October 10, 2008
Via Online Submission Form
This Office represents Big Lots Stores, Inc. and its affiliates (“Big Lots”). It has come to our attention that you and/or your company may seek or otherwise obtain possession of and release Big Lots’ advertisements prior to the authorized public release dates. In particular, we understand that you may desire to post on your websites Big Lots’ “Black Friday” advertisement and other advertisements planned for Thanksgiving week before those advertisements are authorized by Big Lots to be made public.
Prior to the authorized public release, the elements of these advertisements, including sale dates and times, sale merchandise and pricing, are the product of substantial time and effort on the part of Big Lots’, and constitute confidential, proprietary and commercially valuable information. The advertisements and information therein are protected by trade secret, copyright and other federal and state laws. Therefore, any unauthorized reproduction, publication or distribution of the advertisements or information therein prior to Big Lots’ authorized release date violates Big Lots’ rights. A non-exclusive list of potential remedies available to Big Lots to redress copyright infringement include, but are not limited to, injunction, impounding and disposition of infringing articles, damages and profits, costs and attorneys’ fees, and criminal prosecution.
We have also become aware that some publishers may encourage third parties (such as printers and newspapers) who lawfully possess Big Lots’ advertisements to inappropriately disclose the advertisement and related information. The law provides liability for those who encourage violations, participate in them or receive economic benefits from them. Therefore, we wish to emphasize and place you on specific notice of the same.
In view thereof, and given the irreparable harm that Big Lots would suffer as a result of your violations of Big Lots’ rights, we demand that you and your company:
1. refrain from accepting or posting Big Lots’ advertisements, including the information contained therein, before they are widely distributed via newspapers to consumers;
2. offer up to Big Lots for destruction any and all copies of its advertisements and any other documents including or relating to Big Lots’ intellectual property that are obtained by you or your company prior to such advertisements being widely distributed via newspapers to consumers; and
3. provide Big Lots with all of the details regarding how you or your company acquired the aforementioned advertisements.
Please understand that this letter constitutes actual notice to you of Big Lots’ rights and that Big Lots will consider any actions in violation of those rights to constitute willful infringement of its protected rights. Please contact me if you have any questions, are aware of any violations, or are approached by any third-party seeking to disclose or provide information about Big Lots’ advertisements or other commercial activities, such as dates of sales, discount amounts, etc., prior to their authorized release date.
Chadwick P. Reynolds
Assistant General Counsel and
Assistant Corporate Secretary
so... we may be unable to bring you the highly anticipated, extremely popular, loaded with deals... oh wait, we're talking about Big Lots. never mind, lol.
They had a similar issue last year when their ad was posted, and nobody cared then either