R.I.P. Sugar Plum Blog Facebook Page

If any of you are wondering where the Sugar Plum Blog Facebook page is, it was removed Monday morning by Facebook.  I was not given a warning, message, or email from Facebook saying that they were going to remove it.  I have lost all of the pictures and information from the page, including all of my “likes”. 

An owner from The Sugarplum Bakery &Treats sent me a message on Sunday, saying that the Sugar Plum Blog Facebook page infringes on her trademark, and that I needed to remove the page.  I looked up her trademark on the government’s website, and it’s listed as Sugarplum Bakery.  Sugarplum being one word.  My page was called Sugar Plum Blog.  I write a baking blog called Sugar Plum Blog.  I do not own a bakery or business called Sugarplum Bakery, so I didn’t feel that I was infringing on her trademark.  I was not contacted by her lawyer, nor was I served any sort of legal papers.  So I did not respond to her message.  The next day, my page was gone. 

Let me just point out that their Facebook page has two likes, and they don't even have a website for their bakery.  From what I can tell by their Yelp page, it looks like the bakery has been closed for a few years.  Why was this woman out to get me?  There are a ton of Facebook pages with “Sugarplum” in the title.  Why was my page removed?  Why wasn’t I given a warning from Facebook? 

I’ve emailed Facebook three times and have heard nothing.  I called today and could not get any information.  I’m thinking my page is gone forever.  How can I get it back?  If I start a new page will it be taken down also?

I’m now looking into ways I can protect myself from issues like this in the future.  If this person could take down my Facebook page so easily, could they take down this blog, too?  

68 comments:

  1. That is so strange, because often when I am looking for a 'page' there are many 'pages' with the same name, only different locations and 'types' of pages. It is obviously unjust that FB doesn't give you the ability to respond to her ridiculous allegations and just 'deletes' because it is the 'easiest' thing for it to do--that is the problem with FB, it's a free service and a great example of 'you get what you pay for.' Unless this woman is paying for sponsored posts or something like that.

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    1. Exactly! You said it perfectly. I doubt she's paying for sponsored ads since her bakery is closed down.

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  2. Hey emily...this is terrible news. I do not have a Facebook account ...just no interest...but I understand its popularity as a vehicle for communication. I hope you have at least a few readers who will be able to give you the advice you need so that you can get your page back. It seems to me that you were unfairly targeted and that there must be some way to resolve this so that you get your property/page back.I wish you the best of luck.

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    1. Thanks, anon! I think I'm going to give up Facebook. I don't want this to happen again, and I'm almost certain it will.

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  3. That's ridiculous, I'm so sorry! I hope you get this resolved.

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  4. Oh my goodness... I'm so sorry that this happened to you :( I'm on your side!!!

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  5. Emily, I'm so sorry. This is horrible. Perhaps you need to get a laywer to help figure this out. I am not a fan of Facebook and only do it because as a blogger I feel like I have to. My page has never worked properly but it us nearly impossible to contact them. Try using Twitter more. I think it's really fun. Keep your head up, keep working, and yeah, get a lawyer.

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    1. Laura, I will start using Twitter more. I've been seeking advice from a Twitter-lawyer friend, actually.

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  6. Wow, I'm sorry Emily. It sounds like extortion to me. The bakery owner was probably just looking for money out of you. You can search the Patent and Trademark Office databases to see if the name really is trademarked, because it may not be. Facebook backs down at the first sign of anyone getting aggressive with them, so I'm not surprised at what they did. As far as the blog goes, though, you own the domain name so I doubt you're in danger.

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    1. Tom, that's exactly what she's doing. She made a comment on her personal facebook page about how she loves people giving her money when they infringe on her trademark.

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  7. This is crazy! But one of the advantages of social media is that all of us can contact Facebook and tell them to re-instate your page. How totally ridiculous to shut you down with no notice at all. At the very least, they should have given you a chance to respond.

    You should get a trademark/copyright/whatever on "Sugar Plum" asap which would mean nobody could do this kind of thing again.

    We're always told that even if we shut our pages down, the info still lives somewhere at Facebook so I hope it's intact. When, not if, you get your page back, it should all be there.

