Translation: Branislav Murín

On 19 December the Civic Association Dog Soul (a non-profit organization; further in text "OZ Psia Duša") received an e-mail with a copy of a letter from an attorney and patent office representing the JACK WOLFSKIN Ausrüstung für Draussen GmbH & Co. KGaA company. In the letter they notify us that their client is the owner of trade mark line containing the visual element of a paw:

Next they mention their client's finding that OZ Psia Duša runs a charity e-shop which is offering T-shirts with themes that include registered trademarks of the JACK WOLFSKIN Company:

Simultaneously - without any valid court decision - they directly accused us of violating trademark property rights. They suggested this solution: If OZ Psia Duša voluntarily refrains from the use of the aforementioned "paw" trademark; they will give us a specific time limit to sell our remaining stock. If we won't accept their terms they will proceed to settle this issue in court and notify the state authorities. They also mentioned that this solution will definitely raise our overall costs.

In our response through our attorney we point out the fact that we have never used symbols identical with the trademarks of the Jack Wolfskin Company nor do we use similar symbols that would confuse the general public. The paw symbol we use is different at the first sight; it is a simple dog paw, whereas the JACK WOLFSKIN's trademark symbol is a wolf paw with pictured irregularities, asymmetries and claws. These two symbols differ visually and semantically.

The Jack Wolfskin Company did not trademark "paw" as a meaning of the word, they patented merely a specific visual "paw" theme. The legislation concerning trademark issues specifies trademark matching or trademark confusion. It doesn't say that if a subject trademarks the wolf paw symbol it has automatically the right to forbid the use of any animal paw symbol regardless of the degree of similarity. To ask to ban the use of any paw theme is outrageous and it is in contrast with the Trademark Act.

In consideration of the aforementioned facts we cannot agree with Jack Wolfskin's statement about the similarity of our logos. We cannot agree with the supposed violation of their intellectual property. We would also like to point out that our visual representation of a dog paw includes the text "DOGSOUL" which shows no similarities with the registered trademark symbol of a "wolf paw" or any other phrase such as "Jack Wolfskin".

Jack Wolfskin's trademark
OZ Psia Duša's themes

OZ Psia Duša is a non-profit organization devoted to the rescue of abandoned, unwanted and tortured animals, particularly dogs. This is another reason why we use the dog paw symbol and not the symbol of a wolf paw, a cat paw or any other animal paw. Judging by the letters from Jack Wolfskin's attorneys, it is clear that their goal is to forbid the use of any animal paw symbol, even though Jack Wolfskin is not the owner of trademarks other that of those that portray a wolf paw.

Although we think that we don't commit copyright infringement towards Jack Wolfskin we offered to modify our logo even further to increase the difference. Their answer was only adding further demands and also the removal of more themes from our charity e-shop, namely themes with a dominant text "DOG SOUL" and "I Love Animals" which contains the letter "I", a heart symbol, and a dog paw. So the company was inclined to no agreement other than the complete fulfilment of their demands which kept growing with each received e-mail. In their last e-mail they asked us to pledge in writing to completely stop using the aforementioned logo on apparel and to choose another one.

From such a large company we expected help, cooperation and participation on our projects aimed to rescue animals; not an attempt to restrict and constraint our non-profit organization and to increase our costs with a possible lawsuit.


The Jack Wolfskin Company was known for its aggressive business policy towards small entrepreneurs that used various animal paw footprint themes on their products; such was the case of a Netherland-based trade company which ultimately led to massive call to boycott Jack Wolfskin products from their customers.

WIKIPEDIA.DE - Jack Wolfskin (klicken sie HIER)

WIKIPEDIA.EN - Jack Wolfskin (klicken sie HIER)

If the company had registered human hand logo, would it ask the other companies not to use human hand on their products whatsoever or only if the hand would have no similarity to a real human hand? Human hands are very similar, but bear paws and wolf paws don't even have the same number of fingers and Jack Wolfskin's past attack contradicted logic, reason and law. What is actually important for a registered trademark – visual similarity or the meaning of a word??? Then it should be possible not to patent the visuals, but to patent directly the words and their meaning. This is how the Jack Wolfskin company imagines the Trademark Act: let's trademark wolf paw logo and the visual representation of the following "paws": croc, elephant, dog, cat, raccoon, and squirrel are automatically copyright infringement of our "animal paw" patent.

In the case that the Jack Wolfskin Company decides to settle the matters in the court of law, OZ Psia Duša will defend its rights as the sum from our charity sales represents a large amount of our finances and allow us to save unwanted and abandoned animals; the cancellation of these sales could be fatal.

One of the goals of this article is also to engage the public to post your opinions in our forum or on our Facebook page and to share your opinion on the degree of similarity of ZO Psia Duša's paw and the trademarked Jack Wolfskin's paw.

Click the banner to access
the forum of OZ Psia duša

You may express your opinion in English or German languages as well as the discussion will be send directly to the Jack Wolfskin Company.

We would be thankful if you could support us and in the case of a lawsuit would also donate to our account as the eventual lawsuit will surely be expensive.

Account number: 2622711607
Account name: Psia duša
BLZ: 1100
SK55 1100 0000 0026 2271 1607

Variable symbol: 6666
Note: kauza JW

We will keep you updated about the development of this case.

We would like to THANK YOU in advance for you help and support!

Anna Nagyová, OZ Psia duša


The causes of JACK WOLFSKIN:

1. The TAZ newspaper used the paw symbol as a logo designed in 1979 by the designer Roland Matticzk. It was not a registered trademark. In 1982 Jack Wolfskin patented almost identical symbol and successfully sued TAZ. In this case the symbols were almost identical although the TAZ newspaper used the symbol first. Now they can use it only in the newspaper but not on towels.
- No logo! (3/2007)
Jack Wolfskin Logo – Na wem gehört denn jetzt die Tatze? (9/2009)

2. The homosexual community BEARWEAR uses a bear paw logo with six fingers.
- Opfer von Jack-Wolfskin-Abmahnung (10/2009)

3. Jack Wolfskin attacked amateur craftsmen and mothers on their maternity leave who had been selling home-made candles, pocket mirrors, stickers and pillows over the internet... (10/2009)
- Jack Wolfskin mahnt Bastler wegen Tatzen-Mustern ab
- Jack Wolfskin mahnt DaWanda-Hersteller ab
- Jack Wolfskin eröffnet den Abmahn-Herbst! - Jack Wolfskin sends cheques and directly demands compensation...
- Jack-Wolfskin-Tatze - Abmahnwelle gegen Hobby-Designer


There are more articles to be found on the internet. In 2009 the Jack Wolfskin Company was active in the court of law, but that faded away later. Now the company strikes again – a non-profit organization in Slovakia...