Jefferson City, MO ‘ This case is about what’s in a name, Bioheat®. And unlike Shakespeare’s rose the name is essential. A recent trademark settlement marks a win for the environment and customers as the National Biodiesel Board, with the support of the National Oilheat Research Alliance, successfully defends all that is in a name.
“Cleaner burning Bioheat® heating oil is at work for thousands of customers who enjoy the benefits of an environmentally friendly heating alternative,” said Paul Nazzaro, National Biodiesel Board Petroleum Liaison. “Protecting the Bioheat trademark is about protecting the integrity of the product on behalf of the entire industry and the more than 300 dealers who offer the fuel.”
Earlier this year the National Biodiesel Board initiated a lawsuit against Tarm USA Inc, a New Hampshire company using the term BIOHEATUSA in relation to an unrelated product. In a recently released settlement Tarm USA Inc agreed to discontinue use of the term within six months. In addition the company agreed to discontinue use of their domain name which also included the Bioheat trademark
Bioheat heating oil is blend of conventional home heating oil with a minimum of 2 percent to a maximum blend of 5 percent pure biodiesel meeting its ASTM specification. The home heating oil blend can be used in any oil heat applications. Using the blended fuel offers improved performance and lower carbon emissions. The National Biodiesel Board obtained a federal trademark registration on Bioheat and launched the official logo in 2006. This trademark was licensed to NORA, which has sublicenses with hundreds of retailers.
As Bioheat heating oil use grows, it is critical that the product and its name remain reliable in an ever-changing marketplace. In trademark cases it is the registered trademark owner’s responsibility to defend against potential use infringements. Protecting the Bioheat trademark gives consumers assurance and confidence they are using a renewable fuel to heat their home.
“We are dead set on protecting the Bioheat identity,” said Nazzaro. “Bioheat heating oil offers a better alternative for the environment and for consumers. The fuel and this settlement is a win for the environment, the industry and consumers using cleaner burning Bioheat heating oil.”
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For more details on biodiesel’s benefits, including economic and job boosts, energy security, and environmental, visit biodiesel.org.