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    1. Linda, I love that! Thanks for your help. I don't want to waste everyone's time, though. I guess we'll have to live without a Facebook page. :)

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  8. Keep trying with FB. I am sure your content is all still there, I don't think they would wipe it from their servers. For ex: if you disable your account and then a few months later re-register it, all the old content is still there. I have also heard of regular people who have famous names (for ex: Michael Jackson) whose pages have been taken down until they can provide proof they are regular people! This is obviously a different situation, but I do think your content is still there. Don't give up! Good luck!!

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    1. Alicia, I imagine it's still there. I just don't know how to get Facebook's attention. They won't email me back.

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  9. Yikes! Why would someone do that to you?!? I just want to say that I think it's crazy and I'm sure this is upsetting, but your blog readers are here and we love reading about your pastry school adventures. Hugs to you! This legal stuff is no fun & no fair! :(

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  10. I hate to hear your facebook page was taken down. I enjoyed reading it. Sometimes it depends on who was using the name first. Hopefully your information was not lost.

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    1. I liked posting updates from school. Ugh.

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  11. That is really scary, and unfair. I have no advice, just wanted to tell you I am sorry. :(

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  12. Facebook is so monolithic that it's evil in situations like this. She probably did buy that name and trademark it, but probably only in Nevada! AND your page had a different name, so that shouldn't have been a problem. I would tweet and blog about this to death until it gets resolved.

    I'm so happy that I only have 9 Facebook friends (oh wait, EIGHT now) and that one of them is a dog.

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    1. Hahaha. I don't accept friend requests from dogs.

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  13. Can you maybe trademark your blog name? I know other bloggers have done that. I have no idea how this all works, but if you could do that, then that stupid bakery can't say a goddamn thing. I'm sorry!

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    1. Amy, I'm probably going to... I think it might be expensive. I don't have the money to do that.

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  14. PS
    Em,
    Would you like us to leave messages (not horrible ones, just explain-what-the-deal-is messages) on her facebook page, which is at this URL - http://www.facebook.com/sugarplumbaker?fref=ts

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    1. Sue, I don't mind. It looks like other people have been doing that. I don't think she ever checks that page. I have her personal FB page, but I don't want to give that out.

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  15. Oh no Emily, that sucks! It really does make no sense - I hope you're able to et somewhere with FB and figure things out. Hopefully you get your page back.

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    1. Thanks, Elly! We still need to meet, you know. :)

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  16. I don't do FB but I am mad with you! I hope this doesn't affect your blog. I love reading your posts and trying your recipes. Boo to this Sugarplum party pooper. If I ever find myself near her bakery I will boycott in your honor!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie! I think her bakery is closed down now. Haha.

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  17. I found this place on facebook that is still up. Why did they have control over your page but not theirs?! https://www.facebook.com/sugarplumbakeryvb So sorry this happened. Let me know if you want to talk to an IP lawyer pal of mine.

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    1. Kerry, I might have to take you up on that someday, who knows. I think I'm going to have issues in the future.

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  18. that sucks - clearly they were jealous that you have so many followers who love you and your blog! facebook is the devil anyway!

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    1. Yaay Nora! Thank you. Yeah, I think I'll go without one. I still have my personal page if I need to get on there.

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  19. Ugh that's so annoying! Especially because you've had this blog for so many years, using this name is long-established for you! Hope FB comes to their senses.

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  20. she was probably jealous.... because you do have a lot of followers

    I don't care for facebook anyway

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  21. That is AWFUL! Especially since...(a) you are not even located in Nevada which is where the bakery is! (b) It's not like you sell baked goods at all whatsoever!! (c)sugar plum is not exactly a totally unique phrase that no one would ever think to use for a baked good establishment (d) On this website - http://www.manta.com/c/mmnzmvm/the-sugarplum-bakery-treats it says they cook without trans fats MOST of the time! Why not all? Ew. (e) their website isn't even functional (f) I would definitely contact a lawyer if you can. Also, your blog is copyrighted so they can't just have google take it down unless you were explicitly using their content...which you're not.

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  22. I also just want to note that there are many other sugarplum bakeries in the US...one in NYC, one in virginia beach, one in massachusetts...so it's not like they have a monopoly on the name!

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    1. Joanne, you're right. The bakery in Virginia Beach should sue her!

