The ConFurence Group was formed in 1999 to be the business entity behind ConFurence 11 and later events, after convention founder Mark Merlino stepped down as convention chairman and transferred the rights to the "ConFurence" name to longtime member and staffer Darrel Exline for $1. Merlino retained the rights and merchandise for all earlier events.
Darrel then created an umbrella company called the ConFurence Group to organize several furry conventions, including:
He described how in 1999
|I also purchased from Mark Merlino for one dollar
($1 US) all rights to use the name "ConFurence" for future events. I discovered I needed to do this in order to protect the dba registration, since Mark had registered it in Orange County and let it expire a few years earlier.
Sometime in May or June of 1999, I sent in a California Trademark Registration form to register the name "ConFurence" as a service mark of The ConFurence Group. I paid the appropriate fees (about $80 if I remember correctly) and received confirmation of approval of the Registered Service Mark in June of 1999.
"ConFurence" therefore *is* a registered service mark in the State of California belonging to The ConFurence Group. It is listed as the brand name referring to an annual Science Fiction, Fantasy and Comic Book convention operated by The ConFurence Group.
The ConFurence Group registered the term ConFurence and the paw-on-globe logo as service marks with the State of California in 1999. They later registered the term "ConFurence" as a service mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January of 2002, and was issued the service mark registration in October of that same year.
The ConFurence Group intended to incorporate, but because this didn't happen prior to an obvious personal debt looming over the convention, incorporation would have been easily unveiled as an attempt by Darrel to escape personal financial liability. Therefore, The ConFurence Group remains a sole proprietorship of Darrel, who personally covered the $60,000 debt incurred by ConFurence 11 through ConFurence 2003.
- Ok, I can talk about it now. January 7, 2002 post by Darrel L. Exline to alt.fan.furry Retrieved June 18, 2011.