The Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI) has been infringing on the Master Inspector Certification Board (MICB)'s® registered trademarks with a deceptively-similar designation that FABI has not trademarked. FABI has not even filed for a trademark. Trademarks are precious assets that often take many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to get to the Principal Register of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Once a mark is awarded, it must be legally defended or there is a risk that it can be diluted or even lost. In November of 2023, the MICB humbly begged FABI to stop infringing. FABI refused. In December of 2023, the MICB's Executive Director, Nick Gromicko met with the FABI Board of Directors. Mr. Gromicko's presentation to the FABI board went on for more than an hour and included numerous ways to resolve the issue, none of which required FABI to pay any money to the MICB. In fact, some proposals offered by the MICB even included a large payment from the MICB to FABI. All that the MICB asked was for FABI to stop infringing on MICB's marks. FABI board members refused to even comment at the meeting (perhaps under advice from counsel) and have ignored all attempts to come to an agreement. Trademarks are precious assets that must be legally defended. Safeguarding against infringement is a duty of all trademark owners.
On January 19, 2024, MICB's attorneys made a final plea to FABI: Download and read the letter from the MICB to FABI (PDF) Unfortunately once again, the MICB did not get a reply.
The Master Inspector Certification Board® will be posting regular updates regarding this situation.