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$4.50 Coexist Vinyl Cut-out Sticker. Each letter and symbol is separate. White “Coexist"
6-inch Weather & fade resistant.
$5.50 Coexist Vinyl Cut-out Sticker. Each letter and symbol is separate. White “Coexist"
9.8-inch Weather & fade resistant.
Coexist Vinyl Cut-out Sticker
are instructions on how to apply this adhesive sticker. This is followed
by a discussion of the legal controversy surrounding this design.
This is followed by an explanation of what the different symbols mean.
Step 1. Prepare the sticker for application. Lay sticker
face up on a smooth hard surface like a table. Gently rub the surface of the
textured masking material with a squeegee or credit card. This ensures that
the masking material is making contact with the vinyl sticker.
Step 2. Flip the sticker over so that it is face down. Slowly remove the
backing paper from the masking material by pulling straight back (not at an
angle) as shown.
Step 3. Carefully align the sticker on the surface it is to be applied to.
Avoid touching the sticker to the surface until it is aligned. The surface
should be smooth and clean.
Step 4. Gently rub a credit card or squeegee against the masking material.
to affix the sticker to the surface.
Step 5. Slowly pull the masking material back at an an angle as shown. If
bubbles occur in the letters or symbols, simply prick with a needle and
smooth. Do not use a knife or razor.
If sticker is applied to a vehicle, be careful when washing vehicle to avoid
damaging sticker. If applied to a window, avoid scraping snow or ice from
the window in the area of the sticker.
As you may have noticed,
we sell a lot of "Coexist" designs on this site. There
is a reason for that: "Coexist" designs sell well in these
troubled times. Some of the "Coexist" designs we sell
(including this one) have been supplied to us by other companies. But a
few are our own unique creations.
You might think that a
"Coexist" design would encourage people to get along. We hope
that is true. But the sad fact is that there are various versions of
this design being sold and used in various ways, and there are
conflicting claims of ownership related to some of those designs. One
company has even been threatening to bring legal action against other
companies that try to sell Coexist designs.
Here is the story of this
controversy in a nutshell: In 2001 a relatively simple
"Coexist" design incorporating three religious symbols was
created by Piotr
Mlodozeniac, a Polish graphic designer, for a contest sponsored
Museum on the Seam for Dialogue, Understanding, and Coexistence
in Jerusalem. The Museum has incorporated Mlodozeniac's design into a
traveling exhibit and also sells shirts, posters, etc. bearing the
design. The Museum claims exclusive ownership of the design.
But the Mlodozeniac design
has apparently been used extensively by others without permission. The
Museum on the Seam seems to take a very dim view of this, while
Mlodozeniac himself seems to take pride in some of the ways other people
have used his design. For instance, U2 has used the image in
concerts, which no doubt boosted interest in the design.
But Mlodozeniac was
dismayed to learn that a small Indiana T-shirt company called Coexist
LLP successfully trademarked his "Coexist" design in 2005. The
Indiana company subsequently brought a lawsuit against CafePress and
three other vendors who had been selling products bearing similar
You can read more about
the legal wrangling over various versions of the "Coexist"
design by visiting @U2.
In the winter of 2007-08,
Coexist LLP sent cease-and-desist letters to several sticker and T-shirt
companies demanding that they stop selling various "Coexist"
designs. The letter threatened legal action if these companies did not
comply. The letter was sent to some of our suppliers, and it
remains to be seen whether or not we will be able to continue buying
certain "Coexist" products from those suppliers.
CarryaBigSticker also received a copy of the
cease-and-desist letter (see text at right). We have chosen to ignore
the letter for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that,
contrary to the letter, we have never sold any "Coexist"
designs that are identical (or even very similar) to the trademark
registered by Coexist LLP. Also, we have never tried to pass off our
products as those of Coexist LLP. In other words, we are not using
"Coexist" designs as trademarks. We are selling an important
peace-related message, a message that has the full free-speech
protection of the First Amendment.
