"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Job's Daughters Trademark Dispute Settled

In February 2017, I mentioned some turmoil going on in the Masonic-related youth group Job's Daughters International (JDI) concerning a Federal lawsuit filed in Washington (state) over alleged copyright infringement of the organization's trademarks. Heidi Yoast is a Past Honored Queen, Majority Member, and Past Grand Bethel Honored Queen from Washington  who had created various shirts and hoodies for several Bethels and as gifts for individual girls to celebrate honors they had received (see image above). The items were apparently not sold as fundraisers, but were all for personal use.

Job's Daughters is one of a handful of Masonic-related organizations that tightly controls the use of its logo and trademarks and forbids their use on products by local Bethels without specific written permission. (Apparently, JDI has a licensing agreement with another authorized supplier.)

The dispute played out online on Facebook pages Jobie Truth and Occupy Job's Daughters.According to her GoFundMe Page during the lawsuit, some of these products Yoast had created had even been designed and ordered by the Grand Guardian Council Committee members themselves for their personal use. 

According to JDI's own court filed documents"In 2016, the trademark policy was changed to allow members to use “Job’s Daughters,” “IYOBFILIAE,” and “JDI” without permission so long as they were not using them for a commercial benefit." 
So one wonders why this even got into court in the first place.

The lawsuit has now been dropped, and the case has been mutually settled in Court-ordered mediation as of June 14th. Ms. Yoast has been granted permission to "create soft goods utilizing JDI's trademarks consistent with JDI's bylaws." 

On June 27th, 2018, the following joint statement (first paragraph) was circulated by Shelly Cole, Supreme Guardian of JDI:


  1. “I am sorry that statements attributed to me during the 2016 Supreme Session were interpreted in a negative context and may have played a role in the lawsuit.” That ranks as one of the worst non-apology apologies I’ve seen.

  2. To bad the daughters are on the hook for over 200k in legal fees and shelly walks away.


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