were not successful and, therefore, ISA was compelled to begin taking action to stop it.
ISA had no objections to the content of the Facebook page per se. The objection was to the use of "International Suzuki Teachers Exchange": namely, the use of "INTERNATIONAL SUZUKI" along with the descriptive terms "teachers" and "exchange" in the Facebook name, cover photo, wall posts, and photos. Such use not only copies and infringes ISA's INTERNATIONAL SUZUKI related trademark rights, but also creates the false and misleading impression of sponsorship by or affiliation with ISA, in violation of ISA's rights under the laws of all countries.
ISA has no intent to discourage teachers or proponents of children's music education from communicating with each other or promoting their events. In fact, there are many other existing, non-infringing online forums for such communication and promotion. The concern simply was the infringing use of ISA's registered trademarks.