CarryaBigSticker is not
involved in any litigation related to the "Coexist" design.
We are hoping it stays that way. We feel the "Coexist" designs
that we sell are quite a bit different from the Coexist LLP trademark,
and therefore unlikely to be the target of litigation.
Despite the risk of
litigation, we want to help distribute a variety of
"Coexist" designs because we believe the concept of
coexistence is too important a concept to be distributed only by a few.
The concept belongs to all of us, and should be distributed by many.
Meanwhile, Coexist LLP recently petitioned the U.S.
Patent and Trademark office to expand the use of its trademark to other
products. Their original trademark application expressed the intention
to use the mark only on apparel. Their latest applications would expand their
use to stickers and posters, as well as jewelry. If these applications
go unopposed, Coexist LLP will be in an even stronger position to
attempt to limit the use of Coexist designs on stickers, posters and
Dan R. Frazier
If you would like
to let Coexist LLP know how much goodwill they are generating by
threatening to bring legal action against other companies selling
original Coexist designs, you can e-mail Christopher Tierney, one of the
owners of Coexist LLP:
CoexistOnline (dot) com
What the Different Symbols Mean:
The first symbol, the crescent moon and
star, is commonly used to represent Islam. However, the symbol was
in use for thousands of years before it was ever associated with Islam.
Here is what it says on About.com
about these symbols: "Most sources agree that these ancient
celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia
in their worship of sun, moon and sky gods. There are also reports that
the crescent moon and star were used to represent the Carthaginian
goddess Tanit or the Greek goddess Diana."
second symbol is a peace symbol. The peace symbol was invented in 1958
by Gerald Holtom, a London artist involved with the Campaign for Nuclear
Disarmament. After being used in an anti-nuclear protest, it gained
popularity as a peace symbol, partly because it was easier to draw than
a dove. You can read more about the origins of the peace symbol using
"e" is adorned with the symbols for male and female. According
to Wikipedia, the male symbol (an arrow pointing away from a circle) is
derived from the astronomical and astrological symbol for Mars.The
female symbol (a cross-like symbol fixed to the bottom of a circle) is
derived from the symbol of Venus. When used together, the symbols can
signify intersexual or transgender. However, the designer of this
sticker has told me that when he added the male and female symbols, he
was trying to promote the idea of harmony between men and women. Read more about gender
symbols on Wikipedia.
The next symbol is the Star
of David, also known as the Shield of David. The symbol has been used
since about A.D. 1000 to symbolize Judaism and the Jewish community. The
symbol appears on the Israeli flag. Read more about the Star
of David on Wikipedia.
In this version of Coexist
(which differs from some other designs that we sell), the letter "i"
is a flaming chalice similar to the logo used by the Unitarian
Universalist faith. Read more about the UUA logo
The letter "S" has been
cleverly adapted to resemble the Taijitu, a Chinese symbol representing
the idea of yin and yang from Taoist and Neo-Confucian philosophy. Yin
and yang describe the two opposing but complementary forces found in
nature. Yin is associated with shade and darkness as well as femininity,
while yang is has associations with light and masculinity. Wikipedia
and yang more fully.
The final symbol resembles a
cross, which of course has come to be associated with Christianity and
the crucifixion of Jesus.
Clear Sticker White letters on CLEAR background. 2-in. x 7-in.
Coexist Oval Window Sticker 3-in x 6-in.
- International Version Bumper Sticker or Magnet
Jumbo Fridge Magnet 2-in x 7-in. Choose from five
|See more from our Coexist
category. Or visit our Religion,
Below is the
text of the cease-and-desist letter received by CarryaBigSticker
and several other sticker and T-shirt companies in the winter of
2007-08. Care has been taken to retain misspellings and
malapropisms found in the original. We at
CarryaBigSticker have inserted a few comments in yellow:
Attorneys at Law
Re: Infringement of COEXIST Registered Trademark
Dear Mr. Frazier:
We represent Coexist LLP ("Coexist")
in connection with trademark and unfair competition matters.
