Dervaes Family Pursues a Legally Protected Legacy
PASADENA, Calif., Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Dervaeses are a family of four—a father, Jules, and three adult children, Anais, Justin and Jordanne, who own a small non–profit business devoted to environmental education. On a city lot, in the densely urban setting of Pasadena, Calif., they are trying to live a simple life using unique values developed over the last 25 years. Annually, they can harvest up to 7,000 pounds of organic produce from one-tenth of an acre garden. Along with raising a few farm animals, they incorporate many back-to-basics practices, solar energy and biodiesel in order to reduce their footprint on the earth's resources. Through the medium of several popular websites and other online platforms, they share their expertise and demonstrate their homesteading skills, inspiring others to prosper through living simply.
Wikipedia defines homesteading as "a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency." This is what the Dervaes family has been attempting to achieve since the 1980s. Many people have tried to do this, but few have documented their adventures as the Dervaeses have. After ten years, their website, www.UrbanHomestead.org, is now the largest and most comprehensive Urban Homesteading website, with several million hits per month. They believe that their family's real-life experience is what makes the site unique. Anais explains, "We aren't just writing about the latest eco-practices and products; for more than two decades, we have been living the revolution." On the site's blog, readers can witness first-hand the family's daily struggles and joys, defeats and successes on their pioneering journey.
The Dervaes family project is known as the Urban Homestead®. While they did not come up with the name Urban Homesteading®, they defined its current, specific application. Desiring to safeguard that description of their daily life, Dervaes Institute applied for and received "service marks" for the phrases used in reference to their non-profit work. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, a service mark "identifies and distinguishes the source of a service" and is used interchangeably with "trademark."
What the Dervaeses do is to promote Urban Homesteading as a lifestyle. The objective of acquiring the trademarks was to avoid confusion on the part of the general public and users. In the attempt to maintain the reputation and integrity of the trademarks, Dervaes Institute has privately informed, to date, a total of 16 organizations, publishers and businesses about the proper usage of the registered terms. No threat was made against anyone's first amendment rights; yet, there has been a heated argument in the media against what should have been the Dervaeses' normal rights to protect their trademarks.
Blogging is often confused with reporting; and there are now cases where people have engaged in a negative blogging campaign aimed at discrediting the Dervaes family. Whereas professional reporters substantiate their news before publishing stories and are careful not to make slanderous statements, bloggers have no editors and often demonstrate little or no interest in supporting their claims with fact. As a result, irresponsible or malicious blogging can cause harm to people and businesses.
The family requests that level heads prevail and that people take time to step back, be informed about trademark policy, and search out the truth.
About Dervaes Institute
Established in 2006 by Jules Dervaes, the non-profit organization is a personal endeavor run by Dervaes family members who draw on many years of personal experience to help others along the path of self-sufficiency. For more information visit www.UrbanHomestead.org.
SOURCE Dervaes Institute