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  23. ALSO..I just posted this on their facebook page - Hi. I'm a reader of the blog Sugar Plum and I just want to say how outrageous it is that you would coerce facebook into taking its page down because it "infringed on your rights". Do you realize how many "sugarplum" pages come up when I search for it on facebook? You are NOT original. Emily (the author of Sugar Plum blog) is not in direct competition with you in any way so I'm not sure why you would be so cruel as to do this. All it's getting you is bad publicity, I'll tell you that much.

    As you can tell. I'm mad. <3 you girl!

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  24. so sorry to hear this :( i wish i had some advice for you. unbelievable that you can't get through to facebook and that they didn't contact YOU before removing it. ridiculous. i hope you can get it resolved.

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  25. That is so, so messed up Emily. I wish I had some advice for you. There is no possible way that anyone with two brain cells to rub together would confuse your blog, and her bakery. I just don't get why she'd care since it doesn't even seem to exist anymore?

    Just so you know, Google is extremely proactive when it comes to claims of copyright infringement. I've had to reach out to them before when I've found material of mine copied in full on another Blogger-based site, and they removed the content FAST. I'm totally on your side obviously, since clearly you are not infringing on anything, but you may want to back up your blog in case she's complained to Google too. You have SO much on here and I'd hate to see you lose it. Good luck sorting this mess out!

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    1. I think she likes squeezing money from people, that's what I think. Maggie, I really do need to back up.

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  26. I am so sorry Emily!! That is horrible! Sugar Plum is YOUR brand that you have spent years developing - at the very least Facebook should have contacted you about it before removing it (it's not like you have "offensive" material on there lol). I really hope that things are able to be worked out! And I hope karma comes back to that bakery owner...

    Keep your chin up Emily - your blog is very loved!!

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    1. Nicole, I do believe in karma! She'll get hers. :)

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  27. I wonder how much legal "legwork" you could accomplish before talking to a professional about this. It seems to me that not only the bakery is in the wrong, but also FB. So if we both open places that sell slow smoked meats, only 1 of us is entitled to use the term BBQ? It doesnt really make sense to me. How can you even trademark just a regular word or words? It seems kind of malicious to me. The internet is chock full of sites where a single letter is varied or a space added or taken away so that it doesnt infringe. Facebook is on the way out anyway, so maybe not worth the effort. I would however, love to pee in this bakery's cake batter.

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    1. Macattack, I've been having a Twitter-lawyer friend look into this for me. I'm very appreciative. I don't think you can TM a regular word. You can't TM sugarplum. I just think Facebook shuts down anything they get a complaint about. I've read a lot of commenters say that FB is on its way out. I think I'll go without one.

      Haha please, please pee in their batter.

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  28. I can't believe that! That's seriously the worst news - I'm so sorry!! Hope everything gets sorted out. What a crazy woman!

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  29. OMG, that is so awful :-( I am so sorry that happened to you and I think it is complete BULLSH*T. Absolutely ridiculous, and I can imagine very stressful. I hope it gets worked out very soon.

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  30. That sucks! I loved getting your updates on Facebook. I totally feel for you. She probably just wishes she had your talent. If you ever start a new page, I will follow you again!!!

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  31. That is nuts. I wonder what the legal rights are. This woman is obviously bitter than your blog is more popular than her bakery!

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  32. How terrible! Who knew it was that easy to take down someone's FB page? There are so many pages that are knockoffs of something real or that are clearly made up, I don't understand how they could target a real actual page like yours. What a bummer!

    Here's to hoping karma gets around to the owner of that bakery.

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  33. I'm so sorry to hear that, Emily! Don't let the trolls get you down! Reading your blog is one of my favorite parts of my lunch break.

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  34. Nothing is ever actually gone on facebook so I'm sure that once someone responds to you you'll get it back and running

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  35. oh no :( i have no answers, but i do hope you keep at it and things are restored! fingers crossed for you!

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  36. I'm sorry to hear you are dealing with such a situation! I hope you can find a way to defend your blog, it would be a shame if you lost this. (Shame on Sugarplum Bakery of NV!) Best wishes.

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  37. Emily! That is treacherous.....and so lame. I think you should call the bakery, ask to speak with the owner, and let her know that YOU were the one who she screwed over. So ridiculous. I hope you are able to get something figured out soon!

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  38. What!! That's a bunch of crap (excuse my language). I can't believe that happened to you. Keep arguing with Facebook -- even if they can't bring the page back for you, it'll be good to get to the bottom of it.

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  39. This sucks. I wrote a nastygram on her FB page.

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