Coexist is a company that enjoys a prominent reputation in the
premium apparel and gift market with fashion conscience and
sophisticated individuals and the general public, as well as among
high-end fashion boutiques and department stores. (We
at CarryaBigSticker never heard of Coexist LLP until this legal
controversy came to our attention.) Coexist's
mission is to promote global harmony, and a certain portion of
Coexist's sales are donated to charitable organizations. (Trademarking
somebody else's design without permission and then bringing
lawsuits against others who sell similar designs, and threats of
legal action even against those who sell not-so-similar designs,
seems counterproductive to global harmony.)
As you may know, our client adopted the COEXIST
design and word marks (the "COEXIST TRADEMARKS") as
early as August 2003 as trademarks for its high quality apparel
items. As a result of its widespread use of the COEXIST
TRADEMARKS, Coexist has developed valuable goodwill in these
Moreover, the use of our client's COEXIST
TRADEMARKS has been recognized by the United States Patent and
Trademark Office, which has granted the following registrations to
Coexist: Registration No. 3,170,918 which issued on November 14,
2006, and Registration No. 2,924,211, which issued February 1,
It has come to our attention that you are
engaging in trademark infringement and unfair competition under
the Federal Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. S 1051 et seq. ("The
Lanham Act"). In particular, on the website "carryabigsticker.com"
your use of the identical mark on identical goods traveling in the
same channels of trade and marketed to similar customers is likely
to cause consumer confusion as to the source of origin of said
goods. (CarryaBigSticker does not sell any
products bearing an "identical mark" and we never have.
Furthermore, we sell in different channels and to different
customers. We do not sell our products in fashion boutiques or
department stores. Our customers are not so much fashion conscious
as they are concerned about conveying a message of peace,
tolerance and coexistence.) Both fashion professionals and the general public may be
misled, if they have not already been, into mistakenly believing
that your buttons and bumper stickers ("Products") are
approved or sponsored by our client, or that you are affilliated
with Coexist. (It is odd that there is no
mention here of the Coexist T-shirts sold by CarryaBigSticker.
Also, we think it odd that buttons and stickers raise an
objection, even though the initial trademark obtained by Coexist
LLP makes no mention of an intent to deal in such products. Only
recently has Coexist LLP applied for a trademark related to
stickers. This was apparently an after-thought.)
Moreover, given that Coexist sets a high
standard for quality in the industry, as its many customers would
confirm, confusion could lead to substantial damage to our client
in terms of loss of sales and injury to reputation, as well as the
loss of funding to those charitable organizations Coexist
sponsors, in the event that the quality of your Products is not
commensurate with that of Coexist. (CarryaBigSticker
maintains its products are of commensurate quality, and the real
damage to the reputation of Coexist LLP arises from its
questionable lawsuits and unjustified threats of legal action.)
There is simply no functional rationale for your
slavish coping of the COEXIST TRADEMARKS other than your desire to
infringe upon our client's goodwill. (There
has been no slavish copying here at CarryaBigSticker, and no
desire to be in any way associated with any goodwill or any
other sentiments that may be engendered by Coexist LLP.) A wide variety of designs are
possible without interfering with or compromising the intended
"look" or "feel" of your Products.
Accordingly, Coexist demands that you, and any party acting for
you or on your behalf, immediately cease marketing and selling
COEXIST branded products on [where sold]. (Apparently,
the lawyers could not even be troubled to fill in the "where
sold" with the CarryaBigSticker Web address.)
We are prepared to resolve this matter amicably
if we receive your express written agreement to comply with
Coexist's request within seven (7) days after your receipt of this
letter. If you fail to advise us by that date, our client shall,
without further notice to you, take such legal action as it deems
advisable to protect its interests.
Please note that this letter is being sent
without prejudice to, nor waiver of, any rights, claims, defenses,
or contentions held by Coexist.
Very truly yours,
Gary H. Fechter