Stitch 'n Bitch

Stitch 'n Bitch

Stitch 'n Bitch is a phrase that has been used to refer to social knitting groups since at least World War II. cite book |author=Macdonald, Anne L. |title=No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting |publisher=Ballantine Books |location= [New York |year=1988 |pages=302 |isbn=0-345-33906-1 |url=] Sew Fast/Sew Easy, a New York-based company started an internet guestbook "Stitch & Bitch Café" in 1998, and was granted use of the term as a service mark in 2002. Published in 2003 was the first in a series of best-selling instructional books on knitting and crochet all titled with the phrase "Stitch 'n Bitch". From 2005 to 2008, the term was the focus of a trademark dispute between the New York company and the book author Debbie Stoller.

Knitting groups

"Stitch 'n Bitch" is a name used by knitting groups that meet on a weekly or monthly basis at locations throughout the world. This use of the term originates as early as the Second World War. Stitch 'n Bitch clubs are generally casual groups of knitters who meet in bars or cafes for socializing and sharing knitting advice.

ew Fast/Sew Easy

Sew Fast Sew Easy claims to have created NYC's first Stitch and Bitch group cite news | last = Yun | first = Helen| title = NYC's Best: Craft Stores| work =| date = 2007-12-13| url = | accessdate = 2007-12-17] in 1997. cite news | last = Elsworth | first = Catherine | title = It's getting bitchy in knitting circles | work = | date = 2006-11-02 | url = | accessdate = 2007-05-25 ] The company started an internet guestbook, the "Stitch and Bitch Cafe", in 1998. cite paper |author=United States Patent and Trademark Office | title = Serial Number: 76026522 | publisher = Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System | date = November 28 2007 | url = |accessdate=2007-11-28] In 2002, Sew Fast/Sew Easy was granted a registration of their service mark. The registered uses of "Stitch & Bitch Café" were in relation to "sewing instruction and manuals" and "on line chat rooms .. concerning sewing.." No claim to the exclusive use of the word "Café" apart from the mark was made.

Sew Fast/Sew Easy sells a product line branded with the phrase "Stitch & Bitch Café" that supports their service mark. They also sell products branded with the phrase "Stitch & Bitch." [ [ Stitch & Bitch Products] ] This use of the Stitch & Bitch mark was applied for through the USPTO in 2005 and has not yet been approved as a trademark. As of 2007, this application is suspended. cite paper |author=United States Patent and Trademark Office | title = Serial Number: 78641350 | publisher = Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System | date = November 28 2007 | url = |accessdate=2007-11-28] In 2007, Sew Fast/Sew Easy added more products through a account. That same year they began marketing instructional materials for knitting, sewing, and crocheting as the "live version of the Stitch & Bitch Cafe." Stitch & Bitch Cafe also now sells yarn, knitting patterns, knitting needles and crochet hooks.

In 2008, Sew Fast Sew Easy reached a settlement with Debbie Stoller over the term. Also, their new book states "visit the author's website, home of the Stitch and Bitch Cafe".

Book series

A 2003 book by Debbie Stoller, "Stitch 'n Bitch : The Knitter's Handbook", sold almost 200,000 copies in the first six months of publication. [cite news | last = Campbell | first = Jane | title = It's a knit-in | work = Independent Online Edition | date = 2004-03-23 | url = | accessdate = 2007-05-26 ] The book states that Debbie Stoller founded New York City's first Stitch 'N Bitch knitting group. In January 2004, Newsweek reported that Stoller's New York group had inspired spin-offs in Chicago and Los Angeles. [cite news | last = Scelfo | first = Julie | title = Rock-and-Roll Knitters | work = Newsweek | date = January 26 2004 | url = | accessdate = 2007-11-25 ] A second book in the series, "Stitch 'n Bitch Nation" includes many vignettes from groups located across America as well as international locations such as England and Japan. As of 2007, there are four books in the series, not including a knitter's journal.


ew Fast Sew Easy legal actions

In June 2005, Sew Fast/Sew Easy filed a trademark application for "Stitch & Bitch" to designate a line of knitting and sewing supplies. As of 2007 this application is suspended. In fall 2005, due to letters claiming trademark infringement from Sew Fast/Sew Easy's lawyers, knitting groups that had accounts with CafePress, an online merchandise site, were forced to remove all items featuring the phrase "Stitch 'n Bitch". Local groups that communicated with each other through Yahoo! Groups were similarly forced to remove "Stitch 'n Bitch" from the name and description of their group.cite journal | last = Petrovsky | first = Lesley | title = Tempest in a Tea Cozy | journal = Vogue Knitting | date = Fall 2006 | url =| accessdate = 2007-05-26 ] Some groups were deleted, but most groups were able to change their name on Yahoo! to SNB. cite journal | last = Krementz | first = Cheryl | title = Stitch & Bitch Slap | journal = Knit.1 | date = Summer 2006 | url =| accessdate = 2007-05-26 ] CafePress and Yahoo! do not evaluate merits of infringement claims, they just protect their interest by removing disputed content.

Debbie Stoller's legal actions

In May 2004, Stoller made four trademark applications regarding the term "Stitch 'N Bitch":
* Relating to the book series authored by Stoller
* For a line of bags and cases marketed for knitting materials and supplies
* Relating to a knitting show on television
* For a brand of knitting kitsIn July 2005, these four trademark applications were denied cite paper | title = Serial Number: 78417575 Stitch 'N Bitch | publisher = USPTO | date = July 15 2007 | url = |accessdate=2007-07-15
cite paper | title = Serial Number: 78417582 Stitch 'N Bitch | publisher = USPTO | date = July 15 2007 | url = |accessdate=2007-07-15
cite paper | title = Serial Number: 78417593 Stitch 'N Bitch | publisher = USPTO | date = July 15 2007 | url = |accessdate=2007-07-15
cite paper | title = Serial Number: 78417589 Stitch 'N Bitch | publisher = USPTO | date = July 15 2007 | url = |accessdate=2007-07-15] for being confusingly similar to that of Sew Fast/Sew Easy. In November 2005, Stoller filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel Sew Fast/Sew Easy's trademark "Stitch & Bitch Café".cite paper | author = Abelman, Frayne, and Schwab Attorneys at Law | title = Petition to Cancel for Registration No. 2,596,818 Stitch & Bitch Cafe | date = November 4 2005 | url = | format = PDF | accessdate = 2007-11-25 ] In August 2006, Stoller's four trademark applications were reinstated. As of 2007, both Stoller's applications and the cancellation proceedings on Sew Fast/Sew Easy's mark are suspended while the parties engage in settlement discussions.cite paper |author=United States Patent and Trademark Office | title = Cancellation Number: 2045274 | publisher = Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System | date = July 15 2007 | url = |accessdate=2007-07-15]


In February 2006 a website was started at the internet address, calling for a boycott on Sew Fast/Sew Easy. [cite web | title = Boycott Sew Fast Sew Easy! | publisher = Internet Archive | date = February 2 2006 | url = | accessdate = 2007-07-15 ] The boycott was covered in the summer 2006 edition of "Knit.1" magazine and the fall 2006 edition of "Vogue Knitting". In 2008, after an agreement was reached between Stoller and SFSE, the call for a boycott was ended.


Further reading


External links

* Sew Fast Sew Easy: [ Stitch & Bitch Cafe] - Sewing, knitting, crochet, and fashion message board
* Knitting groups: [ Stitch 'n Bitch Groups Worldwide] - Contact information for local groups worldwide
* Debbie Stoller: [ Stitch 'n Bitch promotional web site] - Book series

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