Safeworks looses Spyder suit
Safeworks has launched lawsuits against Arizona based Spydercrane on the basis that it had the rights to the spider name following a copyright registration dating back to 1960. The Washington state court found in favour of Spydercrane on all counts and awarded costs against Safeworks.
At the same time Safeworks is fighting a similar battle with Extreme Access Solutions/ The Spiderlift Company (previously Teupen America) the sales and rental distributor for Teupen aerial work platforms. This case is still working its way through the courts.
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The Spydercrane stand at Conexpo
Safeworks brands its suspended platforms and associated components with the Spider name, but is claiming wider rights over all lifting and aerial lift applications citing confusion with others who use the spider name in the lifting world.
The fact that Spider crane and Spider lift are generic terms for the cranes and aerial lifts that resemble a spider when set up, is hard to argue in the real world. It is also true that the markets for suspended platforms and tracked or wheeled spider lifts are totally different with only very minor overlap and little to no chance of confusion.
In the Spyderlift case it was revealed that Safeworks took over eight years to become aware of the existence of Spydercrane and only then as a result of Spyders attempt to register the Spydercrane name for itself.
While Safeworks clearly has a right to use its registered brand for its suspended platforms, its seems unreasonable and pointless for it to try and block the use of what is a well adopted generic term that is widely used and predates its trademark registration. Hopefully the case will close with the court making a sound and sensible ruling.